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Finding the BEST Therapist in Tampa

Spoiler Alert: Although I know a lot of GREAT Therapists in Tampa, I won’t be recommending any single best Therapist for you in this blog post.  Why, you ask?  Well If I did have to make that recommendation, then my bias alone would force me to recommend myself 🙂 – and it might not be true FOR YOU.  That’s because the best Therapist just so happens to be the Therapist that is best for you.

You might be thinking that what I’ve suggested here is not very helpful.  “How in the world am I supposed to know where to start? And how will I know that I’ve found the perfect Therapist for me?”  I’m going to try to help you figure that out by outlining a few of the things that will help you know you’ve found the best fit.  And after I do that, I’m going to give you some great resources for starting your search.  One of those resources is me.  What I mean by that, is that if after reading this and exploring all of your options I’ve provided, you’re still feeling overwhelmed, I’m willing to personally help you figure out where to start.  By phone or email, you can share with me the areas you are wanting to work on and I can either provide a personal recommendation or point you in the right direction.

The list below is not fully exhaustive.  There are certainly other considerations (such as a Therapist’s training, amount of experience, etc) that might come into play when it comes to finding the best Therapist for you. (See this other article I wrote on “How to Find the Right Therapist” for other considerations). I’m confident, however, that if you’ve found a Therapist that meets the five criteria below, that you’re off to a great start!

1 – The BEST Therapist for you gets you:  This Therapist understands you and what you’re going through.  They have a specialty in line with the areas you are wanting to work on. They have worked with other people dealing with similar struggles, are knowledgeable in those areas, and may have even faced similar challenges.  Some Therapists are open to sharing about that when appropriate, while others are less inclined to do so. Although Therapists don’t have to have gone through exactly what you are going through in order to help you, many of them find they are able to best help people that they “get” on some basic levels – and that’s probably how and why they have chosen their area of specialty. When looking at websites and/or directory listings (see directories listed below) for therapists, you might know that a Therapist will “get you” if when reading their info, it sounds like they’re speaking directly to you. Pay attention to what they’re saying and whether or not what they’re saying resonates with you.

2 – You click well with the BEST Therapist for you:  You won’t be able to know how well you click with a Therapist until you meet with them for the first time.  This doesn’t mean you can’t get a feel for a Therapist before you meet them, but the test comes in the first couple of visits.  Just like with anybody else in the world, you click with some people and others not so well.  Not clicking well with a Therapist doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you or the Therapist, but that it just might not have been a great fit.  The professional “therapeutic relationship” as we call it, is the most important factor when it comes to Therapy. It’s important that you feel comfortable.  You’ll want to keep this in mind during your first couple of sessions.  It’s always worth giving it some time since it might take some time to get to know one another, but if right away (or if after a visit or 2) it just doesn’t feel right, find someone else.  Don’t let a bad fit discourage you from getting the support you need.

3 – Their Goal is to help you meet your goals:  The BEST Therapist for you will listen to you, try to understand where you’re at and where you want to be, and will help you work on what you’re trying to accomplish instead of trying to impose their own wishes on you.  Although they may challenge you and encourage you to consider new ways of thinking or behaving, they won’t try to impose their own personal beliefs or values on you. They’ll help you gain insight and figure out what works and what doesn’t, rather than telling you what they think you should do.

4 – Their office makes you feel comfortable: The BEST Therapist for you will provide a space that makes you feel relaxed.  The office will be quiet, inviting, and free from outside distractions.

5 – Their approach to therapy feels best for you:  Therapists have different approaches to the counseling process.  These approaches are typically in line with their personal style, theories about psychology that they think are most effective, and training they have received.  Quick example: One therapist might put more of a focus on gaining insight and understanding as to where problems came from (in your past) while another might be more focused present/future circumstances and goals.  You can usually find out about a therapist’s “style” or approach by reading about them on their website or directory listing.  If you’re not sure, you can ask them by calling or sending them an email.  It’s not uncommon for Therapists to incorporate different styles or approaches depending on the need of the individual. Some, however, adhere stringently to a specific model.

You can read more about the many different therapy methods by clicking here.

 

Now that I’ve highlighted a few of the ways you can know you’ve found the best therapist for you, I’m going to give you some resources for starting your search. 

 

1 – Search the major directories.  A few of them are: PsychologyToday.com, GoodTherapy.org, and TherapyDen.comPsychology Today is currently the national leader and almost every private practice Therapist is listed there.  Search by city or zip code. Tampa alone has 30+ pages of more than 20 Therapists on each page for a total of more than 600 listed Therapists.  Because there are so many, it can be hard to know who to start with.  Do your research by clicking on profiles, reading what the Therapist has to say, and by clicking on their website to learn a little bit more about them.  What they have to say will tell you a lot about whether or not they might be a good fit for you.  Because there are so many pages of Therapists, make sure to search beyond the first few pages.  The order of Therapists listed is randomly shuffled, so the order Therapists are listed does not indicate a ranking, level of experience, or endorsement by the service.

2 – Ask for Recommendations.  Talk to family members, friends, or any other trusted person you know that has gone to therapy to see if they have anyone they can recommend.

3 – Ask me to help.  You can reach out to me by phone or email.  Let me know you’re looking for a Therapist.  I’ll ask you to share as much as you’re comfortable sharing about as it relates to the reasons for starting Counseling.  If working with me doesn’t turn out to be an ideal fit, I’ll provide a recommendation/referral to a Therapist that I know personally who might best meet your needs.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, you can call/text 727-258-5231 or you can click here to send me a message.  You can also check out our Services or Frequently Asked Questions.

Float on Counseling, LLC is located in the Carrollwood area of Tampa off of North Dale Mabry Blvd.

Joel Schmidt, MA, Licensed Mental Health Counselor

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