Choosing to pursue psychotherapy for yourself, a child or for the good of your marriage or relationship is tricky to say the least. Not only can it be complicated to navigate through a range of therapists with varied techniques from Cognitive-Behavioral to Mind-Body, to Psychodynamic and many others, to make matters worse, when you are seeking a therapist, you are likely in some type of compromised state, either a crisis or experiencing some form of anxiety, depression or life stressor which makes confronting another important decision such as who you want to trust with your deeply felt worries no fun at all. The search for the right therapist should not add to your discomfort and frustration. So how to decide with so many options and different therapeutic techniques? The good news is that although therapists you may encounter will have a wide range of clinical orientations, levels of education and training, years of experience in the field or high praise from other professionals, your interaction with a therapist is foremost a human relationship. We are innately wired to relate to others and interactions, particularly intense ones which therapy typically engenders result in strong reactions either positive or negative. A positive rapport usually leads to trust and trust is the key to success in therapy. So in this difficult choice, I suggest you take the George W. Bush approach and “trust your gut”. This works great for interpersonal relationships, for domestic and world policy making…. not so much. However you make your decision, I salute your courage. It is difficult and often painful to face life’s problems directly, but the rewards can be great. Best wishes to all!
Aaron Gilbert, LICSW Boston Evening Therapy Associates Brookline, MA