How to find the right person to talk with? (a professional)


#1

I have a close friend that I serendipitously met during an internship while we were young. He is has some diagnosed disorders and has a similar mindset with issues we both face throughout our lives. We can bounce anything off each other and there is not one thing we can say that would shock or put-off the other person. We really click and when we do find the time to get together, it can be great and helpful.

I can’t say that I’ve found anything like that in a professional therapist. I’ve tried a few, but none really “got me”. I’ve been paging through the threads here and noticed there are service providers out there that offer teleconferencing which is awesome and I feel like it may be time to try again … but I don’t know the best way to “window shop”. How would I find someone that clicks well with me?

I’ve felt that previous attempts did not progress successfully because the conversations were not driven in the right direction. I try to be nice and make it work, only to invest time into something that is not working out.

I know I should be eternally thankful to have found the friend that I have, but I feel better knowing I can offload more on someone who is a professional with a schedule.


#2

It can be quite the process to find the right professional that ‘clicks’. I wonder if maybe the goal here shouldn’t be finding someone who is a replica of your friend but conducive to providing support and assistance in other ways?

In the past when I’ve been looking for professional support, I’ve made a list of questions to suss out if we could be a good match prior to actually having a “real” session. Depending on the health care system you’re within, this might not be an option if your resources are more limited but if you’re choosing from X+ different possibilities, it might help you choose one over another (at least for starters).

For me, these questions have helped clarify their therapy ‘style’/method, whether or not they are a feminist, attitudes towards various treatment options, their preferred form of communication (phone/email), etc. For those who aren’t willing to take the time to answer them, we’re clearly not a good match from the get-go :smirk: .

It will still take time + energy to find that ‘click’ but this cuts out a bit of the extra fluff, I’ve found.


#3

That is insightful. Thank you. My goals are different than what I look for in my friend. However, I need to organize my thoughts to help start that process. I’ve made a few appointments and also talked myself into trying one of the online texting/app style therapy offerings for at least a month.

I feel like I’ve never been totally honest during therapy, so that is also something I’d like to push myself towards. :crossed_fingers:


#4

Hi @jon I first started getting treated for mental health issues in 1991, when I was 18. I just wanted you to know that I also have had trouble finding therapists that are effective. Some I would say are even less than professional. As @allisonplus states, it can be quite the process to find the right person. I would guess that the best way is like with any other service or merchandise: recommendations (a.k.a. word of mouth) from friends or family. Beyond that, it seems like a lot of guess-work, esp since different people click in different ways; a therapist might work well with one individual, but not with another.

The key might be not putting too much trust when meeting with a new therapist, and listening to your gut (which can be difficult, I acknowledge). I wish I had better insight for you, but I wish you the best of luck. And even positive vibes. :slight_smile:


#5

Thanks for the thoughts!

Since it’s been a few months I thought I’d share what I chose for the short term and what I plan on doing moving forward.

I ended up using Talkspace for a few months. I liked the regular communications and it helped for venting and keeping me grounded. The major take away though was concentrating on meditation and making that a daily part of my life. The other useful part was that it helped to confirm that I was not ‘off the wall’ for having the feelings I had.

I also chose a local therapist that my partner had used in the past. She helped frame some of the more complex issues and helped me reach a few major realizations as to what feelings were triggering these reactions inside me and how to manage them.

Overall, in the last few months I’ve also worked to create habits using habit building apps on my phone and making sure I do 10 minutes of meditation day, start the day with making my bed, ensuring I drink at least a few glasses of water each day.

I’ve canceled the talkspace subscription for now, and I think I have at least a few more visits with my local therapist until I’ve reached my main goals of understanding my feelings. I think I may use talkspace again in the future for the quicker ‘venting’ and sounding board type of help.


#6

@jon Thanks for checking in. You sound good! You sound confident you’re on the right path. :):star_struck: