Therapy is a collaborative enterprise between you and the therapist, which means that the freedom to discuss uncomfortable and conflicting feelings in an open and trusting atmosphere is vital. As a result, psychotherapy depends just as much upon the comfort and chemistry between therapist and client as it does on the therapist's knowledge and expertise.
Before calling to set up an appointment with a therapist, spend a little time thinking about any factors or qualities in a therapist that may be important to you. Some questions you might want to think about are:
You can use our search tools to find a clinician whose qualities and specialties match your requirements.
Once you have made an appointment, you may want to approach the first session as a mutual evaluation. The therapist will be making a professional assessment of whether he or she can meet your needs. You can use the first session to get some initial impressions about the fit between you and the therapist.
Some people like to "shop around," having first sessions with two or three different therapists. Others feel they can trust their instincts if the first session feels like a comfortable fit. Therapists are comfortable with either approach; they do, however, appreciate knowing if you are "shopping."