How to Find a Suitable Psychotherapist
If you know a good network of people in your community, ask around among persons whom you trust and respect. Psychotherapists who are genuinely helpful tend to accrue good reputations. If that sort of word-of-mouth doesn’t help there are many other places to start. Your choice may be limited by your medical insurance, and if so a list of providers from them may help (remember that many out-of-network providers might be covered too, although your insurer may not volunteer that information to you). Your family doctor, your minister, your attorney, all may have ideas that would be helpful. And then there are the more generic sources: the internet, the yellow pages, the professional associations (such as the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Clinical Psychology, or the medical association of your state).
However, these are all just places to start. If you can, it’s best to shop around. Many therapists will allow a free visit for this purpose. It’s essential that you feel very comfortable with someone you choose as a therapist, and you must meet them to find if this is so. Ask them how they approach people, and what they believe is helpful in therapy, and how they would plan to go at your particular problem. Make sure their answers make sense to you and feel enough in accord with how you see things. Trust your feelings as well as your head in making your choice. See if the interaction feels helpful. You should feel at least a little better after even one session, if the person is going to be right for you.