Hi, my name is Corey Quinn. I am the founder of MyCoachMatch.com and MyTherapistMatch.com. I started these sites because of my frustration in finding a great therapist who was the right fit for me.
Here’s my story (this might be over-sharing a bit, but… what the heck).
Having grown up in a family where I didn’t have an excess of high quality interaction with my parents, I learned some of my social and coping skills by mentoring, mirroring and matching others. I am an only child and growing up, I had two parents who meant well, but were more involved with their own pursuits than in the details of raising a child. Luckily enough for me, I was turned on to therapy early on in life. Over the years, from time to time, I would seek a therapist to mentor and guide me through any one of the numerous challenges that typically arise through the course of growing up.
In early 2009, I was in the pursuit of a therapist. I was experiencing strain in my relationships that stemmed from trust issues. Since my childhood, I had been having difficulty with trusting others and my relationships in my adult life were suffering as a result. I could get along with just about anyone, and have been told that I am a very likable guy, but to genuinely trust someone with anything about me that was personal was basically not going to happen. Experience had shown me as a child that trusting someone can (and will) lead to getting hurt. As an adult, I was an expert at making sure that I didn’t get hurt.
So, off to therapy I went. Or so I tried.
I started my search by doing what I imagine most people do when searching for a therapist: I went to the therapist directory on my health insurance company’s website, typed in my zip code and got a list of 500 or so therapists in “my area”. I went down the list, and clicked a few that seemed interesting and read their profiles, jotted down a few phone numbers and started dialing. Over a period of a few days, I called 4 or 5 of them, spoke to three and set up appointments.
Initial appointment with the first therapist “John”:
There were a couple of other folks in the waiting room when I got there – 5 minutes before my scheduled appointment time. Strange thing – the light next to my therapists name was already lit – meaning that someone in the waiting room was there for my therapist as well. Or maybe it was left on mistakenly by the last patient? No matter – I figure it is just a mistake. The top of the hour rolls by and one by one, the therapists come in to pick up their clients. Every time, they turn off their light as they pick up their patient. Each time, it was a different therapist – and not John. This continued until there was just me and one other person in the waiting room. 5 after the hour. This is getting ridiculous.
Then the door opens again and into the waiting room pops the head of another therapist, who recognizes the other person in the waiting room: “Mary, come on in”. He turns off the light next to the name “John”. I couldn’t believe it. Did this guy completely forget about our appointment?
Just as the door was closing, I blurt out: “are you John?”. He looked surprised and said, “yes, I am.” I said – “We have an appointment right now, don’t we?” He said, “I don’t think so.” I replied: “My name is Corey Quinn. We spoke on the phone the other day and set this time for our initial appointment.”. He replied: “You must be mistaken. Sorry.”
I was infuriated. Talk about breaking rapport and trust! How am I supposed to trust someone who just assumes that I am wrong? That immediately and permanently broke any chance for trust between me and him. I left the office, head full of steam – never to return.
Initial appointment with the second therapist “Charles”:
Charles was an older gentleman (perhaps mid 70’s). I thought an older gentleman would be ideal for me – he would have seen a lot of patients over the years and I could benefit from all that experience. Unfortunately, I realized in our hour together that we had less in common than I had hoped for in a therapist and I felt like there were some generational issues that I didn’t feel like dealing with. Not a perfect match for me.
Initial appointment with the third therapist “Larry”:
I met Larry in his office. He was wearing an oversized, baggy business suit, with a tie that must have come from the 1960’s. He wears a mustache from the 70’s. He was good. Meaning he seemed normal and seemed to be attentive to my goals. He listened. This is what I wanted – someone to listen to me, and hear me.
As the hour went on, I began to get a sense that there was something off about him. It was subtle, perhaps mysterious or hidden. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. As the hour ended, I thought to myself, should I stay with him, or keep looking? Frankly, I was tired of looking and was ready to start with the therapy. Larry was the best one I could find so far, so I decided to start coming to him regularly.
Over time, I started to notice a pattern that was becoming concerning. Larry would open sessions by discussing current events: the gulf war, the economy, etc. And by discuss, I mean he would recite a monologue. At first, this monologue would go for 2-3 minutes. Soon, it got to 5-10 minutes. Blah blah blah – he would go on and on. The war this… The economy that… Bush tax cuts this… Unemployment that… I think what he was trying to do was create rapport, but it was getting annoying.
Also, as we worked through the different trust issues in my life, I felt like he was giving me more advice than therapy. We would think through issues and problems to try and find the “answer”.
I began to understand that the way he provides therapy is by using his intellect – he would like to think about problems, use logic, rationalize, etc. While this approach might be good for some clients, unfortunately, I am much more of a feeling person. I solve my problems, make decisions, etc., primarily by what my gut says (as well as my intellect, but my gut will always be the determining factor).
Clearly, Larry and I move through the world differently. He scans the landscape for information to process with his thoughts, where I primarily feel my way through the world. We spoke different ‘languages’ of experience and therefore it was not an ideal match between us. I stopped going to him after 2 months, disappointed and frustrated.
I left this whole experience feeling like there had to be a better way to find a therapist than just randomly picking names from a directory. There are over 3,000 licensed therapists in private practice where I live (Los Angeles). I think it is safe to say that all of them are educated, well trained, well intentioned. Yet not all of them are right for me. Nor are all of them right for you.
I wanted to help people avoid the ridiculous process that I went through in seeking a therapist (or coach). Getting results from going to coaching should be easy and accessible for everyone. To help, we started MyTherapistMatch.com and later, MyCoachMatch.com, to improve the probability that you will more naturally connect with the therapists and coaches we match you with, leading to more successful therapeutic and coaching outcomes. Great coaching has been amazing and transformational for me, and it can do the same for you. Finding the right coach for you is the first and most important step.
Check out our coach matching survey and see how it works in your search for a great coach for you.
Thanks for reading my story.
P.S., Several months after building the MyTherapistMatch.com site, I went through the matching process as a client and ended up matching with a great therapist named Sharon. She and I connected instantly (should I be surprised?). She is my current therapist and I couldn’t be happier with my progress. So, yes, not only am I the founder, but I am also a satisfied client