3 Points to Consider When Choosing the Right Therapist for You

Looking for a therapist? Here’s what a Grand Rapids-area therapist wants you to consider in order to have a great experience and find someone perfect for your needs.

  1. Interview your potential therapist: This might sound kind of silly, but the reality is that like most things in life there are good and bad options whenever we are looking for someone to provide us with any type of care. I encourage anyone interested in trying therapy for the first time to call around to different offices and check them out online. This is an easy first step that will help you filter through different candidates and should help you pick someone you believe might best suit your needs. Finding a credible therapist shouldn’t be too difficult if you take this approach. Just make sure the therapist is licensed, credentialed and that they are open to sharing about their professional background, treatment style, and areas of expertise.
  1. Determine if you need a specialist: The average therapist should be able to help you with just about anything you want to bring to the table. However, as in other medical professions, there are therapists who have different specialties. Are you looking for family therapy? Marriage counseling? Need help choosing your next career move? Whatever the case may be, it is useful to look for a therapist who has expertise and experience in your area of need.
  1. Look for authenticity: Genuineness in a therapist is a must. In my experience, the cornerstone of therapy is authenticity. From your first few sessions you ought to feel the therapist is genuinely interested in assisting you, and their passion for helping others should shine through in their approach and the way they engage you. Authenticity is engagement. Regardless of years of experience and style of therapy, the single most important factor in choosing the right therapist for you is level of comfort and sense of connectedness. Trust your gut on this one. Lastly, word of mouth is always a good way to start and may make this process much easier for you.

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Photo credit: thejaan (feature)

Chris Rivera in a suitChris Rivera, LMSW, CAADC, is a licensed psychotherapist who has been practicing in the Grand Rapids area since 2012. Chris has been working in the mental health field since 2009, where he began his work with at-risk youth in a residential treatment center. Chris now works with a diverse client population of teenagers, adults, elderly and Spanish-speaking individuals. Chris is passionate about the therapeutic process, and specializes in treating people who suffer from anxiety, depression, addiction and mood disorders. Chris approaches treatment as a collaborative effort, diligently working with clients in order to explore, and establish “best fit” for their therapeutic needs. 

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  1. It was great that you talked about how therapists also have their own specialties, and that I need to determine the type of therapist that would suit my case. I was actually feeling lethargic and depressed for some time now, and I know it’s related to a problem my family’s currently growing through. I’m not sure if I need individual counseling or if I should take my family with me for counseling. I’ll ask a professional for their opinion. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I can totally relate when you said that genuineness in a therapist is a must and the success of the therapy depends on their authenticity. The sister of my wife appears to have some internal conflicts and we want her to consult a psychologist. We’ll ask around for people who’ve had a therapy session before to know who they can recommend so that we can get in touch with the experts.

  3. My sister is thinking of going to counseling and she asked me to help her find a therapist so I am glad I found this article! You make a great point that you should interview potential therapists to see if they are a good fit. This will be very important for my sister because she will need to connect with them before she is willing to share her feelings. Also, I will make sure to see what area of mental health the therapist specializes in!

    1. Hi Elsa, We’re glad you found this post helpful! Hopefully you and your sister are able to find the best option for her. Best, Taylar

  4. It’s good to know how to find a good psychologist. My son actually needs one to deal with the depression he’s going through right now. I’ll be sure to find someone who I feel is genuinely interested in helping him, like you said. That’s definitely important.

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