If you are just starting your search for a therapist, make sure you take time to explore our top ten things to look for in a therapist. This blog can help you find the right therapist to help you achieve your goals.

1 – Training & Education

At the very least, your therapist should have the necessary training and education before offering therapy services. In most cases, you can easily find this information by searching the therapist’s name on their practice website.

2 – Area of Specialization

Like physicians, therapists typically specialize in certain areas. You may want to look for a practitioner who regularly works with people who are struggling with concerns similar to your own. This ensures they have the experience to provide the right type of therapy to help you make progress.

3 – Therapy Approach

This one may not be as important to you. If a therapist thinks a certain style or approach to therapy will benefit you, it likely will. However, if there is a specific therapy approach that you’re interested in, you should make sure that the therapist you choose uses this counseling style.

4 – Types of Therapy Sessions

In addition to the concerns they address and the types of therapy they offer, you may also want to consider how the therapist offers sessions. Therapy sessions may be offered in person, online, or a combination of both. You may also want to look into offerings like relationship and family therapy sessions.

5 – Comfortable Therapy Environment

This is the first of our top ten things that you are unlikely to know for sure before your first therapy session, but it can also be one of the most important to the long-term success of your counseling sessions. You want to make sure you feel comfortable in the space where the therapy sessions are offered.

6 – Good Listening & Observing Skills

During your intake appointment and early therapy sessions, you want to make sure that the therapist seems to be listening to what you say and making accurate observations. Most importantly, you want to make sure the counselor is able to reflect what is heard and observed back to help you dive deeper to increase self-awareness, process emotions, and begin working to achieve your goals.  

7 – Reliable

After the first few sessions, you can determine whether your therapist seems reliable. Do they show up for session on time? Are they always running late, so you’re stuck in the waiting room? Have they rescheduled multiple times? Do they seem to forget who you are between each session? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may need to consider a different therapist.

8 – They Can Be Real Themselves

It is hard to spill your deepest thoughts and feelings to someone who seems inauthentic. Finding a therapist who is willing to admit they are imperfect and may not always know everything is important. It’s easier to trust someone who can really be themselves with you and inspire you to do the same.

9 – Maintains Ethical Boundaries

This one should be obvious. Maybe it shouldn’t even need to be mentioned, but your therapist needs to maintain ethical boundaries. If you feel like your therapist has crossed an ethical boundary, you definitely need to seek a different clinician. 

10 – Makes Sharing Easy

Finally, you want to find a therapist who makes you feel completely at ease when you share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences with them. This can take some time, even with the best therapists, but if you’ve had several sessions with the therapist and you still do not feel at ease with them, they may not be a good fit.

Bonus – It is Easy to Get Started

Finally, you may want to find a therapist who makes it easy to get started working with them. At the Behavioral Health Alliance, we make getting started working with our therapists simple. You just need to complete our contact form, call (952) 652-3439, or email [email protected] More importantly, we have a team of skilled therapists who bring a variety of perspectives, training, and experience to our office who can provide counseling solutions to meet your unique needs.