Fort Lauderdale Psychotherapy: Three things to keep in mind when looking for the right Fort Lauderdale psychotherapist
by Seth Grossman, Psy.D.
If you are looking for a psychotherapist and are stuck in making a choice, read on: I want to help you differentiate between making the right choice for you, and ending up with an “okay” choice that just isn’t the right fit, and leads to not quite the right therapy. There are many good psychotherapists in the area, and also a few others. It’s hard to choose from among the good ones so that you end up with an experience that helps move you toward a more fulfilling and enjoyable life.
So you’ve put “Fort Lauderdale Psychotherapy” in your search engine and come up with a bunch of names. Some you’ve disqualified because they’re too far away, too expensive, or just didn’t say the right things or “feel” right. That leaves… somewhere in the hundreds of names from the search engine. Now what? Try applying these three tips to help you decide:
1. Does the psychotherapist treat me like a symptom or a person? The right psychotherapist will connect with you and make you feel as though your experience is real, and can be improved. Many psychotherapists just stick to talking about some symptom and some method to treat it. This is very effective, if you’re a car at the mechanic’s shop getting a leak in your A/C system fixed, but people don’t work that way. This isn’t to say that expertise with your symptoms isn’t important – it is. In fact, you want to ask your psychotherapist about her/his prior experience and success with your particular problems. But just treating some isolated feelings or thoughts doesn’t change the underlying reasons for those feelings or thoughts. When a psychotherapist understands you, the person, the work you do takes on a more permanent effectiveness.
2. Do I feel like the main priority when I’m here? I wonder how you can possibly feel better when your psychotherapist seems to view you as more of a distraction than the reason he/she is there. Yet, modern practice demands pull a lot of good psychotherapists in too many directions. While that is an unfortunate reality of our healthcare field, you have the right to undivided attention, and while some good psychotherapists will get distracted, the right one for you will show you genuine, consistent interest in your well-being. Just as you need to (and will) give real time and attention to your problems, so does your psychotherapist. If your problem is “not” a priority, why bother, right? It’s hard to be invested if your problems are seen as a second priority.
3. Does this psychotherapist and this practice feel safe and trustworthy? To succeed in psychotherapy, you will need to open up, and be exposed. To do that effectively, you MUST feel safe, validated, and heard, and you must trust that you will be treated in the most ethical and professional manner. This extends from the waiting room, to the practice staff, to the psychotherapist’s office. There will be times when your concerns will make you feel uncomfortable. Will you feel comfortable with that in here?
Some additional time and effort in making the right choice in a psychotherapist pays huge returns. It’s an investment in yourself that is worth every moment of due consideration I hope that these three tips, along with your good “gut” sense, helps clear the path to your next step in great mental health.
Seth Grossman, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist and director of The Center for Psychological Fitness in Cooper City, FL, just a short drive west of Fort Lauderdale. He and his colleagues cover many specialty areas and services and are dedicated to a holistic, personalized approach to finding your best path to meet your needs. Visit www.psychfitness.com or call 954.434.1886 to start your journey today.