• Rupa Parthasarathy

Finding the right therapist

A right therapist will ensure you are well supported on your wellbeing journey.

It can be a daunting experience to find the right therapist, especially if one is seeking a creative therapist for the first time. Doing a google search of practitioners in your area is a good starting point. However, sometimes, the search can seem cumbersome and time- consuming. When searching for creative therapists, in particular, my suggestion is to visit the Professional Associations website. Doing so also ensures you are contacting a therapist who has fulfilled the required training and clinical supervision hours and is a qualified professional.

Creative Therapists: Australia Newzealand and Asia Creative Art therapists Association (ANZACATA) is the peak professional body representing creative arts therapists in Australia, New Zealand, and the Asia/Pacific region. This website is an excellent resource to find creative therapists who offer different modalities apart from visual art therapy like dance/movement therapy and drama therapy.

The ACA and PACFA are professional associations for counsellors and Psychotherapists and is a valuable resource if you are seeking counsellors or psychotherapists.

I would suggest to visit a couple of therapist's website or call them to determine, who will best suit your individual needs. Contacting a therapist should place you under no obligation to book an appointment with them. Some therapists may offer a free initial assessment to help you make the decision.

While the initial conversation will help you book an appointment, it could take the first appointment to make a decision. As professionals, therapists are trained to anticipate the anxieties associated with seeking therapy and will be happy to address any questions clients may have.

When it comes to seeking art therapy, it is common for some clients to feel vulnerable when it comes to art making. In Art therapy, a common approach is to keep the session client centred, and facilitate a compassionate space where the clients' feel safe to explore at their own pace.

As the interpersonal relationship shared between the client, and the therapist is the foundation of a good therapeutic alliance. The first appointment also provides an opportunity for therapists to understand if they will be able to provide the client with the appropriate service.

At the end of the first appointment, there could be instances where the therapist provides you with alternate or additional referrals to pursue. It could be to enlist additional support or to refer you to the appropriate care necessary.

There may also be instances where you don't deem the therapist to be a good fit for you. If that happens, if you feel safe and comfortable to discuss openly, it may prove worthwhile to let the therapist know and seek alternate referrals.

It is natural to be disappointed or disheartened when an appointment does not work out as planned. However, try to be kind to yourself and take your time. I find, it is often the stress of finding the right therapist, that leads many to quit seeking therapy altogether. Do take into consideration that the timeline may vary for each, and while some may find one quicker, others may take a considerable amount of time. In the long run, the time invested in finding the right therapist will ensure you have the adequate support required on your wellbeing journey.

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