How to properly "shop" for a therapist?

I’m looking at finding a therapist now that I have better insurance. Are there any tips/pointers when trying to find the right one? I just want to make sure I’m finding one that will be beneficial to me without having to “window shop.” I know that shopping is a bad way to put it and I’m sorry if I offend anyone by calling it that. Thanks


That’s a really tough question. Some therapists have webpages where they explain how they approach therapy. Word-of-mouth might be helpful. Personally, I just picked one at the most convenient location and it worked out fine. Maybe I was just lucky.

Hey @fenderman1284,

Good news with the insurance! So glad you can take this step and be at peace with it financially. What a relief!

No worries about the word “shopping” - I think we can all understand here what you mean without any wrong connotation or intention behind. Somehow, this word really conveys the challenge that it is to find the right fit when it comes to therapy.

Personally, two main criteria were present for me when I’ve started to try to find a therapist:

  • As @Wings said, their location/proximity to where I live.
  • Their professional approach. In the psychology field there’s a lot of different types of therapy, and making sure to get the information you need regarding what is one therapist’s approach can be very valuable. Between behavioral therapy, cognitive therapy, body-based approaches, EMDR, hypnotherapy, talk therapy only, psychoanalysis, etc. There’s a lot! Generally this information is displayed on a therapist website - but it’s something that you can also ask about when you call their office. It’s also good to know in general because not all approaches would be covered by insurances depending on where you live, and the very status “therapist” can have very different requirements legally speaking from one country to another - which affects what is covered or not by insurances. Sometimes, in institutions where there’s multiple professionals, there can be a service where you can have a first general appointment that will help them help you identify which therapist and therapy would be the most relevant for you.

To me personally, finding the right therapist was at first about trying the right type of therapy, then within this scope I had to find the right person over time - one that I would feel comfortable with. I gave a try to a couple different practices, and even though it was frustrating at times, this experience helped me refine more and more what I needed and expected from therapy. It was a key aspect of the search process overall, and helped filter my own “shopping”, like trying to put pieces of a puzzle together. :heart:

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