How to Find the Right Therapist For You

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on May 21, 2023
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Seeking therapy can be a daunting task for anyone, especially if you’re new to the process.

Finding the right therapist is crucial because you need someone who understands your situation and can help you overcome your difficulties.

The right therapist will listen to you without judgment, understand your goals, provide feedback, create a plan of action with you, help you work through problems that interfere with your functioning, and offer advice and support.

But with so many therapists to choose from, the task may seem overwhelming.

This step-by-step article will guide you on how to find a therapist for you and give you some tips on what to avoid.

The Online Mental Health Reviews team is highly qualified to write about finding the right therapist due to their extensive experience in researching and analyzing various online therapy services, master’s degree in counseling psychology, and years of working as a therapist for eating disorders.

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BetterHelp | Online Therapy for Stressed Professionals
$60-$90 / Week

Overall, BetterHelp conveniently provides busy professionals with various live therapy options to make it the best online therapy in terms of value per dollar.

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5 Quick Tips to Find A Therapist For You

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1. Identify your needs

Begin the process of finding the right therapist for you by identifying your needs. Ask yourself what exactly you’re looking for, and what your goals are. Do you need help dealing with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or grief?

Do you want to improve your relationships, career, or well-being? Write down your needs, and keep them in mind as you research therapists.

2. Research therapists

Now that you have identified your needs, start researching therapists who specialize in your specific needs. You can seek recommendations from friends or family members, or search for therapists online. Make sure to read the therapist’s biography, credentials, ethnicity, and testimonials from past clients. You can also view their website and social media to get a better understanding of who they are and how they operate.

3. Check your insurance

Before you decide on a therapist, check if they accept your insurance plan. If you don’t have insurance, some therapists offer a sliding scale fee based on your income. Find out if your therapist offers this option, and budget accordingly.

4. Schedule a consultation

Once you have found a few potential therapists, schedule a free consultation with each of them. During the consultation, discuss your needs, and goals and ask about their experience in treating your specific issues, such as depression.

This is also an opportunity to see if you have a good rapport with the therapist, as well as a chance to assess their communication style, professionalism, and empathy.

5. What to avoid

While searching for a therapist, there are a few things you should avoid.

  • Some red flags include therapists who refuse to communicate with other healthcare providers
  • Therapists who promise quick fixes or who change therapists who make guarantees about the outcome of treatment
  • Therapists who make intrusive comments about your personal life or judge you harshly.

If you feel uncomfortable or do not feel like your therapist is the right fit for you, it’s essential to trust your instincts and find someone else.

How Therapy and Counseling can Help

Therapy and counseling can be an effective way to help people who are struggling with mental health issues. It can provide a safe space for individuals to talk about their thoughts and feelings, as well as learn new coping skills and strategies for managing stress.

  • Counseling family therapy can also help improve mood, reduce medical costs, improve communication and relationships, and promote self-esteem.
  • Psychotherapy is a type of therapy that has been shown to improve emotional and psychological well-being. It is linked with positive changes in the brain and body and can help people identify and break concerning patterns or habits on their own.
  • It can help improve communication skills, increase happiness and life satisfaction, and empower the individual to develop fresh insights about their life.
  • Therapy can also help people learn life-long coping skills, change how they interact with people in their lives positively, and provide an emotional release.
  • Additionally, therapy can give people a sense of being heard, understood, and supported. Studies2 have shown that about 75% of people who receive therapy reap benefits from it.

How to Start Your Search for a Therapist

Starting your search for a therapist may seem hard, but it can be easier if you follow these steps.

  1. First, ask friends or family for any recommendations. They might know a good therapist.
  2. Next, check with your insurance company to find therapists who accept your plan. This way, you won’t have to pay too much money.
  3. You can also search online for therapists near you and read reviews from other people.
  4. Finally, call a few therapists and ask about their experience, approach, and if they have helped others with similar issues. This will help you pick the one that feels right for you.

Remember, finding the best therapist might take time, but it is worth it to get the help you need. You may want to read another Online Mental Health Review article about the “Top 8 Best Online Therapy Services Covered by Insurance in 2023“.

Use Zocdoc to Discover The Best Therapist For You

Zocdoc is an online platform that connects patients with healthcare providers, making it easy to find and book appointments with therapists and other medical professionals.

We bought Zocdoc in our review, and here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use Zocdoc to find the right therapist for you:

  1. Visit the Zocdoc website or download the app: Go to Zocdoc.com or download the Zocdoc app on your smartphone.
  2. Create an account or sign in: If you’re a new user, you’ll need to create an account by providing your name, email address, and password. If you already have an account, simply sign in.
  3. Enter your location: In the search bar, type in your city, zip code, or address to find therapists in your area.
  4. Select ‘Therapist’ as the provider type: Click on the “Find a” dropdown menu and choose “Therapist” as the provider type.
  5. Choose your insurance (optional): If you want to find therapists who accept your insurance, click on the “Insurance” dropdown menu and select your insurance provider and plan. If you don’t have insurance or prefer not to use it, you can skip this step.
  6. Filter your search: Use the filter options on the left side of the page to narrow down your search based on criteria such as gender, language spoken, or availability. You can also sort results by factors like distance, rating, or appointment availability.
  7. Browse therapist profiles: Review the list of therapists that match your search criteria. Click on individual therapist profiles to view their education, experience, patient reviews, and accepted insurance plans. This information can help you determine if a particular therapist might be a good fit for your needs.
  8. Book an appointment: Once you find a therapist you’d like to see, click on the “Book Online” button to view their available appointment times. Select a date and time that works for you, and follow the prompts to complete the booking process.
  9. Prepare for your appointment: After booking, you may receive a confirmation email with details about your appointment, including any forms you need to fill out beforehand. Make sure to arrive on time and bring any necessary documents, such as your insurance card or referral form.

By following these steps, you can easily find and book an appointment with a therapist who meets your needs through Zocdoc.

Other Logistics to Consider When Picking a Therapist

When picking a former therapist’s office name, there are other factors to think about besides their experience and approach. Here are some things to consider:

  1. Location: Find a therapist close to your home or work. This will make it easier to attend sessions regularly.
  2. Scheduling: Make sure the therapist’s hours match your availability. Some therapists offer evening or weekend appointments to fit your schedule.
  3. Cost: Ask about fees and if they accept your insurance. Some therapists offer sliding scale fees based on your income.
  4. Communication style: Choose a therapist who makes you feel comfortable and listens to you. A good connection with your therapist is important for success in therapy.
  5. Remember, finding the right therapist might take time, but it is worth it to get the support you need for better mental health. Stay positive and keep searching until you find the best match for you.

Finding the Right Therapist For You

How to Choose The Right Therapist

Finding the right therapist for you can be a daunting task. It is important to take your time and find someone who is experienced in treating the problems that you have. Please feel take your time going through the following points:

  • When looking for a therapist, it is important to consider local resources, apps, organizations, and reliable online therapy options.
  • Additionally, look for members of professional therapy associations such as BACP, BPS, UKCP, NCS, and BABCP which have directories.
  • When researching therapists, make sure to ask questions about their experience and credentials.
  • It is also important to look at reviews from other clients and talk to people in your network who have had positive experiences with a particular therapist.
  • Once you find someone who seems like a good fit, try out a first session and assess how you feel after the session.
  • Make sure that your therapist listens to what you say and values what you say with empathy and understanding.

Finding the right therapist can be an overwhelming process but it is worth taking the time to find someone who will help you heal.

Healthline.com has an excellent article you can read to learn more about how to find a therapist fit for you (https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-find-a-therapist).

How Do I Find a Culturally Competent Provider?

Finding a culturally competent provider is important for anyone struggling with mental health issues. A culturally competent mental health provider also takes into account your cultural beliefs, values, practices, and attitudes when providing care.

Here are some tips to help you find the right provider for your needs:

  1. Do some research online to find providers in your area that specialize in providing culturally competent care.
  2. Ask friends and family if they can recommend any providers they have had positive experiences with.
  3. Check the websites of local healthcare facilities to see if they have medical professionals who are a cultural fit for you or if they can point you in the right direction.
  4. Make sure to ask questions about the provider’s experience and qualifications before making an appointment.
  5. Look for providers who are knowledgeable about different cultures and strive to provide culturally sensitive care.

Finding a provider that fits your needs can be challenging, but it’s worth taking the time to ensure that you receive quality care that meets your unique needs and respects your culture and beliefs.

Use Talkspace to Find Culturally Competent Online Therapists

Talkspace is an online therapy platform with over 20,000 reviews on the App Store (average rating of 4.7) that aims to make mental health care easier to get and more tailored to each person.

In our Talkspace review, we documented buying and using Talkspace therapy services. We are mentioning Talkspace here because:

  1. Talkspace lets you choose your therapist based on their background, ethnicity, and expertise. This lets you talk to a professional who knows your unique cultural background and can help you in a way that fits your needs.
  2. All you do is sign up on the Talkspace website or app (save $50), look through the long list of licensed therapists, and read their full profiles to get started. These profiles tell you about each therapist’s background, areas of experience, and personal approach to therapy, so you can find someone who fits your needs perfectly.
  3. Once you’ve chosen a therapist, you can talk to them through secure messaging, voice calls, or video sessions, based on what you prefer.

By using Talkspace, you can feel confident and in control of your path to mental health, knowing that you’re getting helpful advice from a professional who knows your culture and your needs.

What to Do If Your Therapist Isn’t a Good Match

If you find yourself in a situation where your therapist isn’t a good fit, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. It simply means that the therapist and you are not compatible.

  1. The first step is to assess if the issue is fixable or not. If the problem can be resolved by talking it out with your therapist, then do so.
  2. However, if the issue cannot be resolved, then it may be time to move on and find another therapist who is better suited for you.
  3. Don’t forget that therapy takes time and effort on both sides. If you don’t feel like you’re making progress after several sessions, then it may be time to look for another therapist who can better meet your needs.

Types of Therapists and Counselors

Several types of therapists and counselors can help with a range of mental health issues. Here are some common types and their specialties:

  1. Psychologists: They have advanced degrees in psychology and specialize in therapy, counseling, testing, and research.
  2. Psychiatrists: They are medical doctors who specialize in treating mental health disorders and can prescribe medication.
  3. Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs): They provide counseling and therapy services to individuals, couples, families, and groups.
  4. Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs): They specialize in working with couples and families to improve communication and resolve conflicts.
  5. Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs): They provide mental health counseling services to individuals, couples, and families.
  6. Art Therapists: They use various art modalities to help individuals express themselves and work through emotional issues.
  7. Music Therapists: They use music to help individuals manage stress, improve communication, and enhance overall mental well-being.

It’s important to find a therapist or counselor who specializes in the specific issues you are dealing with. They can offer effective treatment and support tailored to your needs.

Consider using online therapy services to compare providers and find the best match for you. Remember, help is available, and taking the first step towards improving your mental health is an important one.

Common types of therapy

When it comes to various mental health conditions, there are many different types of therapy available. Common types of therapy include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Humanistic/existential therapies
  • Exposure therapy and virtual reality exposure (VRE)
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
  • Accelerated experiential dynamic psychotherapy (AEDP)
  • Adlerian Therapy
  • Animal-assisted therapy
  • Applied behavior analysis
  • Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapies
  • Behavioral therapy, cognitive therapy, and integrative or holistic therapies in general

It is important to note that the type of therapy is not more important than other factors when considering treatment.

It is essential to find a therapist, first and foremost, who you feel comfortable with and trust to get the most out of your sessions.

Online vs. In-Person Therapy

When it comes to using mental health professionals, there are two main types of therapy: online and in-person. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

  • In-person therapy is often seen as the traditional approach, where you meet with a therapist face-to-face in an office setting.
    • This type of therapy allows for more direct interaction between the therapist and patient, allowing for a deeper connection and understanding.
    • It also allows for more treatment modalities, such as role-play or art therapy.
    • However, this type of therapy can be expensive and may require travel time or transportation costs.
  • Online therapy has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its convenience and cost-effectiveness.
    • With online therapy, sessions are conducted over video chat or phone call from the comfort of your own home.
    • Online therapists typically offer flexible scheduling options and may even be available outside of normal business hours.
    • Additionally, online therapy can be more affordable than in-person sessions since you don’t need to pay for transportation costs or other overhead expenses associated with an office visit.

Ultimately, the decision between online vs in-person therapy depends on what works best for you and your needs.

If you’re looking for a more personalized experience with direct interaction with your therapist, then in-person therapy might be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a convenient option that fits into your budget then online therapy might be the better option.

No matter which type of therapy you choose, it’s important to remember that both can provide effective treatment when done correctly by a qualified professional.

What to Expect in Therapy or Counseling

Therapy or counseling can be a great way to help manage mental health issues. It’s important to understand what to expect when you attend your first session of talk therapy.

  1. When you first meet with a therapist, they will ask questions about your life and background. This is so they can get an understanding of who you are and what challenges you’re facing. They may also ask about your family history, lifestyle, and any past experiences that may have contributed to your current situation.
  2. Your therapist will then work with you to develop goals for the therapy sessions. They will provide guidance and support while also challenging you when appropriate. You should feel comfortable talking openly with your therapist to get the most out of the sessions.
  3. Sessions typically last between 50 minutes and an hour, but group therapy sessions can sometimes be longer. It’s common for sessions to be held once a week, but this can vary depending on the type of therapy being used.

It’s important to remember that therapy is a process and it takes time for it to be effective. Your therapist will encourage you to confront things that have been difficult for you in the past and work through them together to make progress toward achieving your goals.

If you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed before attending a session, it’s okay! A good therapist will understand this and help create an environment where you feel safe and supported throughout the entire process

Changing Your Online Therapist

Changing your online therapist can be a difficult decision, but it can also be the right one for you. Many platforms make the therapist-changing process easy.

It’s important to remember that you have the right to choose a therapist that works best for you. Here are some steps to consider when changing your online therapist:

  1. Tell your current therapist: Before switching therapists, let them know that you are looking for a new provider. This will help ensure that your records are transferred properly and that any remaining sessions with your current therapist are productive and beneficial.
  2. Ask your therapist to transfer records: Your current therapist should provide all of your records to the new provider so they have an understanding of your history and progress in therapy.
  3. Identify what you need in a new therapist: Consider what qualities or characteristics you would like in a new provider, such as experience with certain issues or approaches to therapy.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions: When interviewing potential therapists, don’t hesitate to ask questions about their experience, approach, and availability.
  5. Research different online therapy services: There are many online therapy services available today, so make sure to do research before committing to one service or provider.
  6. Make sure the service is secure: When choosing an online therapy service, make sure it is secure and private so that all of your information remains confidential and protected from outside sources.

How Much Does Therapy Cost?

In 2023, the average cost of therapy is between $60 and $120 per hour-long session. Depending on your location, you may find therapists who charge more or less than this amount.

Additionally, many therapists offer sliding scale fees or discounts for those who are unable to pay the full rate. GoodTherapy.Org offers one of the best articles on the cost of therapy you can read it here: https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/faq/how-much-does-therapy-cost.

Making the Most of Therapy and Counseling

Making the most of therapy and counseling can be a challenge, but there are several steps you can take to get the most out of your sessions.

  1. First, it’s important to choose a therapist who is right for you. Research therapists in your area and read reviews from past clients to find one that fits your needs. It’s also helpful to consider all aspects of your identity when selecting a therapist, such as gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation.
  2. Once you’ve chosen a therapist, it’s important to handle the business side of therapy first. Make sure you understand the fees and payment options before beginning treatment. You should also schedule sessions at a good time so that you don’t have to rush or miss appointments due to other commitments.
  3. It’s also important to view therapy as a therapeutic relationship, a collaboration between yourself and your therapist. Be honest about how you’re feeling and share any concerns or worries with them so that they can help you address them in treatment.
  4. Additionally, prepare an agenda for each session so that you can make sure all of your topics are discussed during the appointment.
  5. Finally, be curious about what comes up in therapy and take advantage of any resources or activities suggested by your therapist. This could include reading books or articles related to your mental health condition or trying out new coping strategies recommended by your therapist.

By following these tips, you can make the most out of therapy and counseling and work towards achieving better mental health.

How to Find the Right Therapist Conclusion:

Finding the right therapist may take some time and effort, but it’s worth it to invest in your mental health. Start by identifying your needs, researching therapists, checking your insurance coverage, scheduling a consultation, and avoiding therapists who are not a good fit for you.

Remember to be patient, as finding the right therapist is a process. Trust yourself, be honest with your therapist, and give yourself time to heal, and grow. With these tips and suggestions, you’ll be well on your way to finding the right therapist for you. So, take the first step towards your healing journey, and find a therapist today.

Finally, please know our team has covered similar therapy questions. For example, you may learn about therapy for anger, paying via HSA, your 1st therapy session, finding the right therapist, insurance coverage, women’s issues, ISDTP therapy, and how to talk about your feelings.

We’d love to hear from you too! Tell us what mental health software to review next on Online Mental Health Reviews. If you have stories about using a particular product or know of a discount code, please share so everyone may benefit!

Best Value-Per-Dollar
BetterHelp | Online Therapy for Stressed Professionals
$60-$90 / Week

Overall, BetterHelp conveniently provides busy professionals with various live therapy options to make it the best online therapy in terms of value per dollar.

Try 10% Off Our Review

Sources

  1. Cook, S. C., Schwartz, A. C., & Kaslow, N. J. (2017, June 26). Evidence-Based Psychotherapy: Advantages and Challenges. Neurotherapeutics, 14(3), 537–545. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-017-0549-4
  2. Cook, S. C., Schwartz, A. C., & Kaslow, N. J. (2017, June 26). Evidence-Based Psychotherapy: Advantages and Challenges. Neurotherapeutics, 14(3), 537–545. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-017-0549-4

If You Are In Crisis

In the event of an emergency crisis, waiting for an online therapy appointment may not be safe. If you or someone you know is in danger or needs urgent help, please call 911 immediately. If you’re considering self-harm, dial 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, available 24/7 for immediate assistance.

You can also contact the National Helpline of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 800-662-4357 for free, confidential guidance on finding treatment and getting information about mental or substance abuse disorders. Help is available around the clock, every day of the year.

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