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5 Things to Consider When Searching for a New Therapist

5 Things to Consider When Searching for a New Therapist

This information is shared as general knowledge and may be used for self-improvement or education but is not medical advice or treatment. Consult with your healthcare providers for your own unique health.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, immediately take action:

Go to the nearest emergency department or Call / text 988 (Suicide Hotline)

Are you a first-time therapy seeker or searching for a new therapist because it’s been a few years?

I’ve written before about How to Start Therapy and this post will add more information about what to look for in therapist who will be a good fit for you.

5 Things to Consider When Searching for a New Therapist blue desk with magnifying glass

1. What are you going to therapy for?

During the first session a new therapist will ask you something along the lines of, “What are your goals,” or, “What do you want to get from therapy?”

A new counselor will help create specific, measurable, and attainable goals while creating a treatment plan which will guide your work together.

Some goals that people share in therapy include:

  • Improve sleep quality

  • Decrease symptoms of a mental health disorder such as anxiety, depression, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), or PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

  • Create healthier relationships or communication habits

  • Improve anger management skills

  • Find new coping skills for stressful situations

What are your goals in therapy? image of piece of paper that says goals. 5 Things to Consider When Searching for a New Therapist

Try to find a therapist who specializes in your mental health concern, identity, or goal.

Connection Between Mental Health & Sleep

2. Is the gender or race of a therapist important to you?

For some people it is important to find a therapist who looks like you and other people have no preference. There is no right or wrong preference!

endless screen of detached lego heads/ faces. 5 Things to Consider When Searching for a New Therapist

Therapists and psychologists are predominately white and women which does not represent the average person living in the U.S. 

I encourage clients to find a therapist who aligns with as many preferences as possible and go from there. 

If you cannot find or access a therapist who matches your identity: you can ask your potential new therapist what experience or training he/she/they have working with your cultural or ethnic group.

Other preferences people may have when searching for a therapist (but are not necessarily required for therapy) may include: religion, political or social views, shared experience or identity, age of therapist, or if a therapist is a parent.

3. Do you want to attend therapy in-person, virtually, or a hybrid option?

The things to consider:

Do you have transportation to a therapy appointment?

Do you prefer some sessions in person and others virtually for convenience?

Find a therapist who can accept new clients during the time slots you have available.

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4. How will you pay for therapy?

  • Do you need to use insurance or can you pay out-of-pocket?

  • What does your insurance cover?

  • Does your insurance have a limit on how many counseling sessions your plan covers?

  • Do you receive out-of-network benefits? 

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If you do not have insurance, try searching online for:

  • Free or low-cost services

  • Local or online therapy or support groups

  • Mental health facilities that offer sliding scale fee options

Additional Mental Health Links & Resources

Therapy can be expensive and there can be affordable options.

Consider group therapy: it is more affordable than individual therapy and can be more efficacious than individual therapy

Group Therapy FAQ

Unfortunately, there is still a lack of mental health care providers (especially in Alaska) and finding a qualified therapist or psychologist may be difficult. 

5. When are you available for therapy?

What time of day do you want or need to meet for sessions: morning, evening, weekday, or weekends?

Inpatient or outpatient therapy services?

Are you seeking weekly hour-long individual therapy sessions? Do you desire more outpatient support through weekly individual and group therapy sessions?  Or are you in need of a residential program?

Finding time for therapy hourglass on rocky ground. Weekday evening morning afternoon therapy sessions online Alaska therapist

This can often be a search option through Popular Therapy directories: therapist availability. Different therapists and psychologists have varying schedules.

As popular therapy times exist, so do “unpopular times.”. Consider how soon you want to start therapy, what time you will consistently have available, or if you want to wait for a more ideal time.

Those are 5 things to consider when finding a new therapist! I wish you a smooth process in finding a new therapist.

Don’t forget that you can chose your therapist: call 1-3 who meet your preferences and needs to get a feel for who you believe is the best match. 

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Many therapists, including myself, offer a free 15-minute initial consultation before agreeing to start therapy so you can have the best outcome.

If you live in Alaska and are looking for a therapist, I provide online individual and group counseling services to adults.

In August 2024 I’m offering an 8-week online program: C.A.L.M. Group (CBT for Anxiety Laden Minds); learn more here. 

Online CBT for Anxiety group for adult women and non-binary adults. Online counseling in Alaska depression trauma

About the Author

Hello and welcome!

My name is Nicole and I’m a pre-licensed psychotherapist pursuing my LPC in Alaska. Learn more about my services and practice here.

I grew up in the Philly area and moved to Alaska in 2016 to finish my bachelor’s degree from Alaska Pacific University. After earning my Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Alaska, Anchorage, I worked in a residential treatment facility for teens and families before transitioning into private practice.

During my free time I love stand up paddleboarding, foraging for spruce tips, berries, or mushrooms, and cozying up with my cat and dog.

Online therapy anxiety ptsd alaska. Nicole, a white woman with short brown hair smiling gently at the camera. Nicole is wearing a button down chambray shirt and brown /blue cardigan indoors against a blue background.If you think we may be a good fit together, let’s talk!