Whether you’re seeking support for a specific issue or looking for a safe space to process your thoughts and emotions, an online therapist can be a great source of help. But with so many options out there, how do you find the right one?
When finding an online therapy provider in Ottawa or any other location, it’s vital to do your research thoroughly. Doing so lets you find a professional who can truly help you sort out your unique situation and guide you on the path to wellness.
Here’s a simple guideline to help you find the ideal online therapist.
- Determine Your Goals And Needs
When choosing an online therapist, understanding what you hope to achieve through therapy first is crucial. Are you looking to address a specific issue, such as anxiety or depression? Or do you need a safe space to process your thoughts and emotions while dealing with a difficult situation? Identifying your goals and needs will help guide your search for the right person to work with.
Making a list of these goals and needs can help you have a reference point as you begin your search. Furthermore, it can help you narrow down your options.
- Look For A Licensed And Accredited Therapist
Choosing one qualified to practice in your location is also helpful. Make sure the therapist is accredited and licensed by a professional organisation, as well. That demonstrates their commitment to upholding ethical standards while serving their clients.
You can check with your local licensing board to verify a therapist’s credentials. After that, see if the therapist is a member of a professional organisation. For instance, if you’re in the US, they may be a member of the American Psychological Association or the National Association of Social Workers. Such organisations have strict membership requirements. Thus, they can provide reassurance of the therapist’s qualifications and commitment to professional standards.
Additionally, you may want to look for a therapist whose speciality or area of expertise is in the specific issue you’re seeking help with. Say you’re seeking help with a relationship issue. Looking for a therapist with training and experience in couples therapy would be best.
- Research Different Therapy Approaches
There are many diverse approaches to therapy, so finding one that aligns with your goals and needs is vital. Some common ones include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), psychoanalysis, and mindfulness-based therapy. Each approach has its unique techniques and scope.
CBT, for example, focuses on connecting thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. It aims to identify and change negative patterns of thinking and behaviour contributing to psychological distress. On the other hand, psychoanalytic therapy explores the unconscious mind and the role past experiences may play in current thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.
Mindfulness-based therapy involves practising mindfulness techniques, like meditation and deep breathing, to increase awareness of one’s thoughts and feelings in the present moment.
Take time to consider which one might be the best fit for you.
Additionally, consider whether you prefer a directive or non-directive approach from your therapist. With a directive approach, the therapist provides more guidance and direction in the therapy process. The non-directive, on the other hand, allows you to lead the conversation and explore your thoughts and feelings at your own pace.
- Check Out The Therapist’s Website And Social Media Profiles
Before settling on a therapist, try checking out their website and social media profiles. They should give you a feel of the therapist’s personality, education, approach to therapy, and areas of specialisation. You also get a better understanding of what to expect from the therapy process with them.
You can also read client testimonials or reviews to see how other clients have benefited from working with the therapist. You can also find out if other clients had issues similar to yours. This makes it easier to select the therapist with the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to support you in achieving your goals.
- Consider Availability And Scheduling
Considering a therapist’s availability and scheduling ensures you get the aid you need at your convenience. You may get some therapists who offer video sessions and phone sessions. In fact, others specialize in this only.
It’s also good to consider the length and frequency of therapy sessions. Some therapists may offer longer or shorter sessions. Others may recommend a particular frequency of sessions, like weekly or biweekly, based on your goals and needs. Finding a therapist who can accommodate your schedule and meets your needs regarding session duration and frequency is essential.
Finally, you may want to consider the therapist’s cancellation policy. Some therapists have strict cancellation policies and can charge a fee for missed sessions. Others may have more flexibility. Choose a therapist whose cancellation policy works for you.
Find The One That Suits You Best
Don’t be afraid to shop around when choosing an online therapist. It’s okay to ‘interview’ multiple therapists before making your final decision. Find someone you feel comfortable with and believe can help you achieve your goals. The above points can help you find the perfect fit for your needs.