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.