Step 0: Before you get started
THE SHORT VERSION
- One size doesn't fit all.
- You need to try out therapists to see if you can work with them.
- It doesn't matter who referred you to them, what a glowing review was given, etc.
- You need to meet them once. See if you feel comfortable.
- If after 3 sessions you don't feel like they're helping much, then look for someone else.
- Ideally, try to talk to at least two therapists before picking one to work with.
THE DETAILED VERSION
There are two categories of therapists:
- Bad therapists: Who consistently demonstrate serious red flags, who might potentially make things worse for you and should be avoided at all cost
- All other therapists: Who are usually well-trained and have a sensible approach - who work really well for some people while being meh for others
So you need to:
- Filter out the bad therapists by getting strong references, looking at factors like their level of training, or based on red flags in your conversations with them
- Choose therapists you feel drawn to working with by looking at factors like their approach to therapy and based on a session or two with them
- Continue evaluating whether they are working well for you after 3-4 sessions or if you're returning after a long break from therapy
What does this mean?
- A therapist highly recommended by someone you trust, may not work for you. It depends on so many things - your specific situation, the stage at which you're seeking help, your personality and more.
- A therapist who has been very helpful to you in the past, may not work for you the second time. You may be at a different stage of growth and healing, and may require different type of support or just someone you haven't already worked with in the past.
- A therapist who has a great profile, education, publicity, etc, may not work for you. It could be their age/gender/background which might impact how relatable you find them and how comfortable you feel.
- And vice versa. A therapist with whom your friend had an average experience or is relatively young and inexperienced may work for you.
Finding a good therapist in India requires time and energy, but its worth the investment.