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Choosing a Therapist

Selecting a therapist who is the right fit is important because the most vital aspect in a therapy relationship is the comfort and confidence you have with the therapist. A therapist who works well with one person may not be the best choice for another person, so you may want to consider the following information when choosing a therapist.

What is therapy?

Therapy is a relationship between an individual and a licensed professional who is trained to help people understand their feelings and change their behavior. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that one-third of adults in the United States experience emotional distress or substance abuse, and millions of people have found relief from these problems through attending therapy.

Why look for a therapist?

People consider therapy for many reasons, including:

  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Difficulty in day-to-day functioning
  • Harmful actions directed at themselves or others
  • Concern for a family member, friend or coworker

Getting started

As you begin your search for a therapist, you may want to use the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) counseling services. Based on your insurance and personal needs, the EAP can help you find therapists in the Austin area, and can even coach you on how to interview them to determine if they are the right fit for you. You may also want to simply consider getting therapist referrals from the following sources:

  • Friends and family members
  • Physicians or health care professionals
  • Spiritual or religious leaders
  • EAP professionals

Questions to ask potential therapists

When interviewing a potential therapist over the phone, you will probably want to briefly describe your problem and ask the following questions:

  • What is your approach to working with people who are dealing with my problem?
  • How have you worked with other people who have similar problems to mine?
  • What is your experience in working with my type of problem?
  • How often would we meet?
  • What are your credentials?
  • How long have you been practicing?
  • What is your area of specialization?