How to Find a Therapist Who Isn’t Completely Cray

Hi, there.

I’m a therapist.  I’ve also been a client.  I eat, sleep, and breathe therapy like it’s my job…probably because it is.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of crazy therapists out there, and I am here to tell you how to avoid them like how Freud didn’t avoid cocaine.  …you know what I mean.

freud crazy

1. Google that shit

Got a referral for an awesome therapist recommended by your cousin’s girlfriend’s mongoose?  Better type the name straight into that magical search bar of truth.  Avoid this therapist if you end up seeing: naked pictures of mongeese, horns protruding from his skull, or any sort of online dating profile that mentions sushi.

2. Educate yourself

Credentials can be tough to understand, since they vary from state to state, and from one locked psych ward to another.  Does this therapist have a bunch of letters and numbers after her name?  Good.  Once you’re sure this isn’t her vehicle’s license plate number (but if it is, then be sure to write that down to save for a rainy day), make sure none of the letters stand for words like “experimental,” “fucktastic,” or “Canadian.”

3. Do the drapes match the carpet?

The way a therapist decorates her office says a lot about who she is.  How does the couch look?  Can you picture yourself spending hours uncontrollably sobbing into the armrest?  Check. Next, look around the room.  If you don’t see any inspirational sayings or posters of cats desperately trying not to fall to their death from a tree with an inscription reading, “Hang in there!” then you get the hell outta there.  There had also be some smelly candles and one of those soft foam bats for days when the shit really hits the therapeutic fan.

Cuteness is inspirational.

4. Test the therapist to make sure he’s listening

Throw in some important tidbits about yourself and see how he responds.  Be sure to mention your compulsion to projectile vomit when you hear the sound of a vacuum cleaner and that you secretly become aroused watching old people feed birds at the park.  Any response besides “mm-hmm,” “go on,” and “tell me more about that” are winners.

5. A good therapist matches your language level

Make your therapist really work for your hard-earned money cannibus (see next section).  Use a Boston accent and swear like a drunken sailor in your first session, and if you don’t have your therapist saying “That’s wicked awesome!” or “That fackin’ sucks!” or “How ’bout dem apples?!” then that’s a bad sign.  Next, move on to speaking like you’ve walked right out of Downton Abbey, followed by an imitation of the Crocodile Hunter, may goddess rest his soul.

6. The price is right

Find a therapist who will negotiate with you in terms of payment.  Will he accept regifted shirts from Tommy Bahamas?  How about The Gap?  If all else fails, offer to fold his fitted sheets in return for some Good Will Hunting style bear hugs, followed by repeatedly being told that it’s not your fault.

7.  Finally, don’t come knocking at my door for any sweet, sweet cathartic bliss, because….my schedule is all full up.  Now pass the cocaine.

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Four out of five therapists say writing for this blog is cathartic, and way cheaper. In fact no money is ever seen by anyone.  

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