How to find a therapist in Salt Lake City
You live in SLC and you start to look for a therapist, but you want to find the best therapist for your needs. How do you do this?
This is a common question that surfaces when you are considering going to therapy or helping to find a provider for your loved one. Fears surface about having to share your story, admit that you are struggling, and hold the hope that this will even help. You know that what you’ve been doing isn’t working and the last thing you want to do with your time is to try out multiple people in order to catch traction.
So let’s start there, what constitutes a good fit for therapy? While this can vary, the short answer is you want to pinpoint two key factors:
First step: Evaluate if this therapist has the skill set to help you better cope with your struggles.
You are probably wondering, especially if you’ve not been in therapy before, how you’d know this before your first appointment. So, if you had to sum up your reasons for attending therapy in 2 sentences what would your answer be? The words in those sentences are you guideposts to finding someone who has training and expertise in these areas. If you are still unsure, which categories to choose from, here are a few ideas: what issues from my past that show up in my current relationship or daily life. The answer(s) may be things such as worry and anxiety, self loathing and depression, feeling checked out or disconnected, unhealthy relationship with food, alcohol, exercise, etc.
Once you have narrowed down the category, you want to search for providers in your area with that speciality. While therapists and counselors can see individuals with a wide variety of life issues or mental health diagnosis, we feel that often times a specialist can be your best bet. We think it’s similar to how we select a doctor, if our symptoms are mild or undetermined we see a primary care doctor who knows a lot about lots of things.
However, if we know are symptoms are targeted, such as a significant knee injury, we seek out specialty care or our primary care doctor directs us to someone who has a skill set that will render specific interventions yielding a faster and more targeted outcomes.
There are different modalities and treatment approaches for certain mental health concerns, you can read about those prior to searching for a therapist, or you can ask the therapist you contact to explain their treatment approach to you when you call to inquire more about services and give a brief explanation of what’s bringing you into therapy at this time (this is a normal part of the process before a first appointment is established). Sound clinicians should let you know if what you need isn’t in their wheelhouse, and should also point you in a direction that will be.
Second Step: Explore if there is a connection with your therapist and if their approach works for you.
Just like a doctor’s personality and bedside manner varies, so does the personality and therapy style of mental health providers. We view this connection as more vital with therapy than with a medical provider, because while you may not dig the bedside manner of my medical team, their expertise can often still serve you without causing too emotional distress.
A therapist however, is the person you’re sharing your pain points and feelings with, and how that interaction goes is vital to feeling emotionally safe, understood, and able to receive feedback. Let’s face it, in life there are personality styles that just work better for us than others, so let the same rules apply here- trust your gut and if the connection isn’t working for you, move on and find someone with whom you can connect.
You may know in the first session if the connection is there or not, or it may take you a few times to get comfortable with therapy and then re-asses. Even if you are working with someone for awhile, and concerns arise It’s okay to pivot. We want your needs to be met and for you to have a positive experience and outcome (even though sometimes dealing with your feelings can be hard by nature). Don’t hesitate to speak up and talk this out with your therapist. Yes, with your therapist.
Most people want to shy away from discussing concerns about therapy with their therapist, but a good clinician will welcome the feedback. They should be able to help you look at the concerns, address the workable ones such as shifting the pace, modification of their style, or more clearly define your goals and realistic outcomes. They should also be able to help you get clarity if they just aren’t the right person for you at this time, this happens now and again for all therapists. If you decide you want to try someone else, your therapist can help direct you towards a provider with a different skill set, approach, or personality style that may be a more effective fit.
The goal in therapy is for you to find the support and tools you need to move forward in creating the life you want or coping with the life moments you’ve been dealt that are really difficult right now. So connection and skill set in a therapist truly matter.
We have different therapists at Inside Wellness to cover the needs of the SLC community. If you want to explore how therapy can help you, contact us and we will help you determine the best fit for your needs.