How to Choose a Therapist

The following questions can help you determine whether or not a mental health counselor fits your needs.

•  Do they accept your health insurance?

•  How much will you have to pay?

•  Do they have the education, credentials, and recent training to treat you?

•  Is the therapist licensed?

•  How quickly can you be seen by the therapist?

•  How can you get in touch with the therapist between appointments?

•  Will they refer you to someone else if you need additional help?

•  Can they prescribe medicine?

•  Can they admit you to a hospital or treatment center?

•  What hospitals or treatment centers do they have privileges in?

•  What will you have to do during treatment? What will they do?

•  Do people whom you trust recommend this therapist?

•  What type of client do they feel they work best with?

•  Does the therapist limit his/her practice to a specific type of client (children, women, family)?

•  What type of treatment approach does the therapist use?

•  What kind of experience have they had with a problem like yours?

•  Do they offer group and/or family sessions? n How long (typically) will you need to see a counselor for problems similar to yours?

•  How far do you have to travel to see the counselor?

•  Do they have an appointment time that works for you?

•  How much advance notice is needed to reschedule or cancel a session?

•  Will you still be charged if you can’t make your scheduled session regardless of the reason?

Also consider the type of therapist you think you would prefer.

•  Would you be more comfortable with a man or woman?

•  Is the counselor’s age a factor? Would you prefer someone older or younger than you?

•  Does it matter to you whether or not the counselor is married, with or without children?

•  Is the counselor’s ethnicity or sexual orientation a factor?

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


The American Institute for Preventive Medicine (AIPM) is not responsible for the availability or content of external sites, nor does AIPM endorse them. Also, it is the responsibility of the user to examine the copyright and licensing restrictions of external pages and to secure all necessary permission.


The content on this website is proprietary. You may not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit, or distribute, in any manner, the material on the website without the written permission of AIPM.