When looking for a therapist, it is quite common to focus on technique. While this is important, what tends to be overlooked often, is the therapist’s ability to "be with" a client - to bear witness to another person’s experience.
In choosing a therapist, ask questions like:
- What is your academic training?
- What can I expect in the first session? (Fees; office protocols and handling of insurance claims should be discussed prior to the first appointment).
- Have you ever dealt with...(whatever your particular issue is)?
- How long have you been in private practice?
- How long do you generally see clients?
- Why do you do this particular kind of work (counseling)?
You may even book an initial consultation as a way of assessing your compatibility. After this session, you may consider asking yourself some of the following questions:
- Does this therapist encourage me?
- Does this therapist inspire me to go to places within myself that I need to go?
- Does this person stay with me during the session?
The more "present" our witness is, in the face of our struggle, the more real the healing will be.
Clients need to be proactive in their evaluation of the therapist (to asses the fit).