How to Find the Right Therapist for You

By Lauren Krouse
Reviewed by Susan Ko, Ph.D.
May 05, 2023

Think it might be time for therapy? You’re not alone. In 2019, nearly 10% of adults in the United States received counseling or therapy from a mental health professional, found a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And since then, many psychologists are reporting increases in demand and longer waitlists, according to the American Psychological Association.

But not just anyone will do. It’s important to take the time to find a therapist with whom you feel comfortable and who fits your needs.

In fact, a strong bond with a therapist is one of the most important factors affecting how successful therapy will be, suggests a meta-analysis of hundreds of studies, and can influence whether you’ll meet your therapy goals. “If you feel supported and not judged, comfortable opening up, and respected, and if you believe your therapist is competent enough to help you, chances are [greater] that treatment will be effective,” says Pauline Yeghnazar Peck, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist based in Santa Barbara, California.