How to find an English speaking therapist in Maastricht?
Just like in any other city, Maastricht has a vast number of options in therapists, psychologists and psychotherapists. Due to the size of Maastricht it however has a limited number of large specialized mental healthcare institutions and most of their treatment is offered in Dutch.
There are however a number of freelance health care specialists who offer therapy in English.
If you have a social network it is always a good idea to see if anyone you know can recommend anyone. Of course you may be a student or expat who is new to Maastricht and hasn’t had the chance to get to know many other people. In this case you can jump to the second section.
The benefits of word of mouth
The best way to find a suitable therapist, in my humble opinion, is by using the oldest and most environmentally friendly way of advertising: word of mouth.
Of course it doesn’t happen frequently that people voluntarily tell you extensively about their therapy experiences. Often these are vulnerable topics, which are not shared lightly. However when you ask a number of people around you whether they have had good experiences with psychological or emotional counseling, or know anyone who could recommend anyone, you can expect to find some helpful information.
What to expect when looking for a therapist in Maastricht
It may be that you get a few worried questions, or no helpful answers. It may also be that you feel a bit uncomfortable. However, you may also hear stories that you recognize or feel strengthened in your desire to change your life in a positive way. It may just happen that you get to know the people around you better or get valuable information about therapy experiences.
In my opinion, taking the step to seek support is therapeutic in itself. You are consciously investing in your own wellbeing by taking action.
What is also important is that by entering into such conversations you will find starting points, signposts on the road. When you are overwhelmed by the amount of counselors, coaches, therapists and methods out there this is important and valuable.
When your uncle or girlfriend tells you about positive experiences with a certain form of therapy or therapist in Maastricht, you can learn about it in an accessible way through a conversation. After this, the step to further explore viable options becomes easier.
Another advantage is that the people you can ask about their experiences generally tend to know you better than your general practitioner. They do not only focus on your complaints, but also on your interests and preferences. You also know the person who gives advice, so you can put the advice in context and appreciate it for what it’s worth.
Finally, starting a conversation with people from your social network ensures that you can think about what kind of therapy or therapist would suit you in a pleasant and safe environment. Together you can explore questions such as; ‘Would you like him or her to provide a lot of theoretical information about psychology or are you looking for someone who can approach you with gentleness, humour or someone who mainly asks questions?’
Good old google skills
The second option is to find a therapist via google (if you have found this article you are already capable of doing this, so I will not dive into this more deeply) and contact at least one of them, preferably via phone, but email will work too to a lesser extent. No need to search for ages, speaking to a person who does have a social network (and not to forget, a network of other mental health professionals) in Maastricht might be of much more use then scrolling through countless impersonal websites.
This will lead to three benefits:
1. You get a feel for the person and can maybe already get an impression of if you could feel at ease working with this person.
2. You can find out if their English is adequate to assist you.
3. After telling them a bit about what you need you can ask them if they have recommendations. Most mental health workers will want you to find adequate care and won’t hesitate to try to help you with this.
Visit a general practitioner with a POH (praktijk ondersteuner huisarts)
This is a relatively new structure in the Netherlands, some general practitioners (or in Dutch ‘Huisarts’) now have a mental health professional working part time in their practise to offer more specialised care. They mostly limit their assistance to a few consultations and they try to help you find adequate mental health care.
Most GP’s do not have a very extensive knowledge of different mental health professionals, they might have a few they know and recommend regularly, but let’s be honest, they need to know way too much to have in depth knowledge in the area of mental health. Hence the POH’s, if you go through this route ask for the POH immediately, they are often only working limited hours and have a big workload, so make sure it is actually possible to see them any time soon.
I hope you find someone who offers what you need and who you can connect to, good luck on your search!