Choosing a Therapist

To get the most out of psychotherapy it is important to find the right therapist for you

Choosing a therapist
To get the most out of psychotherapy it is important to find the right therapist for you. You need to trust them and they need to come to understand you in order help you explore your problems.

When searching UKCP’s Find a Therapist - our database of therapists, think about:

  • Whether you would like to see a therapist who specialises in a particular problem or issue
  • Whether you are interested in a specific type of therapy
  • Whether you would prefer to see a man or a woman

Initial phone call
When you have found a potential therapist it is a good idea to talk to them on the telephone. You can find out whether the therapist feels able to help you with your problem and discuss practical matters such as whether they have appointments at a time and place that suits you and how much they charge. A phone conversation will also give you a sense of what the therapist is like and whether you would feel comfortable working with them.

Therapists often use answering machines to avoid interruptions during their client sessions, so don’t be surprised if you don’t reach your chosen therapist straight away. Leave a message and they will return your call.

Meeting the therapist
You can meet your first choice of therapist for a single session to talk about what you are looking for from therapy and find out about their training and experience. This will help you to decide whether they are the right therapist for you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for more information before you make up your mind.

Before agreeing to see a particular therapist, ask yourself:

  • Would you feel comfortable telling them about intimate details of your life?
  • Do you feel safe with them?
  • Do you like their manner towards you?
  • Could you be completely open with them?

Many people don’t find the right therapist first time. If this happens to you, it is not your fault. You have already decided you would benefit from therapy, so it is worth trying again.