How to find the right therapist for you

Updated: Aug 16, 2021

To get started on this journey, here are some tips on how to find the right therapist for you.

Choosing the right therapist can be tough. After all, there are many types of therapists, each with their own approach to therapy and specialty areas of focus. Whether you’re looking for the best marriage counselor or need help overcoming trauma, choosing the right therapist means finding someone who matches your needs and will help you reach your goals. To get started on this journey, here are some tips on how to find the right therapist for you.

Do I need therapy?

If you are experiencing a mental health concern, and are unsure whether therapy will help, then start by asking yourself these questions: Do I think my thoughts or behaviors might be atypical? Am I having a hard time meeting my goals? Am I struggling to make sense of what is happening in my life right now? If so, there is a good chance that seeing a mental health professional could be helpful.

The general consensus among professionals is that your mental health can benefit from therapy at any point in your life. Many people start seeing a therapist in their late teens, but others don’t start until they hit their 50s or 60s.

What matters most is that you’re taking action now and working toward wellness.

When do I want from therapy?

How quickly do I want results? Are my symptoms acute, or am I suffering from long-term patterns? Do I have a specific mental illness, like depression or anxiety, or is my issue more general in nature? Do I want medication as part of treatment—and if so, are there any risks involved with it? Will therapy be most effective if it’s structured and involves homework assignments and set goals, or is unstructured and free-flowing better for me?

Who should I see?

The choice of a therapist is often highly personal, and some are better at treating specific conditions than others. That said, in choosing a professional mental health provider, it’s important to understand that mental health counselors and therapists vary widely in their qualifications. Make sure they have a license from your state or country that allows them to practice in your field of need (social work, counseling or psychology) and that they have relevant education and experience.

Making your final decision

Choosing a mental health professional is one of your most important decisions. With so many therapists out there, how do you decide? Here are some guidelines: Don’t be afraid to interview several therapists before making your final decision. There is no single right choice, and in addition to cost and experience, you will want to feel comfortable with your therapist and believe that he or she can help.


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