Fort Lauderdale Therapy: Three questions to ask yourself when looking for the right therapist in Fort Lauderdale
by Seth Grossman, Psy.D.
Don’t be one of the many people who feel they could benefit from therapy but don’t end up going! As a society, we’re finding ourselves finally doing away with the unnecessary stigma of “seeing a therapist,” but this ends up creating a new roadblock: SO MANY choices of therapists! This article will help you make the right choice for you, from the many choices that just aren’t quite the right fit leading to not quite the right therapy. The choices are impressive, and that makes it all the harder to choose the right therapist to help you move toward a more fulfilling and enjoyable life.
At this point, you’ve probably done your preliminary search for a psychotherapist, either online or through word of mouth. Maybe you’ve even been able to narrow it down to those that are nearby, in your price range, and maybe even “feel right” by their ads or good word of mouth. But that still leaves a lot of them. Now what? Try asking these three questions to help you decide:
1. Does this therapist see me, or just my symptoms? A good therapist will be well versed in helping you reduce symptoms and feel better, but the right therapist will understand and connect with you as a person. Remember that you’re not a machine that can just have a part replaced. You have distress that is linked to many different parts of you, your history, your way of life, and your preferred way of being. You certainly want to ask your therapist about her/his expertise in what you want to address, but your concerns don’t happen in a vacuum. When a therapist understands how you function in your world, therapy is much more complete, effective, and permanent.
2. Do I feel like a valued client? Some people feel like their concerns are “trivial” and that is a natural defense – but they ARE important if they affect you. Your therapist, however, cannot view your concerns as trivial. Current healthcare practice demands do tend to divide clinician’s attention, but remember, YOU are the most important priority while you are in that therapy room. The right therapist for you will show you genuine, consistent interest in your well-being.
3. Do I feel safe enough to do serious work? For therapy to work, you will need to address some difficult personal matters. That’s impossible if you don’t feel safe, validated, and heard, and it’s pointless if you don’t feel you will be handled in the most ethical and professional manner. Look around you when you visit your therapist’s office. Notice how you feel talking to the staff, sitting in the waiting room, and most importantly, when you are behind the closed therapy door. Can you feel safe while you are exploring very personal, possibly uncomfortable matters?
It’s worth really doing your homework before committing to work with a therapist. This is a wonderful investment in yourself that is worth all the work you put into it. I I hope that these three questions help you 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.