Therese Borchard likens herself to Goldilocks of the mental-health world: She tried six psychiatrists before she found one that was “just right.” One learned she was a writer and asked for help with a book proposal. Another put her on sleeping pills, ignoring her history of substance abuse. One even wanted to try hypnotic regression by candlelight to address unresolved childhood issues.
Finally, No. 7 diagnosed bipolar disorder, found medication that was effective, helped her to be less hard on herself and “salvaged the last crumb of my self-esteem,” says Ms. Borchard, who writes the popular “Beyond Blue” blog on Beliefnet.com.
The search for the right therapist can be baffling—and it comes at a time when would-be patients are feeling most vulnerable.
Patients who aren’t sure what’s wrong with them can be stumped about the type of therapist to call and ill-equipped to evaluate what they’re told during treatment. How well a therapist’s personal style matches a patient’s individual needs can be critical. But experts also say that patients shouldn’t be shy about pressing their therapist for a diagnosis and setting measurable goals….