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  • Writer's pictureAmanda

How to Find the Right Therapist Near You: 8 Essential Tips

Updated: Apr 29

Amanda and Darrell Hammond, Psychotherapists in Kingston who provide counselling and therapy for anxiety, trauma, and relationships High-fiving.
A No BS Guide to finding your Therapist Bestie by Hammond Psychotherapy

So, you've decided it's time to dive into the wonderful world of therapy. High fives all around! But seriously, congratulations - it ain't as easy as it looks on TV.


Now comes the “fun” part – finding the therapist who's going to be your ride-or-die, your confidante, your partner-in-crime - or at least, someone you can comfortably tell all your stuff to and have faith they will 'get you'. We know it feels like so much is at stake.


Don’t fret, we’ve got your back with some down-to-earth tips to make the hunt less ominous. By following these tips and sharing the info with your potential therapist, you're setting yourself up for success. Finding the right therapist is like finding a comfy pair of sweatpants or that perfect pair of jeans – it might take a little searching, but once you find 'em, you'll never want to let go.



1. Know What You Want: First things first, get clear on what you're looking for in a therapist. Are you looking for someone who specializes in anxiety, burnout, self-esteem, relationship issues, or all of the above? Maybe you prefer a certain therapeutic approach like CBT, DBT, or good ol' talk therapy. Whatever floats your boat, jot it down. It'll help you narrow down your search and find someone who's a perfect match. This includes age, gender, culture, identity, location, and style. Do you want to see someone in Kingston? In-person therapy or virtual? Want someone more directive? Gentle? Now is the time to seek this out. 


2. Hit the Interwebs: Ah, the wonders of the internet. Dive into therapist directories like Psychology Today or hit us up at The Armchair Collective where we have a directory of therapists that continually grows. Check out therapist profiles, read reviews, and see if anyone's bio speaks to your soul. Bonus points if they demonstrate their humanness – instant rapport, am I right? This can also include soliciting referrals from friends and family. It may be a conflict of interest, but you can ask the therapist about that - it is very situationally dependent. A head’s up about trusting reviews though - psychotherapists in Ontario aren’t allowed to solicit reviews as it can be misleading to clients, so you can take them with a grain of salt. 


3. Trust Your Gut: As you're perusing therapist profiles, pay attention to that little voice in your head. If something feels off or doesn't sit right with you, move on. You owe this person nothing, and yourself everything. It is okay to make snap judgements here - plus, we will never know! Trust me, you want to feel a connection with your therapist, like you're chatting with an old friend over coffee (or tea if you're fancy).


4. Shop Around: Don't settle for the first therapist you stumble upon. It's like dating – you gotta kiss a few frogs before you find your prince(ss). If the therapist offers initial consultations, take them up on that and see who clicks. Ask questions, share your concerns, and see how they respond. Remember, you're interviewing them as much as they're interviewing you. You may also notice different fee rates and education, the real key focus point should be this person be a good fit - and can you afford them! (For more info on what the different 'types' of therapists are check out this previous blog post.)

Again, there is no loyalty here! 


5. Embrace the Awkwardness: Let's be real – therapy can feel awkward AF at first. You're spilling your guts to a stranger, for crying out loud. We weren’t kidding, it is like dating. Embrace the awkwardness, lean into vulnerability, and trust the process. Your therapist has heard it all before, I promise. 


6. Don't Forget the Vibes: Finally, trust your vibes, not just your vibes, but also your vibes about the vibes. If you and your therapist vibe well together, that's awesome! But if something feels off or you're not just totally comfy, it's okay to say peace out and find someone else. Your mental health is too important to settle for anything less than stellar vibes. This is NOT to be confused with some discomfort that can come from good work, discomfort and growth in therapy. 


7. Spill the Beans: Don't hold back. Be upfront about why you're seeking therapy. Whether it's stress, anxiety, relationship drama, or just feeling stuck in a rut, let your potential therapist know what's been keeping you up at night, this will help you get the outcome you want. In this, it is also worth noting that you and they can set some goals. And yes, even ‘just feeling better’, is a goal. If you come see us though - we’d ask you our favourite question “what does feeling better look like for you?” So maybe you can give that a ponder too. If you've dipped your toes into therapy waters before, spill the tea on what worked and what didn't. Was there a therapist you clicked with, or maybe one who just didn't get you? Sharing your past therapy experiences can help your new therapist tailor their approach to fit your style. It is helpful to lay it ALLLLL out on the table early so you can make sure you’re not wasting your time. 


8. Logistics, Baby: Time to get down to the nitty-gritty. Let your therapist know your schedule, availability, and whether you're thinking in-person sessions or virtual hangouts. Do this in your initial contact to save yourself time and disappointment. Plus, don't forget to chat about insurance and payment stuff – nobody likes surprise bills!


So there you have it – your crash course on finding your therapist bestie. Remember, therapy is like a choose-your-own-adventure book – you get to decide where the story goes. Trust yourself, trust the process, and trust that your person is out there. 


You got this!


 

Amanda and Darrell Hammond of Hammond Psychotherapy in Kingston Ontario who offer counselling and therapy to youth and adults for anxiety, trauma, relationship help and burnout.

Amanda tries to be the therapist she would want to see. Direct, engaged, active, and down-to-earth. She works with women who struggle with high-achiever burnout, boundary setting and discovering their own worth.


Darrell is warm, compassionate and supportive. He supports adults and youth through trauma, anxiety, and those looking for an increase in their overall quality of life.


If you're local to Kingston and want in-person therapy, or are anywhere in Ontario and are looking for virtual or online therapy, feel free to fill out our non-waitlist waitlist form.


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