1. Get recommendations from people you trust, people in good therapies themselves whose therapist might make recommendations or from trusted physicians. The Internet has lots of therapists advertising but it really is better if the referral is from a trusted source.
    If you have absolutely no one to help you, Psychology Today online has profiles of local therapists in your area.
  2. If possible make multiple appointments with multiple therapists
    You are putting your mental health in someone else's hands. it is important that you feel safe and understood as well as appropriately challenged. Your therapist should be a genuine, authentic, mature individual who can help you define and meet your goals. Don't settle for someone who doesn't feel right to you
  3. If you are dealing with a specific issue, for example, childhood sexual abuse, substance abuse, parenting issues, etc. --try and find a therapist who has specific training and expertise in that area.
    Training and education make a huge difference in how effective someone can be
  4. The Fundamentals: good education, training, strong theoretical background, empathy, nonjudgmental acceptance, strong ethical stance, clear communication skills and the ability to build rapport.
    Subsets to the basics: excellent boundaries that are flexible as needed, strong interpersonal skills and the ability to create a sense of trust and alliance with you. you want a therapist who is present and there with you and who can stay calm when you are chaotic and hopeful when you are hopeless.
  5. There is always a dialectic between the conscious and unconscious, knowing and not knowing, self and other, the subjective and the objective, thinking and feeling.
    How does your therapist help you hold mutually exclusive ideas at the same time and resolve the tension in a way that benefits you
  6. The bottom line: how do you feel after leaving a session with a new therapist?
    If you feel accepted, empathized with, and as if this therapist has offered new ways of helping you understand your experience, make another appointment.
  7. If the session was positive and helpful make another appointment. If not, move on.
  8. You should LIKE your therapist. It is a necessary, albeit insufficient prerequisite
  9. Next list, red flags: danger Will Robinson bad therapist bad therapist