Tips for Choosing a Psychologist
Thank you to NCPA member M. Elizabeth (Betsy) Bennett, Ph.D., for the content on the "Find a Psychologist" pages of our website.

If this is your first time looking for a psychologist, be aware that some use voice mail instead of receptionists. So before you call, be prepared to leave a message including your name, phone number, and reason for calling. It’s okay if your reason isn’t detailed. Something as quick as “I’m coping with divorce”, or “I’m feeling very anxious” is completely fine. The psychologist will gather more information when you talk.   If you’re uncomfortable leaving a reason for your call, that’s okay too. Just say you’d like to talk about setting up an appointment. 

Many psychologists have websites with helpful information about their practice, such as their areas of expertise, insurances accepted, types of services offered, etc.  You may wish to review a psychologist’s website prior to contacting them directly, to help determine whether they may be a good fit for you.

If you’d like to use your insurance to pay for therapy, it can be helpful to start by contacting your insurance plan directly for a list of providers.  This may reduce the amount of time you spend contacting psychologists who are not providers for your particular plan.

Be aware that successful psychotherapy can only happen when there’s a good fit between therapist and client. It’s not unusual to talk to several potential therapists before finding one you feel comfortable with. And it’s not unusual to meet with a therapist for a couple of sessions before deciding if the fit is right for you.

If a therapist doesn’t feel quite right to you, don’t feel bad about letting them know! Every good therapist knows that the fit is crucial. And a therapist who doesn’t feel right for you can probably help you find someone else with a style that’s more suited to you.

What are some signs that a therapist is a good fit for you?

You feel listened to; you have the therapist’s full attention

You’re not simply getting advice. Instead, you and your therapist are working toward defining and reaching your goals as a team

You and your therapist make shared decisions about your treatment

You have a strong understanding of your treatment plan

You feel comfortable asking questions and sharing your feelings


For more tips on finding the right therapist for you, click here to read more from the American Psychological Association.

Questions? Feel free to send an email


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