How To Choose A Therapist

Therapy is an intensely personal process, so it makes sense to take time to choose a therapist that can cater for your individual circumstances and requirements and that is exactly right for you. As with anything else, the right professional can make the process painless and comfortable. By contrast, choosing the wrong therapist can taint the whole process leading to slower and less effective results. Many people choose a therapist solely on recommendations from friends or even from the phone book or off an internet search. To be honest this is like choosing shoes you have never seen and don’t even know the size of. Following the right methods and advice will help to make sure that the important choice you have made to attend therapy has the desired results.

Finding Candidates
Whilst choosing a therapist from the phone book is not the best move, it can often be a good starting point for gathering names. Likewise so can doing a search for local therapists on the internet. The important thing here is gathering a list of candidates in your area so that you know what is available to you before you begin to whittle down your choices.

It is likely that there will be several therapists in your area, so it is important that you institute a short-listing procedure. Determine what is important to you and use those qualities for your first pass. Do you have a unique issue that requires specialised training? Do you require house visits? Any special requirements such as these should be at the top of the list making it easier to choose a smaller pool of suitable therapists to investigate further.

Once you have made a shortlist of suitable candidates it is important to thoroughly check out each potential therapist on the list. Make sure that they are registered with a governing body and examine any available references or testimonials. Whoever is left on your list will be the best pool for making your final choice.


Making the Final Choice
Finally, phone each of the therapists left on the list and make an appointment for a single session. Pay careful attention here and ensure that you feel comfortable and ask yourself whether the therapist makes you feel safe and whether you would feel happy to tell this person your deepest secrets. If the answer is yes then you will know that the therapist is right for you.

Francine Harkness is a professional counsellor who now writes on the subject for a variety of media. She believes in the importance of choosing the right person for the job and is writing for

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  1. Lucy Pearson says:

    I also think it’s a good idea to ask your therapist why they feel they should get your business! It sounds harsh but in business, it’s common and fair to be direct – it’s your money after all.

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