There is art and science involved in finding a therapist, kind of like finding a good romantic partner. The best way to create a short list is to ask friends, family, colleagues, or care providers if they have any recommendations. There are also many resources available online, including individual websites and searchable databases like PsychologyToday, which allow you to generate a list of therapists that meet certain criteria.

We encourage you to reach out to a couple of therapists in order to decide who feels like the best fit. You can do this by phone, or you can set up appointments to determine how it would feel to work with certain people. Ask yourself: Can I see myself opening up to this person? Do they appear professional, authentic, and straightforward? Can they explain their approach to therapy in ways I can understand? Does this person’s practice fit my budget and my schedule?

Just remember, even a therapist with a great reputation may rub you the wrong way. A strong alliance between therapist and client is the single best predictor of treatment success, so take the time to find a therapist you can trust, one with whom you feel understood, comfortable, and secure.