3 Factors I Consider When Choosing A Therapist

3 Factors I Consider When Choosing A Therapist

*This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment with a healthcare professional. 
3 Factors I Consider When Choosing A Therapist

Today I thought that I would discuss choosing a therapist. These statements come from my experience. Choosing my therapist was scary, but some of the things I considered made the process easier to get through.

So, I chose my first one-on-one therapist around the age of 19. I had just returned to Maryland from college in Pennsylvania. I had left the fun of college and all my Resident Assistant responsibilities and came home. 

Honestly, it was the best thing for me because I had begun to experience some agoraphobia. I was afraid to leave my dorm room. I stopped going to the cafeteria, going to class, and going to meetings. It was time for me to get down to what I was struggling with, get help, and talk to someone professional.    

Factor One For Choosing My Therapist

The first factor my mother, father, and I considered was what therapists we knew. My mother was familiar with a female LCSW who had worked with the family in the past. She was also great with girls who were around my age. That was a bonus, so she received a big checkmark of YES. 

RECAP: My factor number one is to go to a referred therapist or the family’s former therapist.

Factor Two For Choosing My Therapist

The next factor is the flow of our conversation. It is imperative that I feel comfortable opening up to a therapist. Generally, once I complete the initial evaluation and come back for the second session, I can soundly decide if they will be a good fit. 

I’m looking to feel the following:

  1. Unjudged
  2. Heard
  3. Understood
  4. Respected of my values and faith
  5. Advocated for

Here’s a word of advice from myself, a patient:

“Don’t throw in the towel on your therapist search too quickly. Do what some may call shop around. Don’t give up on finding the professional who can assist in your healing.”

RECAP: My factor number two is comfortability with the therapist.

Factor Three For Choosing My Therapist

Finally, factor three is “Will I see success with this therapist?” Just as I value the conversation with the therapist, the effectiveness of my sessions is key. 

This final factor is crucial. I do not want to waste time and money in inadequate therapy sessions when I should be healing. 

Most sessions I expect to leave with:

  1. a question to consider
  2. problem-solving skills
  3. an assignment
  4. a breakthrough
  5. newfound hope 

If I consistently see that this is not happening, I will consider alternatives. The one thing I will never do is completely cut off therapy. I believe in it too much. Therapy is a part of my mental wellness toolbox.

RECAP: My factor number three is the effectiveness of the sessions.


I hope that this post gave you some ideas for when you need to choose a therapist. Again, this is my personal experience, so I want to leave you with scholarly sources for more in-depth information.

  • American Psychological Association. (2019, October 17). How to choose a psychologist.


  • National Alliance On Mental Illness. Popular Types Of Psychotherapy.


  • National Alliance On Mental Illness. Types Of Mental Health Professionals. 


many blessings

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