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How to find THE RIGHT therapist

by Claire Spinka, M.A.

As more people are seeking mental health services, it becomes even more essential to understand how you can find a good therapist.


Finding someone you like can be an effort and even disheartening at times. As you begin the journey of self-discovery and self-healing, having someone by your side you trust and feel secure with is essential.


Here are some things you should consider:

  • Is your therapist licensed? Or are they practicing under another therapist’s license?

  • If you have health insurance, will your therapist accept your insurance?

  • Does your insurance limit the number of sessions that are covered?

  • If you do not have insurance or with insurance, therapy sessions are still too expensive. Will the therapist consider doing a sliding scale rate?


Websites that can be used to find a therapist include Psychologist Locator, Psychology Today, and the National Register.


Helpful hints for finding the “right” therapist:

  • Do a 15-minute consultation call before scheduling your first session. How does the therapist view how the client’s stress originates and how they view what it is to be healthy?

  • Ask whether the therapist has expertise in dealing with the types of concerns you have. Some therapists specialize based on age, presenting concern, or modalities, such as couples and families.

  • Find out how much an intake and subsequent therapy sessions will cost. Additionally, how much can you expect to be charged for late cancellations, and what is their policy on cancellations?

  • Think of the beginning stages of finding a therapist as dating. Do not be afraid to set up multiple first sessions with a therapist to determine who is the best fit for you. Remember, take the time to find a therapist that works best for you.


Notably, statistics have demonstrated that 80% of therapeutic change occurs because of the strength of the therapeutic relationship. Meaning your therapist exhibits warmth, empathy, and respect for you (Sharpley, Jeffrey, & McMah, 2006). Because of this, it is your responsibility to choose a therapist you connect with. DO NOT be afraid to end a relationship with a therapist if you feel they no longer are serving your goals. Therapy is a service you are paying for!



Sharpley, C.F., Jeffrey, A.M., & Mcmah, T. (2006). Counsellor facial expression and client-perceived rapport. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 19(4), 343-356.


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