Choosing a therapist and type of therapy

Some guiding questions on choosing a therapist and type of therapy.


What does the therapist’s approach or philosophy say/ imply about you as client? What does the type of therapy / therapeutic approach imply about you as client?


  • Are you seen as someone who is capable of change?
  • Do you feel empowered by the therapist’s approach, philosophy and type of therapy?
  • Do you feel hopeful when listening to, or reading about the therapist’s approach, philosophy and type of therapy?
  • Are you given control by the therapist’s approach, philosophy and type of therapy?
  • Does the therapist and therapeutic approach believe in you as client?

Is the therapy something done TO you (a passive receiver and therapeutic object), or are you a co-constructor (active participant) of therapy?


  • TO you: this is usually a sign that you are not seen as capable of change and taking control, change should not be in your hands, it should be in the hands of the therapist. Thus, it makes you dependent on the therapist. You need him/her in order to change.
  • A co-constructor: you are an active participant, you take control of your circumstances, you are credited for change, believed in and seen as capable of change. This empowers you and makes you hopeful.


Does the therapy make you dependent on the therapist?


  • Are you confident that you will be able to deal with problems if they present differently from the way they did when you consulted the therapist?
  • Do you feel like you will have to return to the therapist should your problem take on another form?
  • Do you get the added benefit, not only of being confident in dealing with the problems you consulted the therapist for, and should the present in other ways, but ALSO being more confident in general to deal with all challenges you might be faced with?

How prescriptive is the format of the therapy?


  • Are you expected to sign up for a certain number of sessions or commit to a package, seen as a prerequisite for change to take place? If so, are you comfortable with that?
  • Who decides if another session in needed? The therapist? If so, what does this imply about you? About his/her believe in you?

What is the therapist’s view on therapy?


  • Academic qualifications and achievements are not equivalent to being a good therapist! Will you get on an airplane if the pilot has all the knowledge of flying planes, read all the manuals, articles, reports and textbook and are considered to be the most knowledgeable on aviation in the world, but only has 50 hours of flying experience?

Therapy is a SKILL that needs to be practiced, honed and crafted!

  • Having a long list of therapeutic approaches you offer does not necessarily make you a good therapist!

Actually, the longer the list, the less likely the therapist is really skilled in all the therapeutic approaches listed. Remember, therapy is a SKILL that needs to be practiced, honed and crafted! Very few therapists have the time to master several therapeutic approaches.