Starting therapy

How To Find The Right Therapist

There are four W’s and one H in how to find the right therapist:  when, where, who, why, how much

When should you get therapy?  Well, there is the easy answer:  when people tell you that you need one!  But that probably won’t tell you exactly when to seek therapy.  It’s when you can’t shake off feelings of depression and anxiety.  It’s when your friends tell you that you need to do something to get you “back to yourself.”  

It’s when your boss tells you that your job is at risk.  It’s when your relationships with your spouse and kids are going downhill.  It’s when you’re using drugs and alcohol to get through the day.  Get therapy when you answer “now” to three or four of these “when” statements. 

Where probably sounds like a strange question.  But it makes sense when you think about a commute.  Let’s say that you have to travel 2 hours to get to a therapist.  Too much, right?  How about 1 hour?  Better, but it’s still a big chunk of your day.  30 minutes?  

OK, that’s about right.  But how about 15 minutes?  Now, that sounds great.  Where has to do with trying to fit in therapy with everything that you’re doing.  Getting stressed because you have a long commute to get therapy may cause more problems than it solves.

Who should be your therapist?  It’s a tougher question.  You’re looking for a fit between you and the therapist.  Consider gender, age, experience, education, location, and so on.  Basically, it’s a matter of finding someone who meets your needs.  It may not be possible to find a perfect match.  In that case, it’s finding someone who is good enough.  And if it’s just not right, time to find some other therapist.

Why do you need therapy?  The question becomes important you need a therapist who is good at doing the right kind of therapy for your needs.  There’s no point in getting a therapist who can’t do what you need to have done.  I list some common types of therapy at  It may be finding someone with the right type of experience and training in doing the right kind of therapy that you need.

How much?  This is a tricky question.  Take an easy question:  how much do you spend for expensive coffee each month?  It all adds up.  What do you pay to have your car fixed?Medical expenses?  It’s about priorities.  If therapy really is important, then it should be high up on your priority list.  

OK, now that you know how to find the right therapist, it’s time to start choosing one.  An easy place to start is at Crossroads Counseling and Wellness.    It has a list of resources that can help you get started.