Finding the right therapist is a personal choice. In fact, much research shows that the best predictor of therapy success is the quality of the therapist-patient relationship. Only you can pick your ideal therapist - but we make this choice easier for you here.
Here's a simple step-by-step guide you can follow.
First, we recommend doing a bit of research about therapy. Try to identifiy your challenge (e.g. depression, anxiety, trauma etc.) and see what's recommended as treatment methods. This can make it easier to choose a therapists as you can then look for someone who treats this and rule out all other therapists. Also, it helps knowing a bit about the therapy process itself before you dive straight into it. However, this is by no means necessary if you're in urgent need of help. If you just connect with a therapist, they can personally give you the ins and outs of it all.
Secondly, browse our list of therapists to find one that looks suitable for you. Now you have a better idea of what therapy is about and what you might need, you may find it a bit easier to rule out some of them. For example, are you looking to speak to someone about a specific issue you’re dealing with?
On our ‘find a therapist’ page you’ll find a drop-down menu of various ‘challenges’ which might help you identify what you’d like to focus your session on (e.g. relationship issues, addiction) or perhaps you feel overwhelmed by lots of things, in which case you can select ‘I just want to talk’.
Other factors that might be important to you are whether you’d feel more comfortable working with a male or a female, whether you’d prefer to speak to someone older or a similar age to you and whether you’d prefer in-person, video, voice or chat sessions with your counsellor. Your can pick those - and other - preferences by clicking ‘more search options’ beneath the main drop-down challenge search.
Once you’ve selected your preferred criteria from the drop-down menu, you’ll be presented with a choice of therapists. Have a read through a few profiles and use your intuition to see who you feel drawn to. Other factors may become important at this stage too, like how much money you’re willing to spend on a session. Perhaps you’d like the option of having a face-to-face session as well as online sessions now and then. In this case, their location will be an important aspect to consider. If having a session as soon as possible is important, it’ll be useful to check the therapist's ‘response time’ and availability in their calendar to see if it suits your schedule.
It’s completely free to message therapists and perfectly acceptable to ‘shop’ around, so you may want to message a few to see who feels ‘right’ for you before committing to a session. It might be helpful for you to jot down some notes when considering each of your preferences so that the first communication you have with your therapist(s) is as clear as possible. Unfortunately a ‘hello, can you help me?’ doesn’t give the therapist much to go on, so try to be as honest, direct and clear as possible about what you’re currently going through, how it’s making you feel, how it impacts your life and what changes you’d like to see in your future. Don’t be afraid to ask them about their expertise and experience in the area you’d like to work on or any other questions you have about the counselling process.
We wish you the best of luck in finding a good therapist fit for you. It's not easy to dive into, but we know therapy changes lives for the better so it's more than worth your effort.