Nitty Gritty of Picking a Therapist

Frustration, anxiety, depression getting to you?

How to pick a therapist

Going to therapy is a huge decision and at first can seem terrifying. You are choosing a person only by name to go and tell all your darkest secrets to. You need to find the right therapist, who is the right fit. Contrary to what you may be thinking you don’t need to like your therapist all of the time, but you do need to respect their opinion. Age, pedigree, experience should all play a role in who you decide to see. But in the end, you have to “click” with that person like you would with a mentor. Sometimes your therapist will seem like your soul mate backing you on decisions and helping you make it to the finish line. Other times your therapist will sound like public enemy #1 pushing you out of your comfort zone to help you make better life choices. Picking this person is a tricky thing but why don’t we pull back the curtain and look for some helpful hints in making an informed decision.

First and foremost ask

Get referrals from trusted friends or family. They know you and the types of people you will respond to best. It is always good to have someone in your corner when you are embarking on a journey. You will be surprised by how many people will surprise you with the fact they have sought out assistance at one time. If you really feel like you can’t talk to anyone close to you about this issues, don’t fear there are other ways of connecting with a therapist.


Many employers offer free or low-cost counseling to their employees, through an Employee Assistance Program. You may not have to go to the agency they are contracted with, but you can start there to look at therapists. Remember the first appointment is as much an interview for them as it is for you.

The Internet

Yes, the internet is a repository for all things good and evil in the world, but this can work to your advantage. You can find numerous sites that will let you search therapists by discipline, modalities, locations, even price, and insurance. You can look at ratings and reviews, although people are less likely to rate mental health practitioners. What you can do is read Bios and feel if any of the therapists resonate with you.

In the End

Call a therapist and chat with them for a few minutes before your first appointment. See how you feel on the phone. Are they making you feel comfortable? Do they seem comfortable and relaxed? Do they seem confident in dealing with the issues you’re currently having? If the answer to those question is yes then go to that first appointment with confidence that your journey will begin well.