Tips for Choosing a Therapist


Initiating psychological therapy is an important step in mental health recovery. Whether dealing with an anxiety disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorder, or other mental illnesses, a psychological therapist can help with processing emotions, learning new coping skills, and dealing with stressful events. In order for psychological therapy to be fully effective, it is necessary for individuals to be aligned with an acceptable provider.

Various considerations should be taken into account before choosing a therapist. This includes therapy style, specialization, background, and personality. Below are tips that may prove beneficial in the process of selecting a therapist.

Ask for recommendations

Trusted friends or family members who are in psychological counseling may provide a recommendation. Those with similar life experiences often have insight into which therapists could potentially be a good match. Similarly, they may have suggestions on who to avoid. Keep in mind that everyone has different needs; therefore, they may have diverse experiences with a therapist.

Investigate relevant organizations

Many organizations are geared toward specific groups to help connect a person with needed resources, including therapy. This ensures that a person selects a therapist who works with their specific needs and is equipped to effectively treat people within certain demographics. For instance, certain organizations may be better equipped to work with people of color, people in the LGBTQIA+ community, or people with a specific condition, such as an eating disorder.

Determine what is significant

Several aspects might factor into whether a therapist is a good fit. Age, gender or religion could be a deciding factor in choosing a therapist. People from certain marginalized communities may only feel comfortable seeking counseling from others who are part of that community. Determining the qualifying factors is beneficial when searching for a therapist.

Contemplate qualifications and specializations

Therapists often specialize in certain areas or types of therapy. It is important to decide what type of therapy you are interested in and which methods work best with your disorder or situation. For instance, a therapist that is not trauma-informed will likely not work well with an individual who deals with PTSD.

Consider insurance

Unfortunately, finances may be a barrier in obtaining mental health care. Some providers do not accept certain types of insurance. Investigate the type of insurance that a provider accepts before making an appointment. Certain providers may work on a sliding scale for individuals who have low or limited income.

Additional source: Verywell Mind