If you were to google “find a therapist near me” you are going to an overwhelming number of results. But how are you going to find the right therapist for you. Finding the right therapist can be difficult, especially because we look for a therapist when we are already struggling.
It is easy to get weighed down by the types of therapists and therapies they offer. How are you supposed to know which one is the best one for you?
Ultimately, the biggest indicator of successful therapy is determined by the relationship between the client and the therapist. It’s good information to know, but you still have to find a therapist.
Try these tips to help you with your search
There are a lot of directories out there that list therapists in your area. is one of the more popular directories. You can search therapists by city, issues they address, types of therapy they offer, and by their specializations.
Insurance companies usually have directories to help you find out an authorized provider, which means your insurance company does cover their services. This can be helpful as not all types of therapists are covered by insurance.
Ask for referrals/recommendations
Your family doctor might be a good person to ask for referrals. Doctors will often develop a list of contacts that they will confidently refer to. Sometimes they may refer a specific therapist, or they might refer to a clinic. There may be other health professionals that you are involved with that may be able to provide you with a recommendation. I have noticed an increase in therapy referrals from dentists and physiotherapists because they are becoming more aware of how unresolved emotional issues will manifest physically and can impact their patients.
You can also ask friends or family members if they have a therapist they would recommend. I suggest getting recommendations from people who you might have noticed are having progress because of therapy. If you don’t want to see the same therapist a friend seeing, even if that friend is having success with that therapist, ask your friend if their therapist might be able to recommend someone. Therapists, just like other medical professionals, will have a network of therapists they will refer to.
Take advantage of free consultations, and ask questions
It is common for therapists to have a free consultation. This is your opportunity to get a feel for your therapist. During the consultation, the therapist will introduce themselves, and give you some information about how they practice, and talk to you about their experience and training. If the therapist doesn’t tell you about there education, experience and training, you should ask about it. You will also have an opportunity to tell the therapist about the issues that have prompted you to seek therapy, so they can assess if they think their skills are a good fit for you. This is also your opportunity to ask the therapist some questions to see if they are the right fit for you.
Check for appropriate credentials and licensing
Therapist and counselor are titles that not protected in a lot of areas. Which means anyone can call themselves a therapist. (I recently met a person who called themselves a therapist after taking a 10-week course, and stated they were qualified to treat children’s trauma.) Having someone who is licensed means they have met educational and training requirements and now are regulated and are required to follow a set of standards and ethics. A therapist who is licensed will have a practice identification number with their regulatory body (also called college) and will produce this information on request. You can then look them up by their practice ID number to make sure they have an active permit. If a therapist hesitates to provide any of their licensing, educational, or professional experience, it is a huge red flag…..with flashing lights and sirens.
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