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Selecting a therapist is like picking a pair of shoes. You want something that will fit properly and will go the distance.

Start by thinking about what exactly you hope to gain from therapy: Do you have a certain issue that is bothering you, such as panic attacks or anxiety?  Would you like to learn specific ways to manage your depression?  Are you looking to understand why you keep encountering the same problems in relationships? By identifying your therapy goals, you will find a therapist who specializes in treating those problems and also who practices one of the recommended treatments for it.

For 3 more suggestions for how to choose a therapist, plus how to evaluate how your therapy is going, enter your contact information below to receive the full article in an email.

Selecting a Therapist: Resources

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It is best to speak with a therapist on the phone before scheduling an appointment at their office.  This is an opportunity for both of you to feel out whether or not the therapist might be a good fit for you.  Essentially, it’s an informal interview for both parties.  For example, the therapist will ask what kind of problems you are experiencing.  Likewise, it’s an opportunity for you to interview the therapist and ask about relevant work experience, years of practice, etc.

  • Express yourself and any concerns you might have about your situation and the therapy process.

  • Ask what type of therapy is employed.  Talk therapy is not an actual type of therapy, so ask the therapist to be more specific.  Most therapists practice a combination of therapies; ask for the specific names of the approaches used.

It is perfectly acceptable to speak with multiple therapists via phone or go to first sessions with a few different therapists, like a test-drive with a car.

Selecting a Therapist: About Therapy
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