Finding the right therapist: One thing you need to follow

I love this topic because it involves one of my favorite ways to know about something.

Before I get to that, I am going to share something with you ….

I’ve been on both sides of the room in therapy. I’m a therapist now, but I also have spent time on the other side of the room as a client.


Andrew Black via Compfight                                                   

I know firsthand that finding the right therapist is the most important part of successful therapy. You can go to the most popular, buzzed-about therapist, but if it’s not a good fit, you’ll be less than buzzed.

I went to a few who felt totally wrong.

The first therapist was a guy with a snazzy downtown address. Once I stepped into his office, I immediately felt out of place. He listened silently as I poured out my heart out. At the end, he said “You’re depressed and need medication.” That was all he said. (Check, please.)

I tried a female therapist, thinking that I’d feel more comfortable with a woman. She was OK, but her office had such harsh overhead fluorescent lights that I left with a headache, never to return.

One ate her dinner while she listened to me. And still another wrote his notes while I talked.

None of these therapists felt right. My intuition said no.

Then there were the other 2 — at separate times for separate issues. C was older with lots of experience, and B was recently out of grad school. Through their words, body language and office environment, I felt safely held. I knew that I’d be able to work on whatever I needed.

My intuition said yes.

So here’s my best advice:

  1. Check out a few therapists.
  2. Call them. If the conversation feels right, go for an initial session.
  3. Then check in with yourself. Trust your intuition. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t go back.
  4. Repeat until your intuition says yes.

If you’ve tried therapy and want to share positive and/or negative experiences, leave a comment. I love to hear from you.

6 thoughts on “Finding the right therapist: One thing you need to follow

  1. Anu

    I’m glad that you wrote about this topic. I agree that it is extremely important, but yet sometimes it seems to me that it gets overlooked in practice. it is important for us to advocate for ourselves and create the environment that we seek to do the important work of self-development.

  2. Sarah

    I wonder what the therapist was thinking that made it fine for her to eat dinner during your therapy session. How strange. I wanted to chime in here and say that what you wrote can also apply to finding the right psychiatrist. I once saw a doctor who smoked a cigarette during our session. Who does that?!

    1. admin Post author

      Holy Toledo, Sarah! Smoking during a session?! That’s *really* inappropriate.

      And, yes, you are 100% right — the same process applies to psychiatrists and anyone who is providing care for your health. Good point.

      Hope you found a better psychiatrist.


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