Now, we've all given and received the advice about therapists. You may have to try several out, there are a lot of duds in the pool, and keep trying until you find a good fit. My friend Robin has an excellent therapist, and frankly, if she lived a little bit closer, I might even horn in on the action and see if she'd fit me in.
About a month and a half before I completely left the state where my ex-wife and I lived together, I found the PERFECT therapist. I was so upset - she was one of the hardest things to leave behind!! First of all, she helped me to realize that I wasn't crazy. Because after the last few months with my ex-wife, it was hard to know.
I really miss her and wish I could clone her and have her come out here. Because finding a therapist when I first came out here was not easy. In fact I know that the one I'm going to go see is not the best therapist for me by a long shot. But she'll have to do for the moment.
See the problem in a small town is that everyone often knows everyone. And fortunately we live near a few other small towns, too, so we're not alone, and there's a "big city" (really a medium-sized city, if that) somewhat near by, and then a real big city (although still not "big" compared to what I've been used to) nearly two hours away. I'm not traveling four hours for therapy, although I am more likely to find the anonymity I search for.
The first therapist I went to wanted to rediagnose everything. At some level, I understand wanting to focus on the specific behaviors and issues I was dealing with to find out how to address them, but at some level, I want to short-cut it and have it accepted that I have ADD. I'd been living with the diagnosis for eleven years by then, and had tried a whole host of various types of therapies with varying success. I didn't need her to take several sessions to determine, yes, indeeed, look at that, you do have ADD.
But that wasn't really the problem with her. While I understand the code of confidentiality and all that in therapy, and the ability, in theory, for therapists to behave professionally and responsibly, they are also human. And the disclosure documents I signed (which I actually read, because I'm geeky that way) indicated that she would discuss my case with her supervisor, who happened to be the therapist of another person I was living with at the time. Sweet wonderful guy who let a virtual stranger move in with him. But issues were already arising from the living situation, and I didn't think having what was going on with me shared with his therapist was necessarily the best idea. A little too close to home, thanks.
And, frankly, I really thought finding someone who could help me with my ADD (then) would be the solution to all my problems. So I was really surprised to learn that in the small town just a few miles away from me, there was a guy advertising that he was an ADD specialist, and also worked with adults (a lot harder to find). Terrific! Wonderful! But I had just started working on a new project for a friend of a friend, that eventually turned into a job, and it turned out that this therapist was the brother of one of the guys I was working with. Well, that would be awkward. Particularly as time went on and the person I was working with became harder to deal with. In hindsight, I understand that the brothers don't talk and don't have much of a relationship, so maybe he would have agreed with me that his brother was an asshole, but still, that didn't seem too promising.
I found the third one on the internet, and she's the one I'm going back to now. Early on I described the journey to find her, and we quickly determined we knew no-one in common. She also reassured me that my concerns weren't unreasonable regarding the others, and that it is a problem, sometimes, in a small town to avoid those kinds of conflicts. She's from a small city about thirty minutes away. She's not perfect, and when I go back, I am sure I'll be reminded why, but I feel comfortable enough, and at this point, two things are quite clear: 1) it is hard to find someone who doesn't have conflicts and 2) someone is better than no-one, at the moment.