Looking For “Therapeutic Chemistry”

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I’m currently searching for a therapist that will meet my needs. I’m looking for something specific that I believe is in my best interest. I’ve come across therapists who strongly disagree and try to shove their stance down my throat.

Through this process I’ve been referred, and referred, and referred to different therapists. While searching, I find some that do correlate with the needs that I have goal wise but there just isn’t a connect or a “click”, a chemistry with them. To me, chemistry is very, very important. Is it okay to be on that search for that connection to a therapist and not just settle?

I want someone who meets me eye to eye on the goals I have, but I also want to have a “therapeutic chemistry” with them as well. Is this asking too much?

Is this a problem when the therapists are the ones networking trying to locate someone to find my needs, and then I shoot them down based on a lack of connection?

A. I am not precisely clear what you mean when you use the expression “therapeutic chemistry.” You also wrote that you are looking for someone who you can “click” with. Without knowing specifically what these expressions mean to you I can only give you a general answer.

It’s very wise to interview many therapists, as it seems you are doing. You can interview therapists over the phone or in person. You should ask them many questions and keep searching for the one you connect with the most. Inquire about the problems they have helped clients solve in the past, how they facilitated that process, what types of disorders do they typically treat, whether they specialize in treating a specific mental health issue, what “techniques” do they use, do they have an overall therapeutic “philosophy” that they subscribe to, and so forth. You also want to ask practical questions such as how much do they charge per hour, what insurance do they take and how many times a week or month should the sessions occur.

Search for a therapist who you are compatible with and who you feel comfortable with. The therapist does not need to agree with you 100 percent of the time and if this did occur, then what would the purpose of therapy be? Even though it was not explicit in your letter, you seem to intrinsically know what kind of therapist you are looking for. I would encourage you to continue your search, be reasonable and realistic and don’t expect perfection. Good luck with your search.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Sep 2008

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2008). Looking For “Therapeutic Chemistry”. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/09/15/looking-for-therapeutic-chemistry/