#1 Options

When you are looking for an EMDR therapist, ask them what EMDR options they have.  Using a lightbar, listening to audio, etc.  If your EMDR therapist only offers one form of EMDR and that type doesn’t work for you, then you are stuck.  Making sure the therapist has a couple of options readily available can help in case you run into issues with their first option of EMDR.

#2 Comfort Level

The number one thing you should look at when deciding on who you will see as a therapist is YOUR comfort level. If you don’t feel comfortable with them, or you think that you are being judged in some way, then you will not open up the same way and will not be able to give the therapist the information they need to help guide you through this journey. If you feel a good comfort level with the first therapist that you see, that is wonderful. If not, don’t be afraid to shop around until you feel comfortable with one person.

#3 Knowledge vs. Experience

All licensed therapists have attended graduate school and have training in how to treat different issues. Having a bit of training and putting that training into practice with other clients are two different things.  It is okay to ask your potential therapist questions to make sure you aren’t the first client that they have helped in treating your issue.

#4 Interactive vs. Passive

When scheduling a new therapy appointment, don’t be shy.  Ask for 5 minutes of the therapist’s time to ask them about their style.  There are some therapist who might nod their head and say “uh-huh” a lot,  there are other therapist who are very engaging with their clients, and there are therapists who fall between the two.  You can often tell how engaging a therapist is when you talk to them on the phone, but don’t be afraid to ask them.  Also keep in mind that “engaging” doesn’t mean that the therapist makes the session about themselves.

#5 Medication

It is important to be aware of what your views are on medication and make sure that you have a therapist who shares that view.  It is very uncomfortable for a client when they do not want to take medication and their therapist brings up medication every time they meet with you.  Ask ahead of time what their views are on medication.