Reverse PsychologyIt’s becoming increasingly popular to look for a therapist on the Internet. But how can you tell if a therapist is any good by reading their bio or looking at their picture? What are important things to look for?

Here are some important tips to help you find the perfect therapist. Keep in mind that research tells us that it is a therapist’s ability to build a genuine, trusting and meaningful relationship that is most likely to lead to client satisfaction. It has less to do with their training, orientation, or degree level.

Easy Steps

1. Use the therapist finders on the left hand column to locate therapists in your area. Keep in mind that if you go weekly, you’ll want your therapist to be close to your home or work.

2. Limit the list to things that are must haves: gender, age, rate and availability, insurance coverage.

3. Make a short list of at least five therapists and call them. How do they sound on their outgoing message? Do they return your call promptly? Do you feel comfortable with them on the phone? Ask them questions about their practice, how long they’ve been practicing, do they specialize in anything? Give them an idea of what you would be coming for and ask for their input.

4. Set up introductory sessions with at least three therapists. During these sessions see how you feel. Are you comfortable, is this the kind of person you can see yourself spilling your guts with, do you feel respected and important? A good therapist will make you feel heard, understood and hopeful in that first session. If you aren’t feeling this right away, move on!

5. Sleep on it. We tend to make good, solid decisions after a good night’s sleep. Pick your therapist and make your first appointment!

And that’s it! While it’s not always necessary to be this exhaustive, this is a sure fire way to find the therapist that is most likely to meet your needs. Just keep in mind that the key ingredient is your comfort level. If you don’t feel safe right away, chances are you won’t, and looking for someone that does can save you a lot of time, and money!

Good luck, and feel free to call or email if you need help or referrals.

Chris Tickner is a Pasadena psychotherapist, child therapist, and clinical supervisor practicing holistic psychotherapy, where he combines mindfulness psychotherapy,  somatic therapy, neuroscience, and good old fasion humor and compassion to form a a powerful treatment that is transformative and holistic.  There are thousands of California psychotherapists, and finding a counselor or finding a therapist can be daunting. On his website, Chris provides a primer to help you find the therapist that is perfect for you! Chris is also a Pasadena therapist specializing in anxiety psychotherapy and depression psychotherapy.