How to Choose a Therapist

Picking the Right Professional

Looking for a new therapist? With some careful planning and support from others, you can take the next step in your mental health journey with confidence!


The first step to finding the right therapist for you is to get specific. Define your areas of concern, and decide what goals you want to accomplish through therapy. You can also begin to narrow your search by learning more about specific types of therapy. For example, you might consider cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to better understand and address recurring thoughts or behaviors, or group therapy might be the best option for you if you want to build community with individuals facing similar challenges.

illustration of man venting to his therapist

Some Types of Therapy to Consider:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – structured, oftentimes short-term therapy with a focus on understanding and responding to recurring thoughts, feelings, and behaviors

Psychodynamic Therapy – a form of talk therapy with a focus on increased self-understanding

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – a form of behavior therapy focused on self-acceptance and coping skills

Exposure Therapy – intervention strategy used to systematically confront fears and challenge patterns of avoidance

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy – trauma-informed therapy aiming to decrease emotional distress through talk and rhythmic eye-movement stimulation

Interpersonal Therapy – short-term therapy used to address social concerns and relational issues

Group Therapy – form of therapy designed to create support and connections between individuals with similar challenges


Explore online databases like and, or use local community resources to start your search. Ask trusted family or friends for help and support while you find therapists and schedule your intake appointment.


Questions to Ask Your Therapist:

  • What certification or degrees do you currently hold?
  • What are your specialties?
  • How long have you worked in this field?
  • Have you worked with someone with areas of concern similar to mine?
  • How will treatment actually change the challenges I’m currently facing?
  • How many therapy sessions will treatment consist of?
  • How will we assess my progress in therapy?
  • How much will treatment cost?

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