Research suggests that one of the most important factors in therapy is the relationship you have with your therapist, so make sure you find someone who you connect with–meaning they support you, and you find them to be helpful and trustworthy. “You want to seek a therapist that specializes in your specific need, and you want to ensure that you feel comfortable with the therapist you choose,” says Guarino.
According to the American Psychological Association’s research, working with a therapist you can personally relate to, feel safe with, and who will tailor treatment to your individual background (including your culture, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and more) leads to better therapeutic outcomes. A relatable therapist who shows genuine interest in you, your identity, and your unique growth process sets a groundwork of trust, so that you’ll feel safest to slowly reveal all parts of your most authentic self.
To help you figure out if a potential therapist is the right fit, Guarino notes that therapists often offer a 15-minute consultation, so you may be able to meet your potential therapist before beginning sessions. During your consultation, you can ask questions like “how can you help me address my concerns?” and “what can I expect during our sessions?” You may also ask about your financial concerns, scheduling options, and the therapist’s availability during the 15-minute consultation.