Tips for finding an appropriate therapist through my own personal experience:
Since the age of 15 I have been in therapy: I have moved countries & locations over the last 18 years and have changed therapists many times, so I know what feels right & what doesn’t. Through this time I have had 4 helpful therapists which I managed to stay with long term (a year or more).
I would highly recommend the following:
1. Psychological diagnostic testing is great if you can afford to get it done with a new psychologist. Some examples are:
A typical battery of tests includes projective tests to assess personality such as the Rorschach and the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), an objective personality test such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), a semistructured test like the Rotter Incomplete Sentence Test, and an intelligence test, usually the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Revised (WAIS-R).
2. I have found it very helpful to write down a list of all the things you want to achieve or need support with :
Validation, Low self esteem, anxiety, Ptsd or Cptsd, help with re-parenting, grieving a lost childhood, depression, trust issues, abuse, intimacy issues etc etc..
3. Write down a list of all the things you have been through (makes it easier to not have to tell your life story again & again).
4.Look for therapists, counselors online if you can, or through a recommendation from people that are already in therapy and finding it helpful. It’s always better if two or more people can recommend the same person rather than one, as each person’s needs are different and they might not necessarily match yours. Looking online means you can take your time finding someone and talking on the phone beforehand, to get a feel for them.
5. Group therapy can be valuable for sharing experiences & pain and helping each other. I have found group therapy very helpful!
In the UK you can find therapists on the BACP WEBSITE http://www.bacp.co.uk/.
In Australia you can find therapists on the https://www.goodtherapy.com.au/ and in America you can find therapists here: http://locator.apa.org/
I always spend a long time researching, looking at photos of possible psychologists that don’t look too ‘narcissistic’ and the person seems more down to earth and friendly. Look at what the therapist specialises in, schools of thought, ( cognitive-behavioural, humanistic, gestalt etc or a combination). I look for kind eyes..
I have only had 1 real problem with a counselor who I got offered for free through the NHS and he was awful and brought his own personal issues into our sessions….
6. Follow your gut! If it doesn’t feel right, then change psychologists.
I am very sorry for those of you who have had a bad experience with a therapist. It is such a vulnerable position to be in and some of us who have suffered abuse sometimes don’t know who feels ‘safe or right’.
Arrange a meeting and see how it goes. If it doesn’t feel right, leave! Good luck!