How to find a therapist who understands you

How to find a therapist who understands you


Beginning your therapy journey can be scary and overwhelming; finding a therapist is already difficult, but finding a therapist you can connect with can make the process even more daunting. It’s a crucial part of your healing journey to find a therapist with whom you have a good connection, but how do you even go about doing that? And does a therapist’s identity really matter to a client?

Book a free 20-minute consultation with Therapy with Olivia; therapists for the expat and LGBTQ+ communities!

Finding a therapist

If you’ve been searching for a therapist, then you probably already know how difficult it can be. It can already be challenging to find an English-speaking therapist (not to mention the long waiting lists), all to not know if you feel comfortable in their space. This process can often feel defeating and overwhelming, leaving some people to decide that it's not worth the effort. But what if you can determine what therapist is worth the wait without meeting them?

Of course, we all have requirements when looking for a therapist (maybe you already know what therapeutic approach works for you) but if your only requirement is the language spoken, you may find yourself overwhelmed with choices. This is why identity can be a great starting point for finding a therapist.

Identity can be anything, but it’s important to focus on what part of your identity is most important and look for that in a therapist. For example, you may strongly identify with being an expat, so finding an expat therapist can be a great starting point for you.

It can be more than just being an expat; it can also be your gender identity, language, ethnicity / race, or sexuality. Think about what parts of your identity are cornerstones of who you are and see if you can find a therapist that matches (or at least closely resembles) your identity. Once you determine that for yourself, the list of possible therapists suddenly becomes easier to look through and connect with. It also means spending less time "shopping around" and more time getting down to what it is you want to work on in therapy.

Does your therapist’s identity matter?

Finding a therapist that closely resembles your identity can often create a more comfortable, safe environment where you may find being vulnerable much easier, which is necessary for therapeutic growth. When you find a therapist who has a similar identity or background to you, it creates a fundamental understanding and empathy that you may not find with every therapist. A shared experience creates an immediate bond between you and your therapist, leading to more fulfilling conversations and quicker vulnerability.

Therapy with Olivia: Therapists for the expat and LGBTQ+ communities

This is why at Therapy with Olivia, they lead with their identities and find it necessary to be outspoken about being a part of the LGBTQIA+ and expat community. They aim to serve their communities in a way that, perhaps, only members of these communities can. Not only does it make their clients feel more at ease knowing that they have a shared experience, but it also creates an environment where they, as therapists, feel safe and at ease.

Who is Therapy with Olivia?

Olivia is an American, NIP-registered psychologist with a Master’s in Counselling Psychology and over four years’ experience, specialising in expat and LGBTQIA+ therapy.

On her team is Grace, a British psychologist with a Master’s in Clinical Psychology, who also specialises in working with expats, with a specific focus on grief and working with clients with chronic or long-term illnesses, and Madeline, who offers therapy in both English and French, and focuses on expats and the third culture kid. Madeleine approaches therapy in a person-centred way but does use humanistic and somatic approaches to therapy. 

Who do they work with?

As expats, the Therapy with Olivia team understands and relates to the type of difficulties and the stress that you might encounter when moving to a new country - anxiety, depression, loneliness, homesickness, and culture shock. They are comfortable working with individuals from a wide variety of cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds. They also have experience in providing gender and sexuality-focused counselling and working with grief, trauma, self-harm, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders. Whatever the problem may be, they’re here to help you.

Therapy with Olivia aims to provide a safe space for both the expatriate and LGBTQIA+ communities. Whether you fit into only one of these groups or both, the team understands how important finding a therapist who reflects your identity is when building a therapeutic relationship; it allows them to immediately connect and understand you.

How do they work?

Therapy with Olivia offers one-on-one therapy and couples therapy in-person at their office in The Hague, as well as online, via video sessions. Individual sessions last approximately 55 minutes. Accessibility is very important to them, meaning that they offer not only several ways to have a session, but have also set up a sliding scale payment option.

Book a free 20-minute consultation now

If you want to find out more about Therapy with Olivia or their identities, please visit their website. They always offer free 20-minute consultations to every potential new client.



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