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About Therapy

(Adapted with permission from "Creating a Different Future, revised" by the Consortium for Psychotherapy)

It's Okay to Ask For What You Want
Finding the right therapist for you is an important process. Think about any preferences you may have. Would you work better with a woman or a man; with someone older or close in age; with someone from the same religion or ethnic group? You may have a preference or you may not.

We have a diverse network of providers from various racial, ethnic, religious backgrounds. We can also refer you to a gay identified therapist, or a therapist with a feminist or spiritual orientation. Many of our members provide therapy in other languages, such as ASL, Spanish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Hungarian, Hebrew, Russian, Swahili, and Korean.

The Referral Service can provide you with the names of one or more therapists, as well as information about their training and experience. When you meet with a therapist you can ask more about their training, experience, theoretical orientation and whether they have helped other clients with problems similar to yours. Ask how they tend to work, and decide whether it matches how you would like to work.

How Do I Know if it's a Good Match?

Pay attention to how you feel with the counselor. Do you seem to "click" with him or her? Does he or she treat you with respect and consideration? Do you feel comfortable and safe in his or her presence? Does he or she ask questions that are on target for you? Can you see yourself working closely with this person over a period of time? It's important to pay attention to your initial "gut" feelings; once the therapy gets underway, your feelings about the counselor may be complicated by other issues from your history and in your life. If uncomfortable feelings do arise later in therapy, be sure to talk with your therapist about them.

Continue to Evaluate the Match
If you have met with several therapists, take some time to make up your mind. It is a matter of courtesy to also inform the other therapists with whom you met that you have chosen another therapist. Think of the first few sessions as a mutual evaluation: the therapist is evaluating your situation and developing a treatment plan, and you are evaluating whether you feel comfortable with the therapist's approach.

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