On Finding Counseling in Pasadena

Therapy can increase self-awareness and strengthen emotional life while creating new ways of being in meaningful relationships. If you are trying to choose the therapist that is right for you, you probably believe that therapy can do this too. Therapy can be a life-changing experience, but finding a therapist that you trust is essential. There are many therapists in the Pasadena area; indeed, there are over a dozen mental health professionals at Sync Counseling Center alone, where I offer my services. How do you choose the therapist that is best for you? Here are five steps that may be helpful when you are finding counseling:


References of family, friends, or other professionals: Perhaps you heard about a therapist through family, friends, or another professional—your physician, teacher, or pastor, for instance. What have you heard about the therapist? What questions do you have about that person’s experience of the therapist? Make a note of your questions and ask the therapist during the initial phone call or consultation.


Specialty and Approach: Therapists specialize in treating a wide variety of populations and mental health issues. Chances are you are seeking help with a specific problem in your life that is causing you emotional distress, and it’s only natural for you to seek help from someone with some professional experience and training relevant to your present concerns. What does the therapist think is the cause of most problems like yours? Based on his or her understanding of the problem, what therapeutic approach will the therapist be using to help you find relief?


Cost: Therapy is an investment of your time, emotional resources, and money. Generally, therapists’ fees are commensurate with their clinical experience and training. If you have no mental health coverage included in your insurance, you will pay for therapy out of pocket, so it’s important for you to find a therapist whose fee that you can afford without severe financial strain. Ask your therapist about the fee during the initial consultation or first session.


Online Presentation: Many therapists in the Pasadena area are listed for a fee in online directories such as Psychology Today Theravive, and GoodTherapy.org. If you click on the name of a therapist you’re interested in, you will usually find a short description or “biography” of that therapist. Often, these biographies include information about their training, experience, and approach to therapy and are very useful in determining the right therapist for you. Whose biography resonates most deeply with you?


Initial Consultation/First Session: After considering all of the above factors, you have selected a therapist that seems like a good fit for you and have set up an initial consultation or session. The consultation or first session is the beginning of the therapeutic relationship, which, according to research, is crucial to the effectiveness of therapy. Again, it is essential for you to find a therapist that makes you feel safe, comfortable, and understood. During your first meeting, how does the therapist make you feel? Do you feel “heard” by the therapist?


No matter who you choose, your therapist should be dedicated to providing you with the best therapy experience possible, valuing your healing and striving to help you experience meaningful and lasting change.

Jeremy Mast

Jeremy is a licensed marriage and family therapist (CA LMFT90961) in private practice in Ventura, California. He helps those struggling with drugs, alcohol, and out-of-control sexual behaviors awaken to new possibilities for their lives. He lives with his wife, son, and cat in beautiful southern California.

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