Finding the Right Therapist 

Once a person has decided to take the brave step of engaging in therapy, the process of finding and choosing a therapist can be overwhelming and many people do not know where to start. The array of options can quickly prove daunting, and having some important elements in mind can be beneficial to help guide your decision. 

For people with anxiety and OCD, you must find a practitioner who is trained in the use of evidence-based practices for these conditions. The gold-standard treatment for OCD is Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), which is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that has been proven to be highly efficacious in the treatment of OCD. Many therapists may list OCD as one of their areas of clinical focus but do not have adequate training or expertise in this form of treatment, which can lead to poor therapeutic outcomes for clients and can create a sense of hopelessness and a belief that they are beyond help, which is not the case. OCD can improve dramatically once you have found care with a trained ERP therapist. 

Similarly, many individuals who seek treatment for the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)  can face a dizzying array of options.  Effective treatments are available for this condition as well, including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). These approaches have been found to help people suffering from the effects of trauma regain their quality of life and experience meaningful symptom relief. For both OCD and PTSD, your prospective therapist should be able to communicate clearly with you regarding the approach and techniques they will employ to help you achieve the goals and process you desire. 

Once you have determined what therapeutic approach will best suit your particular needs, locating a therapist with whom you can connect and feel a sense of comfort and trust is of primary importance. Many therapists offer a free consultation which allows you to meet with them and develop a sense of who they are and how they can help. This process can help you find a provider with whom you feel comfortable and who can foster a sense of hopefulness and optimism about their ability to help you. Because the  therapeutic relationship is a significant factor in determining positive outcomes,  finding a therapist who has the appropriate qualifications and with whom you connect interpersonally are essential factors to help you guide your decision.  The right therapist for you is out there and there is much cause to be hopeful and excited as you begin this journey! 

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Rachel Tombaugh
Rachel has devoted her professional life to helping others heal and reclaim their true potential, working as a psychotherapist and Licensed Professional Counselor in Arizona since 2011. Her therapy approach utilizes a unique combination of compassion, warmth, humor, and clinical excellence. Rachel believes that therapy should feel hopeful and connected, yet maintain focus on clinical sophistication and excellence. Equipped with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Arizona State University and earning her Masters of Professional Counseling from Ottawa University, Rachel’s education inspired her to build a career devoted to helping people live with purpose, confidence, and joy. An accomplished writer and editor, Rachel has contributed to several publications devoted to education and advocacy with respect to OCD and anxiety. Rachel has extensive experience working in renowned treatment facilities in both the public and private sectors of healthcare, serving as Primary Therapist at an inpatient treatment facility for eating and anxiety disorders, developing specialty trauma and anxiety programs as a Clinical Director, and training and developing other therapists as Clinical Supervisor. Most recently, Rachel has worked within the private practice setting and has dedicated her efforts exclusively to the treatment of OCD, anxiety disorders, and PTSD. Offering a clinical repertoire that creates change and ensures meaningful results, Rachel has achieved advanced training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), and Inference-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (ICBT) for the treatment of OCD and anxiety, and extensive training in trauma-focused modalities including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Each of these treatment approaches benefits from substantial evidence that it is effective, efficient, and creates positive change that can be trusted. Rachel brings great compassion, warmth, enthusiasm, humor, fun, and innovation to her therapy for each client and is passionate about working with people who have suffered from the traps of anxiety and trauma. Rachel is licensed in both Arizona and New Mexico and offers therapy in person and virtually in Arizona, and via telehealth in New Mexico. When not working with her clients, Rachel loves spending time outdoors with her family, her horse (“Gabriel”), several rescue pets, and a family of screech owls who live at her home in north Phoenix.