Finding the Perfect Therapist to Improve Your Mental Health

Finding the Perfect Therapist to Improve Your Mental Health

Millions of Americans are realizing the profound benefits therapy can have on their well-being. People seek therapy for depression, anxiety, relationship problems, or even daily maintenance of a hectic modern life. Whether you’re feeling stagnant with your current counselor or considering entering therapy for the first time, here are some things to keep in mind to get find a therapist who will help you nourish and cultivate your mental health.

The core of the counseling process is the relationship between therapist and client. Not only do you want your therapist to have proper credentials, but you must ensure that you get along on a personal level. This allows you to be more honest and open with your counselor. When looking for a therapist, initially approach your search as if you’re finding a new doctor. What school did they go to? Where are they licensed? How many years of experience in practice do they have? Do they have any particular expertise or professional interests that may be able to help you?

After making a list of therapists that meet your criteria, make some phone calls. Most counselors will be willing to have a conversation or two on the phone with you before you commit to making an appointment. These phone calls can serve two purposes: fleshing out details (confirming credentials, verifying insurance, getting directions to the office), and getting a feel for one another. You will likely be asked what has brought you to seek therapy, how you’re currently feeling, and how you found this particular therapist. You may be asked short questions about your mental health history. These initial phone consultations also allow you and the therapist to both get a sense of if you may be a good fit, personality-wise. You should be able get a first impression of the prospective therapist–it can be helpful to listen to your gut about this. If you are happy with their professional credentials, and feel like you are interested in meeting the therapist, go ahead and make an appointment.

You will then proceed to meeting the prospective therapist in-person and further getting to know each other. It is important to note that you may, after several sessions, decide that this therapist is not for you. If you feel like you and your therapist may not be a good fit, bring this up to your counselor–this is their job, after all–and discuss it. They may agree with you. Even if they do not, you have the option to end the therapeutic relationship at any time. Your mental health is the priority here.

Hopefully, though, you will begin to develop a healthy and beneficial relationship with your new therapist. After all, you’ve done your research and due diligence. Remember, all partnerships take time to blossom–even professional ones. Therapy can be difficult, and having a comfortable relationship with your mental health professional is extremely important to your progress. If you follow the above tips, you ensure that your new relationship sets foot on the most positive path possible.

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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.


  1. Lauren Woodley Reply

    Thank you for your insight on finding the right counselor. I have been struggling with something lately, and I have been thinking that it could be beneficial to get some help from a therapist. That being said, you talk about the core of this process is the relationship between the therapist and you, and I definitely agree because it will help me to open up and be more honest with the person I’m talking to and, ultimately, myself! Likewise, I think that the suggestion you give to make a list of therapists that meet your specific criteria and calling them was really helpful. This will definitely help you to receive good insight on how you communicate with the therapist and if you would be able to work well with them. Overall, I agree that it’s important to be happy with the person you are meeting with because this will facilitate healthy communication and positive results. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Nash Rich Reply

    At first, I didn’t think therapy could help me. Once I decided though that it could, I started to see improvements. It also helped when I found a counselor that had an emphasis in what I needed. I think checking to see if they’re licensed is also really important. You want someone that’s legit!

  3. Kairi Gainsborough Reply

    It is really good advice to call the therapists in your area to help you choose one that is a good fit. I haven’t tried counseling, but I have heard it is important to find a professional who will be a good fit with you. Besides looking at credentials, I’ll be sure to talk to the therapists over the phone before scheduling any meetings.

  4. Meagan Reply

    This is amazing advice for someone who nervous to seek counseling. I think it is very beneficial for people to see someone. I would agree with building a relationship with your therapist. I am not saying invite them over for dinner once a week but it is great to just go in start a conversation about what you did. You will be able to breakdown the walls and open up more.

  5. Nash Rich Reply

    I think finding the right therapist for you, is really important. I went to a couple therapists before I found a good one for me. It’s not that the other ones weren’t good, it just has to do with personality and perspectives, I think. I like that this brought that up. I never did the process explained on here, because I was just a kid, but I think looking around and talking on the phone is a great way to find who you’re looking for.

  6. George Reply

    Fascinating article, the demand for effective therapists and counsellors is quite clear. Whether you work for mental health, relationships or working with addiction, it is an area where there people are needed.

  7. Derek Mcdoogle Reply

    You stated that the core of the counseling process is the relationship between therapist and client. Do most therapists think developing a personal relationship with their clients will help them overcome their problems? My sister has been having a lot of anxiety attacks lately because of her financial problems and is in need of some help. Finding a counselor that she can connect with could be very beneficial.

  8. Olivia Nelson Reply

    I like your idea of having a conversation or two with a counsellor before you have a face to face visit with them. I would imagine that getting to know about someone over the phone would help you decide if you want to meet with them. My husband and I are looking for a counsellor for our son who suffers from anxiety so we’ll have to have a few phone calls with them before we meet with them face to face.

  9. Baxter Abel Reply

    I really appreciate what you said about the core of the counseling process being the relationship between therapist and client. A relative of mine saw a counselor after her divorce and the fact that she had a very close friendship with the counselor helped her recover very quickly and healthily from her divorce. In the future if I’m looking for a counselor I’ll be on the lookout for one I can become close to.

  10. Maggie Reply

    It’s good to know that psychologists can offer initial phone consultations to help you get a sense of them. That’s a really nice resource, especially since credentials can’t tell you about the personality or idiosyncrasies of the person you’re considering. Plus, phone consultations are great since you don’t have to worry about meeting them face-to-face early on. It doesn’t feel like a huge commitment to have one.

  11. Reginald Pennyworth Reply

    I think it’s super important that you get along with your therapist on a personal level as you stated! I have had multiple therapist and have been blessed to get along with most. Having that personal connection has been key in helping me overcome my personal issues.

  12. Kairi Gainsborough Reply

    I like what you said about finding a therapist that you get along with. In my life, I’m very particular about the people who I am able to open up to. I’ve never seen a psychologist or a therapist before, but I’m sure I would feel the same way about that. Making a phone call before setting up a meeting is a good way to figure out if you will get along or not.

  13. Dave Anderson Reply

    I agree that when dealing with things like anxiety it is essential to make sure that you have a therapist that can help you to feel better through counseling. I would look for a counselor that has experience in the field and that has been working for a long time. That way you will know that he/she has used multiple different tactics to be able to help his/her patients. Like you said, an over the phone interview or consultation would be a great way to know if the counselor you are looking at is a good one or not.

  14. Tiffany Locke Reply

    Your advice to make a list of therapists and then call them is a great idea. If you’re able to talk to them, it could help you figure out if they’re the right person to help you. When you’re talking to the therapists, you’d probably want to ask them if they’ve helped people with similar needs. Talking to them would also provide you with an opportunity to see how well you communicate with each other so that your sessions will go well.

  15. Afton Jackson Reply

    I never knew how important it is to choose a therapist that you can get along with at a personal level to because this relationship is the core of the counseling process. My sister has been having some issues with depression lately. Hopefully, she can use this info to find a pro that can help her feel happy again.

  16. Kylie Dotts Reply

    I like how you said that even after several sessions you may not feel like they are quite what you are looking for. Having the courage to let them know how you feel would be essential at this point to ensure that you get the help you need. If you are looking for therapy for women, for example, you may have to look around a bit before you find someone who you really feel understands where you’re coming from, so being patient could be key in getting you mentally healthy again.

  17. Taylor Bishop Reply

    I’m glad that you mentioned to call the counselors to get a feel for each other. This is a good way to see if they are the perfect fit for you. After all, every counselor works different, which is why it’s great that there are so many out there. There’s bound to be one that is perfect for any given situation.

  18. Max Reply

    We’ve been trying to find some family counseling for my brother and his wife, and I think that a therapist could be good for them as well. My brother has had some mental health issues in the past, so being able to have a family counseling service that could help them with their relationship while he’s working on himself could be good. We’re going to have to see if we can find some good counseling on both fronts and be sure that we do what we can to save their family!

  19. Rachel Frampton Reply

    I think what many people don’t realize is that they aren’t stuck with just one therapist. If they feel like the one they have isn’t working they can always find another. Insurance companies will usually work with you to help you find the right doctor to fit your needs. In the long run, getting the right help is more important than just staying with the status quo.

  20. Jordan Reply

    My wife has been thinking about going to family therapy, and I think that getting some tips would be good. I’m glad you talked about being able to make a list of therapy options that fit your criteria, which I think would be a good way to narrow down the search. I’m going to have to look into some different therapy options and see if we can find the right one for our family! Thanks!

  21. Derek Dewitt Reply

    My friend has been struggling with depression for a long time now, but I think she is finally ready to find someone to talk about it with. I like that you suggest calling a few counselors over the phone before making a commitment. I think this is a good way to narrow down your choices and choose someone you’re comfortable with.

  22. Ashley Turns Reply

    Since my brother has been suffering from some pretty severe depression, he is wondering how to find the best psychiatric services to start visiting. So I like your advice to call the therapists you are considering so that you can flesh out details more and get a feel for them. I will be sure to tell my brother that he should call some of the psychiatric services he is considering so that he can find one that fits his personality.

  23. Hannah Neilson Reply

    Thanks for the advice about considering if you want to call a therapist before you meet with them. Talking to them on the phone first would really help you get a feel for how they work. My son suffers from anxiety and we want to find a therapist for him. Before we do, we’ll have to give a few a call to find out about them.

  24. Bethany Birchridge Reply

    It’s great that this pointed out that the core of counseling and therapy comes from the bond between a therapist and client. If someone is not comfortable with their therapist, they may not share their troubles, meaning they can’t get the help they need. My friend has been having a hard time with her anxiety and depression, so we’ve been looking at different therapists. I’ll be sure to share these great tips with her, so thank you for sharing!

  25. Mark Murphy Reply

    I really appreciate your tip that it is okay to decide if a certain therapist isn’t for you! My wife and I have been thinking about getting a new therapist to help our daughter with some of her school stress. If she tells us that she doesn’t like her therapist, I will be sure to tell her that she is totally fine to feel that way!

  26. Katie Wilson Reply

    I agree that you want to have conversations over the phone with a few different therapists before choosing one. It would make sense to call and get to know them a bit before you choose the one for you. My husband and I are looking for someone to help with our son’s depression, so we’ll have to make a few calls first.

  27. Jocelyn McDonald Reply

    My sister has always struggled with depression and anxiety, and I suggested she see a therapist to help her overcome these mental illnesses. Your article had some great tips for choosing a therapist that could help my sister, and I liked how you said to contact a potential hire to figure out details like credentials, insurance, and directions. Thanks; I’ll share this with my sister to help her choose a great therapist for her mental illnesses.

  28. Derek Dewitt Reply

    Work has already been taking a huge toll on me this year so I am considering getting counseling at some point. I like your point about choosing a therapist with lots of credentials. I’ll be sure to ask about their education and experience as I’m screening different therapists so I can find the best fit for me.

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