Choosing a Therapist That Suits You

Herb Tannenbaum pic

Herb Tannenbaum

With a PhD from New York University, Dr. Herb Tannenbaum serves as the executive director of the Center for Effective Living and also has a private consulting and psychotherapy practice. Dr. Herb Tannenbaum’s areas of interest include child therapy, teenage suicide prevention, attachment theory, and child development.

There are a lot of good therapists, but choosing the one that is best for you can be tricky. Many people don’t know what to look for in a therapist, and you can never really be sure if a therapist is a fit until you meet with him or her. The best thing you can do is to arm yourself with as much knowledge and firsthand experience as you can before setting up an appointment with anyone.

One of the best methods for doing this is calling to directly ask the therapist a few things about him- or herself. Ask about his or her academic pedigree, licensing, training, length of time in professional practice, and whatever else concerns you. Asking friends and family for recommendations as well as investigating online are other good ways of getting information.

One of the most important things you can ask is whether the therapist has treated issues like yours. For example, therapy for couples can be very different from therapy for an individual with an addiction. While some skills, such as compassionate listening, are applicable across the board, a therapist with the right experience will have a better idea of what works and doesn’t work for people in your situation.

Specialization in a school of therapy is also important. Research the therapist’s area of specialization and see if it sounds appropriate for you. Beware of therapists with too rigid or too broad a scope, and trust your gut feelings. In the end, don’t be disappointed if you don’t click with your very first therapist. Finding the right one can sometimes be like dating until you find the right match.


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