Who's right for me?
There are no hard and fast rules for choosing a counselor. Much of what may guide you will be your gut or intuitive sense of how you and this professional might connect and work together. However, there are some things that may help you in your search.
Identify your concrete needs Do you need to use your insurance coverage? If so, who is on the panel of providers? Do you need to see someone close to your home or work? Do you need evening or weekend appointments? What can you afford to pay? Will you need a sliding scale fee? Will you be comfortable seeing either a man or woman? Do you need individual, couple, or group therapy? Are you looking for brief, solution-focused therapy or more in-depth work?
Get referral ideas Get possible names from people you know—friends, family, coworkers, or advisers such as clergy. Review other sources such as professional organizations, referral services, schools, churches, or advertisements. If therapists you first contact are not able to meet your needs, they may be able to give you names of potential therapists.
Interview therapists Let the therapists know that you are gathering information from several people. This may occur over the phone, or you may prefer to meet in person to get a better sense of each other. Make a list of questions you want to know about each therapist you contact. What is their training? What kind of therapy do they do? How long have they been in practice? What are their fees and hours of availability? When is the next available appointment? How do they handle insurance? What are their areas of specialty? Have they worked with clients having similar issues to yours?
Evaluate your experience Feel free to talk with your therapist about your progress and experience. You are in charge of your treatment. If you aren’t getting what you want, discuss it with your therapist. You always have the right to refuse or end treatment. You can always select a new therapist.