Questions to ask yourself when choosing a therapist

What’s most important in a therapist or counsellor is whether they provide you with a sense of connection, a safe environment and are supportive. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does it seem like the therapist truly cares about you and your problems?
  • Do you feel as if the therapist understands you?
  • Does the therapist accept you for who you are?
  • Would you feel comfortable revealing personal information to this individual?
  • Do you feel as if you can be honest and open with this therapist? That you don’t have to hide or pretend you’re someone that you’re not?
  • Is the therapist a good listener? Does he or she listen without interrupting, criticising, or judging? Do they pick up on your feelings and what you’re really saying? Do they make you feel heard?

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paying for therapy

Paying for therapy and counselling

Some insurance companies provide limited coverage for psychotherapy—often as few as 6-12 sessions. Read through your plan carefully to see what benefits you have. Some types of mental health professionals might not be covered. You may need a referral through your primary care physician.

Also keep in mind that some therapists do not accept insurance, only payment directly from the client. Sometimes these therapists will accept sliding scale payments, where you pay what you can afford for each session. Don’t be afraid to ask what arrangements can be made if you feel the therapist could be a good fit for you.

Affordable therapy and counselling options

Research your own community for charities or organisations that may offer psychotherapy at discounted rates. Senior centres, family service, and mental health clinics are good places to start. Many offer affordable options, including sliding payment scales.

Charities that involve interns in training also can be an option for quality therapy. An intern may be a good choice for you if the intern is enthusiastic, empathetic, and has quality supervisory training. However, an intern’s time at the agency is limited, so when the training is finished, you either need to stop the therapy or find another therapist.