Finding the Right Therapist For You


It can be time consuming and frustrating to find the right therapist for you. You are looking for someone to share some of your most personal thoughts and feelings with. You might be looking to learn how to be vulnerable or how to be honest with yourself or your partner.  

It is really important that you find a therapist you can trust but who is also highly skilled in the areas you are hoping to work on.  Making progress towards your goals quickly will help you stay engaged in therapy and ultimately allow you to make the changes you wish to make in your life.

How do you find the right therapist? Which one do you choose? Here are a few guidelines that will hopefully help you through this daunting process!

If you can talk openly about your interest in therapy with friends or family, you will likely receive both positive and negative suggestions!  Avoid those therapists people ‘didn’t like’ (because you’ll never get it out of your head that they aren’t a good therapist) and gather the names of those people really liked.  If you prefer to keep your therapy journey private, Yelp and are great resources for finding skilled therapists in your area.

Next, learn more about each therapist by contacting them (email or a phone call) to request a free phone consultation.  As you talk to these therapists, keep these hints in mind!

1) Trust Your Gut!  Your gut will tell you if this is someone you will form a connection with or will eventually trust.  Notice your initial reaction when the conversation begins. Do you feel this therapist was listening, wanted to get to know you, was comfortable talking to you, sees you as important? If so, you’ll want to consider this therapist! If not, politely hang up and dial the next number!

2) Is the therapist Licensed? Choosing a licensed therapist will ensure he/she has met the State requirements for education, training and clinical experience necessary to be an effective and ethical therapist for you. You may stumble upon someone who is working towards licensure. These clinicians are still wonderful options. There are a million reasons why they might not yet be licensed (i.e. They just moved to the State). Simply ask for more information so you can decide if you are comfortable or not.  

3) What is their treatment philosophy and/or their approach to therapy? Be sure this resonates with you in your gut, even if it doesn’t entirely make sense yet. Therapy language is a little different than typical conversation so feel free to ask for clarification.  

4) What is their area of expertise?  Be sure this matches your area of interest for therapy! It isn’t helpful to go to a child play therapist if you are interested in healing your marriage from an affair.

5) Location and office hours - Be sure the therapist’s office is convenient for you and has availability to see you during your preferred therapy times. This will ensure you can create and maintain the momentum needed for effective therapy.

6) Session length and fees - As you decide where to invest your time and money for therapy, be sure you can sustain the financial investment. You also want to be sure you aren’t just bargain shopping. Highly trained therapists will not be your least expensive option because that training and experience is costly. However, their skill set will likely contribute to you experiencing real and sustainable change faster and ultimately finishing therapy sooner. In the long run, you may save money by choosing a highly skilled therapist with higher session fees and ultimately need fewer sessions! Regardless, you should find someone you can see regularly.

You are now at the point in your therapy journey where you will schedule your first appointment!  In the end, the only way to confirm you have found the right therapist for you is to meet them in person.  Once in session, continue to listen to your gut!  Trust yourself and your response. Let them know how it feels for you! Hopefully, you HAVE found the right therapist for you!

Want to see if Individual and Relationship Therapy Center is right for you? Schedule your free 30-minute consultation today to see if we are a good fit for your therapy needs.