How to Choose the Right Therapist: A Comprehensive Guide

Will Michelson speaking to a client

Finding the right therapist can be a transformative step in your journey towards pursing mental health and well-being. However, with so many options available, the process can feel overwhelming. At Embark Therapy, we understand the importance of matching with a therapist who not only meets your needs but also resonates with your personal healing journey. This guide offers practical advice on how to choose the right therapist, ensuring you embark on a path to recovery and growth with the best possible support.

Understanding Your Needs

Before diving into the search, it’s crucial to understand your own needs and goals for therapy. Are you looking for support with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, or perhaps coping with life changes? Identifying your main concerns will help you narrow down therapists with expertise in those specific areas.

Research and Credentials

Start with a comprehensive search for therapists in your area. Websites like Psychology Today and GoodTherapy are excellent resources that allow you to filter professionals by specialty, insurance, location, and therapy style. Ensure that the therapists you consider are licensed in your state and check their educational background and certifications. Credentials such as LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker), PsyD (Doctor of Psychology), and PhD in psychology indicate a solid professional foundation.

Therapeutic Approach

Understanding a therapist’s approach can significantly impact your therapy experience. Familiarize yourself with common therapeutic methodologies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, and humanistic therapy, to see what resonates with you. Many therapists use a blend of techniques tailored to each client’s needs, so it’s worth discussing their approach during your initial consultation.

Consultation and Compatibility

Most therapists offer a free initial consultation. Use this opportunity to ask questions about their experience with issues similar to yours, their therapeutic approach, and what you can expect from the sessions. This is also the time to gauge your comfort level with the therapist’s personality and communication style. Therapy is a deeply personal journey, and feeling understood and respected by your therapist is paramount.

Logistics and Practicalities

Consider practical aspects such as location, session length, frequency, and cost. If you’re relying on insurance, verify that the therapist accepts your plan. With the rise of teletherapy, also explore options for remote sessions if that suits your lifestyle better.

Trust Your Instincts

Ultimately, choosing the right therapist comes down to trust and intuition. After meeting with a therapist, reflect on how you felt during the consultation. Did you feel heard and understood? Do you believe this therapist can support you in achieving your goals? Trusting your gut feeling about this relationship is key.


Embarking on therapy is a brave and significant step towards personal growth and healing. By understanding your needs, doing thorough research, and listening to your instincts, you can find a therapist who provides the support and guidance you need. Remember, the right therapist is out there, ready to walk with you on your journey to wellness.

At Embark Therapy, we are committed to supporting you in this crucial phase of your life. If you have any questions, need guidance on starting your therapy journey, or wish to learn more about our services, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team is here to help you navigate the process and ensure that you find the best match for your therapeutic needs.

Contact us today to take the first step towards a healthier, more fulfilled life.

Will Michelson

Will Michelson, MS, LMFT, is the Founder and Therapist at Embark Therapy. He has been practicing in various mental health fields for over 12 years such as clinics, schools, non-profit organizations, and private practice. A major focus in his work has been emotional literacy in men, anxiety management, and helping clients increase their internal awareness and healthy emotional expression. Will finds that many clients find healing by taking a more curious and welcoming orientation toward their emotions.

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