I think one of the highest ROI things a person can do is find a therapist to work with. I'm obviously biased because this is something I already do and I think people (including myself) have a tendency to want to validate their actions but YOLO.
I wanted to create a short guide to make it easier for people to find someone and, hopefully, improve their lives.
There are 4 key things to keep in mind.
- You want to perceive that the person you're working with is smarter or wiser than you are. This is a heuristic given to me by Jess Powell or Roger Kirkness. Can't remember who exactly. Anyways, if you don't think the person is smarter than you then you'll discount everything they say. Bc in your mind, you'll be like, "Oh well Bob is just a dumby so of course he can say to do that. It's easy for him." I did this with many, many counsellors. You need to think they are smarter so that you respect them and what they say.
- Finding a therapist is analogous to dating. You need to find someone you click with (and this doesn't necessarily mean become an echo chamber for everything you say and then you become increasingly polarized or set in your ways). And, tough as it is, you may need to move on from your counsellor when you're not growing anymore (I waited to long to do this). As such, I usually recommend that people who are looking for a counsellor actually try going to see 3-4 separate counsellors and see them each for a session or two. That way, you can sort of feel out what the counsellor is like and whether or not you could work with them and share all your deepest darkest secrets and thoughts.
- IMO the mark of a great counsellor is that they don't tell you to do anything (alright, this isn't true all of the time; sometimes you do need a kick in the butt). But for the most part, they don't actually tell you to do anything. "You should do this" or "You should do that". They just ask you questions and you actually lead yourself to your own solution. They don't put their moral framework or POV of the world on you.
- I think ppl perceive therapy as Freudian psychoanalysis. However, the research backs up that the most effective types of therapies are action oriented — so CBT, ACT, DBT.
How to go about finding a counsellor.
- I have a great one right now so I don't really need to find one BUT if I was going to find one, I'd probably do the following:
- Go to Psyhcology Today and press "Find a therapist" —> https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/therapists
- Then use the criteria to wittle down the type of person I'm hoping to work with
- THEN when I find a few people I might like, I'd go to Rate MD —> https://www.ratemds.com/
- And cross reference the therapists that I like with their reviews on Rate MD
Don't view counseling as an expense. It is an investment in your future self. $200 a session might seem like a lot but you probably spend that much money on coffee in a year or on shoes in 6 months. Reallocate those funds to higher leverage activities such as counseling. And it will pay dividends in the long-run.
Written: September 13, 2020
- I use counsellor and therapist interchangeably.
- I am not a therapist or trainer professional by any means. You should talk to a professional. They do this for a living.