Individual, Family & Group Psychotherapy
Locations in New York & New Jersey
Mar 9

Ways to Find a Good Psychotherapist


When we were born, we weren’t handed a manual to help us manage life. Most of us didn’t have a perfect childhood, and we may have launched our lives without the necessary tools to take good care of ourselves and sustain healthy relationships. Having a great psychotherapist or counselor can ease our load by helping us understand ourselves better and learn how to navigate our lives in a powerful, authentic way. But how do you find that great therapist you can trust to guide you well on this amazing and tumultuous journey?

Choosing the right therapist takes time and a few conversations, and it’s partially an intuitive process. Remember, psychotherapy is a relationship, too. Here are a few tips to help you find that great therapist:

1. Word of mouth. Do you have friends and acquaintances who talk about therapy? Who do you see that’s really transforming and changing? Find out who helped them, and set up an introduction with that therapist.
2. Look at their website. You’ll get a feel for their language and style. What do they say about themselves, and how do you feel as you’re reading it? Do they seem compassionate, clear and straight forward? Look for specific approaches to your problems or issues.
3. Be clear about what you need. In your first session, share openly and honestly about your concerns. Let them know what you’re issues and challenges are, and what you want and expect to get out of therapy.
4. Ask them about their training. Do they have more than one kind? Do they have different tools and skills so they can customize to fit your needs? Can they approach your issues from different angles to provide more depth? Listen to their responses and pay attention to how you feel as they are speaking.
5. What personal work have they done? A good therapist is continually committed to their own personal growth. Ask them what they’ve done and how they’ve benefited from this work. You want a therapist who’s walked some of the territory ahead of you.
6. Ask them how they work. If you’re pretty clear about where you need help, you want to know how the therapist plans to proceed. Ask them how they work or ask them to show you in the first session.
7. Ask them how they can help you. Once you’ve given them a brief summary of what you’re looking for, ask them how they would help. Do you feel they’re paying close attention to what you’re feeling and thinking? How tuned in, empathetic and insightful do they seem in the first session?
8. Don’t be afraid to shop around. You want to find someone who really feels like a good fit for you, and that might not be the first person you meet. Even if you like them, interview a few more to make sure you’re making the right choice. With a little time and care, you’ll meet the very best therapist for you!

How did you choose your therapist? Did you find a great one right away, or have you “kissed a few frogs?” Please leave a comment; it makes a difference for all of us!

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