Finding the right fit

How NOT to choose a Psychologist

One sad reality of modern therapy is most people choose a therapist for reasons that have little or no impact on their goals.

Let's look at some of those reasons

Don't choose on the basis of someone's therapy story

People who go to therapy will usually heal. However, the therapist may not have had much to do with it. (15% of therapist effectiveness results from the placebo effect)

Don't choose a psychologist on the basis of social class or where he/she is from.

Some of the best therapists appear poor because they do more volunteering than for-profit care. And, prejudice sometimes is stronger in those who , "Understand where I'm coming from."

Don't choose based on race.

Racial client-therapist matching may help at some stages, and then hinder at another. Research shows it's a wash in terms of outcomes.

Don't choose a psychologist on the basis of age

Every psychologist is seen as too young to know anything right up to the moment where they become too old to be relevant. Both young and old can offer wisdom, or foolishness.

Don't choose a psychologist on the basis of gender

When gender is an issue in the choice of therapist, most people end up choosing the gender which will challenge them the least.

Don't choose on the basis of what you think you deserve

"I'm a bad person so I need a tough, aggressive and confrontational therapist," is just a means of continuing the shame, guilt and fear cycle of your childhood.

Don't chase so-called Evidence Based Practice

For all the hype about them, specific treatment modalities account for around 1% of total change!

Don't choose a psychologist on the basis of a phone call

The best therapy is always about fit. It takes at least a full session to get to know a therapist, and get a feel for the connection.

If you're taking the risk of seeing a therapist, you obviously want therapy to work!

While therapists may communicate using very different jargon, there is far more commonality than differences, especially among the most successful therapists.

Competency matters far more than differences

Knowing which differences really matter allows you to ignore the surface issues that make no difference.