How to choose a therapist
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Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD posted:
Choosing a therapist is an important decision because entering therapy is a big investment; it takes energy, time, and money. So, take the time to find someone right for you. You can find some referrals by asking your doctor for recommendations, calling your local psychological or social work association for names, or going to the American Psychological Association psychologist locator (I give contact information for this in my tips). Once you have some names, ask the therapists you are considering questions on the phone, such as:
  • Are you licensed and how long have you been practicing?
  • Do you have an area of specialization? What is it?
  • What therapeutic approach do you usually use; and, can you explain it to me?
  • Offer the person a thumbnail sketch of your problem and ask if they have experience treating this kind of issue. Also ask how they would treat your problem.


If you are satisfied with the answers, then schedule an appointment. At this meeting, the therapist will ask more detailed questions about your problem to help determine how to help you. This is also a time for you to evaluate how comfortable you are with the therapist. Having a good rapport with the therapist is essential to effective therapy; so, if you are not comfortable with the person, then consider whether you need to find another qualified professional to help you. A therapist can be excellent and still not be the right person for you.
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MarriageandFamilyClinic responded:
There are also well trained therapists such as Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT) Liced Practicing Counselors LPC) and others. You don't just have to look for psychologists or social workers as suggested here.