What to Consider When Looking for a Therapist

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What to Consider When Looking for a Therapist

Therapists have different professional backgrounds and specialtiesSee below for information that can help you find out about the different credentials of therapists and resources for locating therapists.

The approach a therapist uses depends on the condition being treated and the training and experience of the therapist. Also, therapists may combine and adapt elements of different approaches.

What to Consider When Looking for a Therapist
What to Consider When Looking for a Therapist

Once you’ve identified one or more possible therapists, a preliminary conversation with a therapist can help you understand how treatment will proceed and whether you feel comfortable with the therapist. Rapport and trust are important. Discussions in therapy are deeply personal, and it’s important that you feel comfortable with the therapist and have confidence in their expertise. These preliminary conversations may happen in person, by phone, or virtually. Consider trying to get answers to the following questions:

  • What are the credentials and experience of the therapist? Do they have a specialty?
  • What approach will the therapist take to help you? Do they practice a particular type of therapy? What is the rationale for the therapy and its evidence base?
  • Does the therapist have experience in diagnosing and treating the age group (for example, a child) and the specific condition for which treatment is being sought? If a child is a patient, how will parents be involved in treatment?
  • What are the goals of therapy? Does the therapist recommend a specific timeframe or a number of sessions? How will progress be assessed, and what happens if you (or the therapist) feel you aren’t starting to feel better?
  • Are medications an option? Is this therapist able to prescribe medications?
  • Are the meetings confidential? How is confidentiality assured? Are there limits to confidentiality?


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