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  Before You Choose a Therapist

There are a broad range of approaches to psychotherapy, as well as differences in experience, training and skill level between therapists. The Start Therapy website lists therapists from a variety of approaches, and we do not endorse any particular approach or individual. It is up to you to choose a therapist who is suitable for you, and we would like to offer some general suggestions for you to think about as you search for a therapist.

At Start Therapy, we encourage consumer awareness, including understanding your rights as a client in psychotherapy.

You have the right to ask a potential therapist questions about their training, credentials and experience. Some of this information may be available on the therapist's website. In person, you can ask to see relevant documents of certification, such as a diploma or license to practice. Whatever the therapist's background or approach, they should have completed a training program which includes a theoretical perspectives and supervised practice.

When you meet with a potential therapist, you can ask about their approach, and how it will apply to you. You can ask the therapist to suggest reading materials to learn more about their approach. You can ask about their knowledge regarding your specific issues, and the extent of their previous experience with those issues. Look for a therapist that respects your right to ask questions relevant to your therapy.

As you talk to the therapist about yourself, notice how well the therapist listens to what you have to say, and pay attention to how you feel about the person you are talking with. Whatever type of therapy you choose, it is usually most successful if there is a good connection between you and the therapist. You might feel that this person has a good understanding of what you are feeling, and that they are respectful and genuine.

If something the therapist is saying or doing makes you feel uncomfortable, pay attention to your response. Therapy is sometimes a painful and difficult process. However, if you have any doubt about whether the therapists' actions are in your best interests, you can question the therapist, and/or consult someone else for another perspective.

There are several books available that you might find useful if you want more general information on choosing a therapist. Client Rights in Psychotherapy and Counselling, an excellent handbook, can be ordered from

If you are new to therapy, The Consumer's Guide to Psychotherapy by Jack Engler and Daniel Goleman, might be helpful.

Start Therapy is a listing service, and we are not responsible for the practice of any therapist-member. However, if you believe that a therapist in our listing is misrepresenting their credentials, violating the requirements to practice of their state or province, or practicing unethically, please inform us immediately at

  A service of Eugora Inc.