Choosing a therapist for anxiety treatment can feel like daunting task. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. There are several factors to consider when making your decision.
Be sure to ask about whether the therapist has specialized training in treating anxiety disorders. Specifically, you want to find a therapist that has been trained to do Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Anxiety and that does Exposure therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you address both thinking patterns and behaviors that make anxiety worse. Exposure therapy helps you approach situations you have been avoiding due to anxiety or enduring with distress. The type of therapy is more important than where they studied. These therapies have been validated with research to have the most successful outcomes when it comes to treating anxiety.
It is important that in addition to specialized training your therapist also has a good experience base in treating anxiety. Ask the therapist what portion of their practice is devoted to anxiety treatment. Experience base matters more than years in practice here. You are looking for someone whose practice is at least 50% devoted to clients who struggle with anxiety.
You need to pick a therapist that you feel understands anxiety and who speaks in a way that you understand. The therapist should be able to explain to you what therapy with them will be like and how you will be getting better. You should feel that their explanation makes sense and that there’s a connection between the two of you. Trust your gut here. If it’s not a fit, please move on. You will be discussing matters of important and private nature and you deserve to do that with someone you are comfortable with.
If you are looking for anxiety treatment in the Chicago area, please give Dr. Helen Odessky a call at (847)529-8600 to see if she can help.