We are in the middle of a pandemic that just wont go away. Job loss and economic instability is around every corner. Layer on top of that  the loss of structured activities, students trying to adjust to virtual learning and this new normal  has people of all ages and walks of life turning to professionals for support and help in navigating these difficult times. 

People are stressed, depressed and struggling. More often than I can count over the last several months I have gotten emails, calls and even been stopped on a walk with my dogs, being asked the same question:  How do I pick a therapist?  

I have a few suggestions.  

  • Interview a therapist as if you were interviewing them for a job.  How well do you connect? How do they do answering your questions? Can you envision that person doing the job?
  • Ask Doctors , friends and family for  referrals; word of mouth is a great starting point. Check your insurance company provider list and cross reference the names. if you are lucky enough to find someone in your network that is a bonus.
  • Know what kind of help you need and make sure you are a good match. Some mental health professionals  do more long-term psychotherapy while others do more short term goal oriented work.
  • Ask the therapist what experience and training  they have with  people  and situations similar to yours.
  • Ask about fees, availability of appointments, how they conduct their sessions- virtual and in person options.
  • The most important part of the process is the connection. Do you see yourself talking and trusting this person. Trust your gut.

Therapy can be incredibly helpful and empowering.  Take your time and find the professional that is right for you.

Julie Bulitt, LCSW-C is a licensed clinical social worker, having worked for more than 25 years with individuals, couples and families.  Her private practice focuses on family, couples and individual therapy, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Executive Functioning coaching.  She presently serves as the in-house therapist for The Discovery Channel in Silver Spring, Maryland.  Her new book, THE 5 CORE CONVERSATIONS FOR COUPLES, is co-authored with her husband, a Maryland divorce lawyer is now available from all booksellers in paperback and e-books.