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Things to Consider When Seeking a Mental Health Professional

“Hello there! I’m here to provide you with a bit of information on factors you can keep in mind while seeking a mental health professional. I would like to remind you that suggestions on this post should not be taken as medical advice, legal advice, therapy, etc. or as a one-size-fits-all approach.  Keep in mind that every individual’s journey of  experiencing and navigating through stress or trauma is distinctive because you are one of a kind and no person is truly like you!  Experiencing abuse in any form is NOT OKAY, but what you are experiencing as a result of abuse is valid.  Please know that healing is not a formula and is not for anyone else to define for you. You do you, and you follow all that you need to follow, to help yourself. If you need additional resources or just someone to talk to, feel free to reach out to Imaara Foundation."

(Image source: Times of India)

If you have faced gender-based violence, sexual violence or sexualized violence and want to seek out the support of a counselor / psychiatrist/ psychologist or a therapist, here are a few things you should consider keeping in mind while selecting a provider:

  1. The extent of training and skills relevant to providing for the needs of a survivor.

  2. The level of empathy, warmth and acceptance provided by the mental health professional.

  3. How capable the mental health professional is of expressing themselves well.

  4. Your personal sense of trust towards the therapist.

  5. Their willingness, availability and accessibility to accommodate your needs.

  6. Expenses involved in accessing the mental health professional.

  7. Logistical access – how easy are they to access and visit for your sessions.

  8. Their ability to offer you an explanation of your problems, and being open and willing to adapt to changing circumstances at your end.

  9. Their capacity to commit to creating and implementing a consistent, mutually acceptable and implementable treatment plan.

  10. The mental health professionals ability to retain the therapy process and course confidential and private.

  11. Their ability to provide attention to detail, and dedication to the progress of the therapy through the sessions.

  12. Their flexibility in adapting the treatment process.

  13. Their positivity, gentleness, compassion and empathy.

  14. Their level of good listening skills.

  15. Their sensitivity to your cultural background as a client.

  16. Their degree of being non-judgmental and not indulging in moral policing.


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