Finding a Therapist
This is a really difficult task. First, you have to decide if you think you need or want to have a therapist to help guide your process. If you are suicidal, have any kind of addiction process going, have panic or anxiety attacks, are harming yourself or others (or just thinking about it), are seriously depressed, have wide mood swings, or hear voices inside or outside of your head then you must find a therapist.
If you, like most people, have an underlying sense of dissatisfaction with your life, have unsatisfying relationships, have bouts of “the blues” or just feel trapped in your life, then you may want to find a therapist. A good therapist can help you sort out what is underneath the pain and offer you the support you need to move out of the Cycle of Egocentrism and through the Wall of Grief.
Locate a therapist that is a good fit for you.
That is a lot harder. Therapists come in all shapes, personalities, ages and colors and have widely varying levels of skill and methodology. There are whole books on finding a therapist. But the simplest method is finding the names of four or five therapists and start interviewing them. You can find the names by asking people you know who are in therapy (preferably ones in whom you have observed positive changes), looking in the phone book, asking your insurance company, or on the Internet. Many therapists do not charge for the initial meeting, but you need to clarify that with them up front. If they do not, it doesn’t mean they are not someone you would want to see, it may mean that they are heavily booked and can’t afford to book an unpaid session.
If you are familiar with the different types of therapy you may want to find out what modes of therapy they use. Once you have booked the interview, write down a list of questions of things that are important to you.
Some suggested questions could be (depending on what your priorities are)
How frequently should we book sessions?
Are you available for emergency sessions if I am in a bad place? How do you handle between session phone calls?
How long have you been practicing?Are you familiar with the Cycle of Egocentrism or the Drama Triangle?
How comfortable are you with expressions of intense emotion? (This one is hard because you will only really know the answer once you have let yourself have some feelings with this person.)
If I were to tell you that I was suicidal (clarify for them if this is true or not), what would you say to me?
Are you religious? (You may want to have them clarify how that will impact therapy, if at all.)
The answers to these questions, along with any others that you come up with on your own, will impact each of us differently. Some of these may not matter to you, just ask the ones that do.
But the most important thing to determine in the session is:
Do you feel comfortable disclosing information about your most personal issues with this person? Does this person feel safe? If you feel uneasy with this person you may need to keep looking.
More information on finding a therapist is available inside Cycle of the Heart: A way out of the egocentrism of everyday life.