Picking a therapist can be a tough decision. Some things to consider:
1. STYLE - Therapists have a wide range of styles. While shopping around, you may find that many follow similar principles - warmth, reflective listening, unconditional positive regard, empathy, etc - but also have unique differences in their approach to helping others. Some are directive, some are more passive. Some value a short-term, solution-focused process, while others prefer deeper, long-term therapeutic processes that dive in to your history, childhood and interpersonal dynamics to address trauma and/or relationship issues at the core. Whatever it may be, you need to make sure this style works for you.
2. PRICE - Therapy is an investment. Like fitness centers, spas, and yoga studios, therapeutic services are meant to improve the health of your mind and body to render a healthier, happier life. In the SF Bay Area, licensed therapists in private practice charge between $150-$225 per session and many accept insurance that will provide reimbursement and clients simply pay a co-pay. It is critical to look into a price that works for you and your family. Please talk to your therapist about insurance, sliding scale options or other referrals that will assist you in meeting your needs, while not breaking the bank.
3. LOCATION - Its important to make sure getting to therapy is not adding more stress to your life. Location is key - unless you enjoy a long commute and a nice podcast. Not only to do I look into the location of the office space, but also the exterior presentation of the building itself. My favorite therapeutic space is one that is tucked away in a busier area, where I can get coffee or tea nearby before or after the session. Many therapists also offer virtual sessions, improving accessibility and cutting out the drive time if that works for you.