Looking for a therapist is a tricky business. Here are ten tips to bear in mind while walking through the minefield to find the right person for you: Look out for these telltale signs –
1. If his or her wall is peppered with qualifications he may have some insecurity issues of his own. Think on. S/he might be trying to overwhelm you with learning rather than being able to reach out to help
2. If some of the certificates are wet or written in crayon s/he may not be the one you are looking for.
3. If his or her responses includes phrases like ‘You go girlfriend’, ‘Fierce’ or ‘thats a dealbreaker’ he may not represent the highest tier of the profession.
4. Resist a demand to pay for “at least ten sessions getting to the bottom of your really deep issues. Upfront”
5. If he or she has changed their clinic address several times in the past year. Or month.
6. A packed bag by the door can be troubling.
7. Lateness caused by ‘a client I had to see in the pub’ is inexcusable.
8. I’d be bothered by odd socks, a wig, lipstick on the teeth or bad breath – especially if they were all on the same person.
9. Is he or she looking at their watch, phone or door too often? If you haven’t got their attention then forget it.
10. This may seem fussy but anyone chomping through a meat pie while gesturing with their hand and spluttering that you ‘bear with me while I finish this’ may not be sufficiently discreet for you.
But above all ask yourself one simple question: do you like them? If you do you’ll talk and get somewhere if you don’t then you’ll bring resentment and however clever or well reviewed or expensive they are your therapy will be a waste of time.