Finding a therapist who is the “right fit”

I know starting therapy can feel scary and vulnerable. It’s important to find the “right fit” when searching for a therapist as it can feel discouraging if you meet with a therapist and don’t “click.” This doesn’t mean that therapy isn’t for you! This could just be a difference in personality or preference in therapeutic techniques. Here are some tips to help find the “right fit” for you:

There are several avenues for finding a therapist. Search engines, such as Psychology Today, TherapyDen, and Google are good places to start. Psychology Today and TherapyDen are online therapist directories that allow you to filter therapists by your age, presenting problem, location, insurance accepted, and several other criteria as well as see their photos and read their bios to get an idea of who might be a good fit for your specific needs.

Narrow down your search:

Age: Are you seeking therapy for yourself? Your child? Not every therapist works with every age group, so make sure to choose one who specializes in working with the age group you’re seeking, whether that’s toddlers, children, preteens, teens, adults, or elders. Also, not every therapist works with couples or provides group therapy, so be sure the therapist you’re seeking provides what you’re looking for, whether that’s individual, couples, group, or family therapy.

Presenting problem: Anxiety, depression, grief, self-esteem, etc. It’s important to choose a therapist who specializes in or has experience working with other clients struggling with similar issues that you’re hoping to work on in therapy. Having these issues listed under a therapist’s expertise as well as discussed in their bios is a good sign that the therapist has experience and specialization in these topics.

Location: Do you want in-person sessions near you or are you open to virtual sessions? Therapists are licensed by state, so this opens options to see any therapist licensed in the state of Texas. You can either narrow your search by cities near you for in person or you can search within the state of Texas for virtual therapist options.

Cost: Do you have an insurance you’re wanting to use? If so, ensure you’re narrowing your search to therapists in-network with your insurance. If you don’t plan on using insurance, what is your budget? Therapists will list their private pay rates and some offer superbills, which the client can submit to their insurance for potential reimbursement if the therapist is out-of-network with their plan.

Read through several therapist bios to see which ones “click” with you.

Research the types of therapy these therapists utilize to ensure they are your preferred methods. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), and Person-Centered Therapy (Rogerian Therapy) are just a few types of therapies. Some therapy types are more directive and some are more client-led. Determine which you feel would be the best style for you when choosing a therapist.

Ask for a free 15-minute phone consultation to have an opportunity to speak with the therapist prior to booking a session and ensure you and the therapist would be good fits for each other. This is a great time to ask any questions you might have about what therapy looks like with this therapist and to ensure the therapist specializes in or has experience working with other clients struggling with similar issues that you’re hoping to work on in therapy.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to a few different therapists. This is a great way to determine which one seems like the best fit prior to meeting for an initial session. Then you can reach back out to your preferred therapist to schedule an initial session after you’ve spoken to a few different options.

I hope this helps the process that can feel daunting of finding a therapist that is the “right fit” for you!