How to Choose a Therapist

I often get asked how best to identify what therapist will be right for you. Therapists may list a series of acronyms referencing the types of therapy they do: CBT, AEDP, EFT, IFS etc. If you’re well versed in the different types of therapy, you can of course choose a therapist who practices the specific modality you prefer, but it’s not important to know the “types” of therapy out there to choose a good therapist.

I think the most common way most people narrow down the field of options is by choosing their favorite headshot. And, to be honest, that is a perfectly fine way to choose.

You can ask the therapists you’ve identified if they will do a free initial consultation in which you can hop on the phone with them for a few minutes to ask any questions you may have. Some things to consider asking:

  1. What is your cancellation policy?
  2. How much do you charge and can I use credit card or FSA/HSA cards?
  3. What is your approach?
  4. Do you consult with other clinicians about cases ever?

Research suggests that the most significant way to predict client satisfaction or growth with a therapist is the degree to which the client trusts that therapist. So the most important part of your phone call will be deciding if you like their vibe. Ideally, if you are financially able, I would suggest doing a couple initial sessions with therapists once you’ve narrowed down your selection. Trust yourself. That doesn’t mean you should always end your relationship with a therapist if you’re finding therapy tough occasionally (therapy can be tough sometimes!) but if you’re consistently feeling misunderstood, ignored or judged, it may be time to consider a different clinician. It also might be beneficial to address these concerns with your therapist first. More on why to do that in my next post…

Feel free to email me at therapy@shoshanapolansky.com

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