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Finding the right therapist

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

Looking for the right therapist can be a daunting task, but here are some ways to make the search a little easier.

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Searching for a therapist can be hard, but there are ways to help you find the right fit

Searching for a therapist can be such a struggle - there are so many directories, different approaches, and financially it can feel like a big commitment. Here are five ways that you feel more confident in finding the right therapist for you.

  1. Shop around: Yes, I said it! There is a tendency to feel pressured to stick with the first therapist you meet with, but remember that you might be working with that person for a long while. Choosing a couple of therapists to speak with will help to give you a better idea of what you're looking for in your sessions, and will give you a better variety to choose from. I offer a short introductory phone call so that you can get to know me and ask me questions before committing to counselling.

  2. Therapeutic approach isn't as important as how you feel: There are so many different approaches for counselling, it can be difficult to understand which one might work best for you. Studies (Norcross, 2014) have shown that the quality of your relationship with your counsellor is the most important factor for determining outcomes of therapy, regardless of what approach the therapist uses. So, don't feel you have to fully understand the inner workings of therapy to benefit from it - ultimately, it's about what you want to get out of it, and how you feel about your therapeutic relationship with your counsellor.

  3. It's okay to ask questions: Especially if you've never had counselling before, you may not know what to expect. Each therapist might also do things differently, which can add to the confusion! Don't be afraid to ask a prospective counsellor if you're unsure of procedures, policies or even just uncertainties that you feel they could help answer. Most counsellors will have a written contract outlining their process for therapy, which gives both you and them structure and understanding of how to do things as you progress together in your therapeutic journey. Even if your therapist doesn't know the answer, asking questions you have can lead to better understanding for you both. Your therapist is human too, and might get things wrong! Asking questions and bringing your feelings even towards your therapist can help you to gain a better relationship together.

  4. It can get worse before it gets better: Often we choose to look for therapy because things have built up so much that they have become unbearable. It's not unusual for the first few sessions of counselling to be very heavy, awkward, or difficult. Your therapist will hopefully be able to help you navigate this, but it's helpful to know that starting therapy won't necessarily make things easier right away.

  5. Think about practicalities: Do you want online or in-person? How are your finances, can you commit to once a week or would fortnightly be more helpful? Does the therapist you'd like have availability that suits you? Thinking of what practical needs you have for therapy can help you narrow down your list before even contacting anyone! Most therapists have a small bio on their websites or directories which will give an indication of the practical aspects of their work. I list my prices and some information on myself and my sessions on my About and Services pages.

It might seem like a lot to consider, but remember that the most important part is whether you feel you can work with your therapist. If you think I would be a good fit, or would like to know more, please feel free to get in touch using the Contact page.

Reference: Norcross, J. C. (2014, June). Conclusions and recommendations of the Interdivisional (APA Divisions 12 & 29) Task Force on Evidence-Based Therapy Relationships. [Web article]. Retrieved from

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