Finding a therapist, the last four tips you’ll ever need

by May 7, 2012Finding a Therapist

Photo by Wiangya

Test run

Buy a session and see how you feel.  There are a lot of people doing psychotherapy in New York City.  Would you want this person in the car on a trip cross country?  Do you feel pulled toward aliveness?  Do you have hope?  Fit is the interplay of inner worlds, yours and the therapist’s.  Ask yourself how the call and response is going.

Burnt Out vs. Experience

We all want someone who knows everything about us already so we don’t have to explain it one more time.  And we all want to be our unique, irreplaceable self.  You want someone who can read a map, not someone who thinks she’s already seen where you’re headed.  I can assure you that given the infinite variety of human experience, no one has every been where you’re headed.

Know-it-all vs. Humble

Psychodynamic therapists know a process of inquiry.  They have that down cold.  They don’t know the answers, they know how to find the answers.  Some say we know the questions and you know the answers.  In a good treatment, there are surprises:  things that feel absolutely authentic and true that you’ve never voiced before.

Head, Heart and Guts

CBT is a “head” therapy.  It deals with thoughts.  Emotion-focused therapy is just that.  How you feel is king.  Your gut feelings you probably farm out to your internist.  Psychodynamic therapy listens to all three.  You are a self with a brain living inside a body.  Look at the whole picture, not a crop.

To learn more or schedule a consult, call (212) 929-9897 or email

Elizabeth Singer is a therapist and anger management specialist in New York City

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