It is important to choose the right therapist.

There are so many therapists around the world. How do you choose one that is right for you.

You’ll be sharing your most intimate and vulnerable self with this person, so you want to make sure they are a good fit. Some people are fortunate enough to have the option to select their therapist. If you do, then here are some suggestions.


1. Be Selective

It’s tempting when you’re experiencing psychological or emotional distress to schedule a session with the therapist who has the earliest availability. But that’s a bad idea. The therapeutic relationship, as I have written on my blog, is one that’s unique. The therapeutic relationship is unique and cannot be found in any other social setting. Some people find that a therapist can be the first, or even only, secure attachment figure they have in their lives.

A secure attachment figure provides a safe emotional and physical environment for interaction. Clients can rely on them, they can share their deepest thoughts with someone who will not judge, blame or shame them. Healing occurs in the space that exists between the minds, hearts and spirits of both the patient and therapist. The healing container is the relationship.

Relationships are the foundation of therapy, and it is through these relationships that healing occurs. This means that you cannot work with anyone. Do you have close friendships with anyone in particular? You date anyone and everyone? Most likely not. The same goes for therapists. Choose someone with whom you are comfortable, who understands and sees you. The relationship could impede your healing or even cause harm.


2. Have an intention in mind

As with most things in life having a focus and an intention will help you find what you are looking for. You don’t need to be specific in your intention for therapy. It can be something as general as “I’d like to feel less anxiety.”

Note that therapy can take a roundabout route. You may have entered therapy to address one issue, but you could find other issues surface during your sessions with the therapist. It may seem irrelevant to discuss your childhood when you are anxious about meeting new people, but there is a reason why the therapist wants you to look inwards. Ask! You don’t need to be in the dark as to what happens in a session.



You can learn more about your therapist during the initial consultation, just as the therapist will learn more about you. Ask about their approach, how and if they have helped others like you and what experience they possess. Ask more specific and detailed questions about their work as a psychotherapist. Ask them to clarify if you do not understand the term they use.

You may already be aware that you need someone who is trauma-informed, or that your sexual orientation must be respected. Ask questions to learn about the therapist’s therapeutic approach, and how sessions with them are.

How do you feel as you listen to them describe their approach? Your body is an indicator of your inner state. When a person feels relaxed, they will breathe slowly and deeply in their stomach. When a person feels anxious or stressed they tend to breathe rapidly and shallowly in the chest. What is your body doing while you are talking to this therapist? Attention to these signals, as they contain important information. You may find that this information is the most important when seeking a therapeutic relationship.

Other signs to look out for:

You should not work with anyone who shows red flags in the initial consultation or on the phone. You deserve someone who will respect you, listen to you and support you in your healing journey. It’s all about finding the perfect match. You may not want to see the therapist that your best friend loves. This is someone you will be talking to weekly, if not for years. Take your time. Doing the legwork now will save you time and energy later.

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