How to Find a Therapist: Part One Asking how do I think?

So let’s say you want to try seeing a therapist, what should you do? 


It seems that many people start with “what is wrong”.  “Am I depressed, or anxious, do I have trauma or phobias? “  And then finding a therapist who “specializes” in the pathology. 


But, these diagnoses are too vague to really indicate what approaches (or modalities) are the best for YOU!  But there is a way:  I would suggest thinking about how your mind works, and then finding a modality that relates best to how your mind works instead of merely finding someone who treats what you’ve self diagnosed. 


Here are some places to get started:  


Are you a cut an dry person? Can you easily change your thoughts and behaviors when given the suggestion?  Do you have a specific and limited thing to work on? Say a dog bite, or a fear of spiders?  You might like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  This kind of therapy identifies thoughts and behaviors for you to change, and suggests you change them.  


Do you “tell a story” about yourself? Are you responsive when people point out your better attributes?  When someone compliments you are you easily able to believe them, and feel good about what they’ve said?  Are you open to the ways in which you’ve been affected by society or your culture? Is an equal partnership in the therapy important to you? (as in you are encouraged to be the expert in yourself)  You might like Narrative Therapy.  This kind of therapy encourages the therapist to see the client as the expert in themselves, but as well to listen for “the exceptions” to the clients story, so the client can begin to see where things are working in their life.  Additionally Narrative therapy often puts the clients issues in the context of a broader social and cultural context which can help the client understandwhat is happening. 


Is it possible you have long term complex trauma? Do you often have conflicts with people?  If someone tells you to “not eat chocolate covered donuts” do you immediately want to eat four of them?  When someone compliments you do you think they are trying to manipulate you?  When you haven’t gotten a text from someone you are dating for a few days do you assume it’s over, or want to break up with them?  You might benefit from working with an Analytic therapist.  In this type of therapy, you are mirrored, reparented, and brought to change organically in a way that sticks.  You are aided in building a solid self. 


Are you sensitive to images, and your imagination?  Do you find that youtry to push away “bad thoughts” or that you don’t allow for differnt possible outcomes.  You might like Jungian therapy.  In this therapy, your therapist helps you build a self by welcoming your unwanted parts, and using imaginative imagery to assist the psyche in becoming more balanced. 


I personally feel that Cognitive Behavioral therapy is largely unhepful - perhaps thats just he way I work, and they way my clients that are brought to me work.  I might use it a little, but for the most part, I’m integrating Narrative, Analytic and Jungian therapies together to meet clients where they are and to help them go where they’d like to go. 


I am currently accepting clients at my La Cienega Office at a sliding scale, I have daytime, evening and weekend slots available, on sliding scale and with the possibliility of insurance super bill.  Just message me here, or text me at (323)505-2638 to set up a meeting or a call.  I see individuals and couples. 


Stephanie Hubbard