Finding the right therapist for you in online therapy is arguably the most important part of receiving effective care. Therapy is intended to help you reach mental wellness and achieve your personal goals, but working with the wrong therapist can hinder your progress and lead to frustration.
With your health in mind, we’ve outlined how to find an online therapist who is a good fit for you and can help you achieve your treatment goals.
The Therapeutic Alliance
In the science of counseling and psychology, the single most important factor in helping people to overcome their challenges is known as the “therapeutic alliance.”
The therapeutic alliance is the perception that you and your therapist are working together to make progress. Therapy is a collaborative effort; you and your therapist work together to reach goals.
If you feel like you’re putting in all of the effort or that your therapist is simply lecturing to you instead of working with you, then the therapeutic alliance has failed.
When first meeting your therapist, consider whether they make you feel as though therapy is a team effort. If they don’t instill a feeling of collaboration and supportiveness, they may not be the right fit for helping you to reach your therapeutic goals.
Culturally Competent Care
Culture is important to how you define yourself, and it can play a substantial role in therapy sessions. Your culture is about more than just your ethnic background – it’s about where you grew up, the knowledge that shaped you, how you were raised, your personal identity, and what defines your worldview.
Culturally competent care comes from a therapist who can either identify with your story or show sufficient understanding and empathy to your unique situation.
Online therapy makes it easier to find culturally competent care than ever before. When you find an online therapist, you have the ability to:
Select from a wide range of providers located around the world
Look for therapists who share your worldview or identity
Find people who have experience helping with your particular issue
Easily switch providers if you think your therapist isn’t a good fit
In comparison, seeking in-person therapy often limits you to providers within a certain distance from your home. The convenience and versatility of online therapy make it an excellent choice for people who haven’t found the right therapist in their hometown.