10 Tips on How to Find the Right Counsellor

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Finding a qualified therapist can be daunting for some people. There may not be many choices in your vicinity, or you might feel like the therapists you meet don’t seem to fit well together. If this describes you, don’t despair – finding the right therapist doesn’t have to be an impossible task!

However, finding a qualified therapist can provide you with skills and confidence to manage mental health issues throughout life – so making the effort to find one who fits perfectly is worth the effort.

Psychotherapy can be an invaluable asset to improve your mental health. Knowing how to select a qualified therapist will enable you to begin treatment that could last throughout life.


1. Select Your Therapy Type

When selecting a therapist, the initial step should be to select what kind of therapy you would like to try. There are numerous types of therapies you can do with them; choose one that aligns with your objectives. Some therapists specialize in more than one type of therapy.

Types of therapy to consider:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy: an effective tool for healing?
  • Dialectical behavior therapy:
  • Psychoanalytic Therapy

2. Establish Your Budget

Therapy costs vary based on where it is received.

Some therapy services are free. Online therapy may offer a more cost-effective option, while other therapists charge higher fees.

Before booking appointments with individual therapists, check your insurance provider to see what services they cover and decide how much you’re willing to pay each month for therapy services. Knowing this amount will enable you to prioritize therapists that fit within your budget.

3. Ask a Medical Doctor

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), doctors can be an invaluable resource when searching for a therapist.

Your doctor can connect you with someone who can address your specific worries. They also assist in finding a provider who accepts your insurance plan, if applicable.

4. Leverage your network

Referrals can be an excellent resource when looking for a therapist. Ask friends and family if they can recommend a good therapist. Your loved ones may provide better insights than searching online alone for the ideal therapist.

It’s worth mentioning that even if a therapist works with your loved one, they may not be the most suitable for you. Finding the ideal therapist depends on individual needs and therapy objectives.

Other people and organizations in your network may have helpful ideas as well.

Your school. If you attend college or university, the student health department or psychology department are likely well-connected with a network of qualified therapists.

Your insurance company. Your insurer likely has established relationships (and often a list) of psychotherapists they collaborate with, whose services they cover.

Other Professionals You Know. Even if they don’t specialize in healthcare, ask friends, relatives, and colleagues if they can recommend someone from their trusted network of trusted professionals.

Your place of worship. If you are part of a religious community, those there may be able to provide guidance and recommendations.

Learn More: What is online counseling?

5. Verify Credentials

As you evaluate potential therapists, it’s essential to check their credentials to confirm they are qualified. This way, you can ensure the fit between both of you is ideal.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), potential therapists must be licensed in their home state or region before practicing.

Therapists may possess certification for a particular type of therapy, such as exposure therapy.

However, keep in mind that a therapist’s title may not matter as long as they are qualified in the type of therapy you need. You could consider seeking assistance from counselors, social workers, psychologists or psychotherapists for example.

6. Evaluate their cultural competence

Though all therapists are taught compassion and understanding, having a therapist who is part of your community or who has extensive experience working with people from your neighborhood can make all the difference.

Many individuals find it easier to share their experiences with those who “get” them, particularly those from oppressed or marginalized groups.

If you identify as LGBTQIA+, it may be easier to open up with an LGBTQIA+ therapist or one who explicitly states they are supportive of this community.

Here are a few factors you may want to take into account:

Gender identity

Racial or cultural background – such as therapists who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC).

Specializes in LGBTQIA+ issues

Religious Belongings

Ultimately, finding a suitable therapist depends on your relationship with them. Try to keep an open mind and base decisions off of who the therapist is rather than making assumptions about their background.

It is essential to consider who you feel most comfortable working with.

7. Define Your Therapy Goals

Establish therapy objectives that you wish to accomplish during therapy.

Determining what you desire from therapy can help you locate the ideal therapist.

If you’re seeking therapy to address a specific issue, that can help narrow your options. Here are a few things you might want to consider:

Dealing with Stress

Trauma you experienced


Interpersonal relationships


Are you suffering from or suspect that you might have a mental health condition?

Do you feel overwhelmed with an emotional issue in your life that requires support and advice? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone could offer some guidance and comfort with it?

Once you know what you expect from therapy, be sure to communicate those objectives clearly to the therapist with whom you work.

Keep in mind that certain issues, like relationships and stress, may not require your therapist to have extensive specialized training; however, certain health conditions like depression may benefit from it.

If you’re unsure what to focus on but would still like to talk with someone, that’s perfectly acceptable. A qualified therapist will assist in identifying goals and working towards them through therapy.

Over time, they’ll provide you with skills and assurance to manage emotional difficulties on your own.

8. Ask Questions

Before selecting a therapist, ask them some questions about their credentials and experience. Gathering this information can help determine if this therapist is suitable for you.

Here are some questions you can ask:

What are your areas of expertise?

What type of therapy do you provide?

Do you possess any relevant expertise to assist people in similar circumstances?

Tell me more about your strategy.

How many years have you been practicing as a therapist?

The American Psychological Association (APA) also suggests asking therapists about their fees and whether they accept insurance.

9. Be willing to try several therapists

Finding the right match can take some trial and error. Many people find success through trial and error when seeking out their ideal therapist. The journey towards finding your ideal therapist may include several stops along the way.

However, having a therapist you connect with and enjoy working together can prove immensely beneficial in the long run.

In conclusion, finding the ideal therapist can be a long process; however, it is worth persevering for.

10. Explore Online Therapy

For many people, online therapy can be a valuable and accessible resource. It may especially be advantageous if there are no therapists nearby to offer support.

You can access online therapy through various apps.

Even with online counselling, it’s essential to find a licensed and specialized therapist to meet your needs. Make sure you select an app that only provides licensed practitioners.

Some online therapy apps give you the power to quickly leave a therapist if you’re not satisfied, and will even match you with another qualified therapist.

This is a major advantage, as online counselling services allow you to quickly and easily test out as many people as needed in order to find the ideal match.

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