How to Choose the Right Mental Health Therapist or Counselor

Choosing a mental health therapist is a big decision that requires significant consideration. With the right therapist, you can maintain your well-being and overcome obstacles that hold you back. When you know what to look for, you can choose a therapist that sets you on a path to a more productive, healthy you. 

What Makes a Great Mental Health Therapist? 

When finding a therapist, there is no one size fits all formula for choosing the right one. Therapists aren’t just people who sit and listen to your problems and concerns. They are professionally trained experts who can help you recognize negative patterns and change problematic behaviors. They also accept you for who you are while helping you fix the parts of you that you wish to improve. 

A good therapist will help you improve without judging you for your struggles. So, how do you find the right therapist for your needs? You’ll not only need to choose a therapist with solid credentials, but you’ll also need to find someone you can trust. Being selective in your choice can help you get the most out of your experience in therapy. Let’s explore what to look for in a therapist. 

1. Personality 

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One of the essential qualities you’ll need to look at is their personality. If you can’t click with your therapist, you won’t be able to be vulnerable and find success in therapy. Essentially, you should build a positive relationship with your therapist. Look for these qualities when finding the right fit:

  • Positive and supportive
  • Trustworthy
  • Authentic and knowledgeable
  • Believes in your abilities
  • Comforting 
  • Familiar with your identity

2. Licensed and Certified

Find a therapist who has the proper certifications and licensing for your needs. There are many mental health professionals with all different levels of accreditation and education. The higher the credentials, the more experience and understanding a therapist will have in treating various mental health conditions. 

3. Specialty

Finding a mental health professional specializing in specific areas benefits some patients. For example, our office has extensive experience treating patients with post-traumatic stress disorder. Different treatment approaches focus on particular areas, such as thoughts, emotions, and behaviors within different specialties. Some examples include:

  • Reconsolidation therapy
  • Cognitive behavior therapy
  • Exposure therapy
  • Client-centered therapy
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy

4. Insurance Coverage

Another thing you should consider is the cost of therapy. Most insurance companies cover mental health treatment. Find a therapist within your network who takes your insurance if finances are tight. Some therapists will also offer discounted out-of-pocket rates. Since therapy shouldn’t increase your life stressors, consider long-term benefits when weighing the costs. 

5. Scheduling

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You’ll also need to consider scheduling flexibility. The therapist you choose must see patients at a time that suits your schedule. Be sure their office location is within reasonable driving distance of your residence or employment. You can also consider online therapy. 

6. Life Stages or Cultural Backgrounds

 Finally, consider gender, sexual orientation, religion, race, ethnicity, and cultural background. Are you comfortable working with someone similar to you in these areas? Do you need someone who can understand your cultural challenges firsthand? Consider the age of the therapist and the typical age of the patients they treat. Some therapists specialize in children and teens, while others solely treat adults. 

Is It Time for Me to Consider a Therapist? 

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Now that you know what to look for in a therapist decide if it’s the right time for you to start treatment. Find a therapist who fits your needs if you’re living with depression, anxiety, relationship or family issues, mood changes, stress concerns, or any challenging life transition. Therapy requires work, dedication, and time. You’ll need to put in as much as possible to get the most out of your treatment. 

Find a Compassionate, Knowledgeable Therapist at My Recon

Deciding to start therapy is an excellent decision if you’re struggling. Contact our team today to learn more about our treatments and find a Vancouver therapist that fits your needs.

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