How to choose a therapistChoosing a therapist can also seem difficult, especially if you’re in a lot of pain. Finding the right therapist, however, is the most important step to success in counseling. The following are some basic tips to keep in mind to ensure you’ll find the therapist you need.

STEP 1: Define your problem and what you hope to gain from therapy.

If you know where you want to go, it’s easier to get there. Define your problem and your expectations for therapy as clearly as you can. Write out your goals. If defining your problems and expectations don’t come easily, clarifying them can become your first goal of therapy.

STEP 2: Ask questions.

Because most therapists charge for the initial visit,  you can cut costs by calling and asking questions.

Some questions you can ask are:

Do you have experience working with problems like mine?
How do you do therapy with people?
What are your credentials?
How long have you been doing therapy?
Are you a psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker? and What is the difference?
What do you charge?
Do you accept my insurance?

STEP 3: Trust your feelings.

Good therapy requires communication and trust between you and your therapist. You should feel that you are heard, understood and challenged. Think about the feelings and thoughts you have as you talk to the therapist on the phone? Were they responsive to you? Were they compassionate? Knowledgeable? Does your intuition say it was a good “fit” of personalities?

STEP 4: Answer the questions below.

Below are items that many people find important when choosing a therapist. Check the answer that most pertains to you and fill in the answers to the questions. Submit the information and the therapist that best matches the items below will call you.