How to Find The Right Therapist?

Last Updated on September 16, 2023

Finding the right therapist can be challenging. Especially if this is the first time you have seen a therapist. Therefore, before you learn how to find a therapist, you must know why you are seeking therapy. 

Some of the things you will learn as you read on are:

  • The type of therapy you may need
  • The right time to see a therapist
  • Tips on what to do during your first session
  • How to find a therapist for the first time

What is Therapy?

Therapy simply means proffering a solution to a mental, emotional, or psychological problem by talking to a professional or group of people. Therapy is also referred to as psychotherapy, counseling, or talk therapy. 

There is much more to therapy than lying on a couch and holding a stress ball while talking to a professional who takes notes. This is a treatment that is used not only to solve mental problems but to solve different daily problems as well. For example, therapy can help with ups and downs, marriages, conflicts, and so on. 

What Types of Therapy are There? Determine What Kind of Help You Need

People suffer from different psychological, emotional, or mental problems. There are different types of therapy employed to treat various conditions. The common type of therapies include:

1. Psychoanalysis and Psychodynamic Therapies

These therapy types deal with how your childhood thoughts and perceptions affect your current behaviors or thoughts. Sigmund Freud pioneered psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapy, one of the most popular types of therapy. 

In psychoanalysis therapies, the patient tells the therapist about their thoughts and experience. The therapist will listen to the patient intently and try to understand their current problem based on their thoughts and childhood experiences. 

Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapies help people become more aware of their unconscious thoughts or inner self to make them understand their problems and how they affect their lifestyle and relationship. 

These therapies are used to treat individuals with the following problems:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Personality disorders

2. Humanistic Therapy

Humanistic therapy is used to help people discover their strengths and potential. It is based on the approach that people have free will, and with the right motivation, they can reach their full potential. This kind of therapy does not focus on treating psychological or mental problems.

A humanistic therapist listens to the client intently and acknowledges their experience without passing judgment. The therapist will be empathic and try to understand the client based on their point of view. It offers support and guidance and helps clients understand their experiences better.

Humanistic therapy can be used to solve the following problems:

  • Self-esteem issues
  • Anxiety issues
  • Relationship issues 

3. Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy is used to treat mental health issues.  The treatment focuses on reasons for a particular behavior or pattern and how to replace them with good ones. One of the founders of behavioral Therapy is Ivan Pavlov, and it is subdivided into cognitive behavioral therapy CBT and dialectical behavioral therapy DBT.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is Cognitive behavioral therapy used to address unhealthy thought patterns of a person. It is based on the approach that people begin to experience psychological distress that can lead to mental issues after going through certain unhelpful feelings or beliefs over time. 

CBT is a short-term approach to treating mental health problems. Other forms, like exposure therapy, treat PTSD, OCD, and phobia.

The therapist takes a more authoritative approach during CBT and helps the client identify unhealthy thought patterns. Then, the therapist will guide the client on how to replace unhealthy habits with positive ones.

CBT is used to treat the following problems:

  • Eating disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • OCD
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

DBT is another form of behavioral therapy developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan, and it is used to treat Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Emotional regulation, mindfulness, and acceptance are the priority of Dialectical behavioral therapy. The goal of DBT is to help the patient recognize their thoughts and develop skills to help them cope with their challenges.

4. Couple Therapy

Couple therapy is talk therapy for couples looking to strengthen or solve problems in their relationship. It identifies and replaces negative patterns in marriages and relationships. Couple therapy is also referred to as couple counseling, and it is a popular type of therapy because of the increasing number of failed relationships.

According to the method used by Carl Rogers and Virginia Satir, active listening is one of the approaches employed by the therapist during couple therapy. The therapist will help the couple create an environment where they listen to each other and can express their feelings. The therapist will also proffer solutions for the couple by using techniques like teaching anger management, financial management, and conflict resolution skills. 

couple therapy

Couple Therapy is used to solve problems in relationships like:

  • Lack of trust or intimacy 
  • Lack of communication between couples
  • Conflicts and toxicity between couples
  • Loss of a child or pet
  • Distance between couples
  • Finances

5. Addiction Therapy

Addiction is a harmful condition that leads to an unhealthy lifestyle. It can be in different forms, like substance addiction or behavioral addiction. Substance addiction includes alcohol or drug abuse, while behavioral addiction can be sex, gambling, or gaming. Addition Therapy is used to treat all these types of addiction. 

Addiction therapy refers to the various intervention methods employed to treat addictions. The different techniques used for addiction therapy include 

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This is to help the patient know the reason for urges and triggers and how to replace negative thoughts.  
  • Coping Mechanisms: To help the patient deal with cravings and triggers.
  • Family Therapy: One of the goals of family therapy is to create a support system for the patient.   
  • Contingency Mechanism: This approach rewards the patient for abstinence. 

6. Integrative or Holistic Therapy

Integrative or holistic therapy involves using more than one approach to proffer a solution to the patient. Many therapists adopt this method and employ traditional and non-traditional techniques to treat clients. For example, a therapist can use meditation and therapy to treat a patient suffering from anxiety.

When is the Right Time to Go to a Therapist?

The best way to improve your mental health is to see a therapist when facing life challenges and emotional difficulties. Therapy will help improve your mental health conditions more than medications alone.

It may be difficult to accept that we might need help or watch our loved ones go through mental challenges. It is necessary to see a therapist when experiencing any of the following:

  • Feeling overwhelmed and stressed
  • Fatigue
  • Extreme Anger
  • Agoraphobia
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of purpose
  • Failing relationship
  • Social withdrawal
  • Domestic violence

How to Find a Therapist for the First Time?

Finding a therapist for the first time is challenging as so many people do not go around talking about how good their therapist is because of the fear of stigmatization. Therefore, you must find a qualified therapist with good professional ethics. Furthermore, you should feel comfortable talking to your therapist. Here are some ways how to find a good therapist:

1. Set Your Goal

Identifying the type of therapy you intend to undergo is the first step. The type of therapy you choose can depend on your need. For example, the method to be applied to someone struggling with depression or anxiety or who wants to strengthen their relationship will be different, so the specialty therapist you will go to will also be different.

2. Ask Your Doctor

Medical doctors are a good resource when it comes to looking for therapists. Doctors can make a good referral and tell you the type of therapy you should take. In addition, your doctor can tell you the therapist that accepts your insurance plan. 

3. Search From A Reliable Therapist Directory

The internet is one of the places you can find a good therapist by using a reliable therapist directory. Hypnotes offers a therapist directory that can make your search easier and smoother. The directory makes your search easy by providing the therapists’ location, specialization, skills, and work history. 

Hypnotes therapist directory has high standards and provides the best therapists with professional licenses and credentials. With years of experience working with clients with ADHD, trauma, anxiety, and family issues, hypnotherapists have been successful in helping patients resolve these types of problems.

4. Search From Local Sources

Referrals from trusted family or friends are another way to get a good therapist. You can search your local networks, like your school, religious gatherings, or insurance company. 

5. Ask Organizations Related to the Field That You Are Looking for a Therapist

There are different organizations or associations for what you are going through; you can ask for a local therapist by asking these organizations. For instance, If you want to quit smoking, you can contact the Tobacco Control Organization for a list of therapists near you.

6. Check Credentials

While checking for a suitable therapist, you should always check their credentials to know if they are licensed to work in your state. In addition, some types of therapy, like exposure therapy, require special certifications. Therefore, you should look for such credentials when going for such treatment. 

7. Ask for the Price

Always ask your potential therapist questions, most importantly, their price or rate. It is important to know whether your health plan covers the cost. In addition, you can ask other important questions like their state license, years of experience, the success rate with people with similar issues, etc.

How to Find a Therapist Covered by Insurance?

Getting a therapist can be expensive, and many people find it difficult to pay outrightly. You can offset the cost by getting a therapist covered by insurance. Getting a therapist covered by your insurance can be difficult because about 40% of therapists are in-network. Here is how to find a therapist covered by insurance:

1. Contact Your Insurance

Contact your insurance to make inquiries about your health plan. Ask your provider if your plan covers mental health treatment. You could ask the human resources department for details of mental health benefits if you got your insurance through work.

Your insurance provider should provide a directory for in-network therapists based on your location and needs. After getting a couple of potential therapists to choose from, take the following steps before choosing the right therapist for you:

  • Call the therapist’s office to confirm the information provided by your insurance provider. 
  • Book a free 15-minute consultation with the therapist to talk about your sessions, their style, and payment plan.
  • When choosing your therapist, be sure you pick a therapist you are comfortable talking to.

2. Online Therapy

Covid-19 Pandemic has increased the demand for online therapy. This has caused many insurance companies to add online therapy to their plan. Telehealth via the Internet can be as effective as in-person therapy. 

What to Do for the First Session?

After you have found the therapist you want, the next step is to work towards getting help. It is normal to feel nervous and frightened for the first time. One vital task is you have to work together with the therapist to become better and get your expected results.

Here are some tips on what to do for the first session.

  • Set goals for yourself
  • Have realistic expectations
  • Be open and Honest
  • Schedule a convenient time
  • Be patient; change takes time
  • Ask questions as often as you want

Should You Continue with the Sessions, Look for a New Therapist, or Stop Getting Treatment?

It can be frustrating when therapy is not working for you. In ideal situations, treatment takes time before you start seeing improvements. But, on the other hand, you might not be seeing the right therapist for you, which means you have to keep looking.

Therapy should always be an option if you are still going through the same symptoms. Look out for a therapist with experience dealing with your type of issue but do not stop getting treatment. A different therapist with a different approach might bring better results.


Therapy involves dissecting feelings and behaviors and examining patterns, whether it is for individuals or couples. The benefits of therapy depend on what you put into it, but if you are dedicated and driven, treatment can be very effective (online or in person). As a result, you may feel empowered, restored, and at peace.

When choosing a therapist, remember that it can be difficult, but it will be worth your time and attention in the end. Do not lose hope if it does not work out; try another therapist! You will definitely find a mental health professional out there.