Tips for Choosing the Right Therapist

by: Aline-Vanya Guillaume, LCSW

1. Look at a their qualifications and specializations.  A therapist who specializes in your area of concern will be most beneficial.

2. Location should be considered but it’s not a deal breaker.  It’s worth the drive if your counselor is someone who can treat your specific needs.  In addition, many practices, such as this one, offer online sessions for your convenience.

3. I’ve heard some horror stories about unethical practices during therapy sessions.  Remember you are paying for their services, therefore make sure you are clear about your goals. 

A good therapist will refer you out, if they realize that they will not be able to help you achieve your goals.

4. Decide if gender matters to you.  This is important because the therapeutic setting is a vulnerable place, and you should be comfortable.

5. Talk money. Before you set an appointment date, find out if the therapist of your choosing is self-pay or insurance with co-pay. Try not to quickly dismiss self-pay counselors, there are some benefits to not using insurance.

6. Ask around. Maybe someone you know, knows a good therapist. Specifically one who can help you with your needs.

Remember: Therapists are not a one size fits all.  There are enough qualified mental health professionals with different areas of expertise to choose from. Your therapist is someone you should feel comfortable with. They should provide a safe environment that promotes emotional wellness. 

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