Choosing a Therapist

What man actually needs is not a tensionless state,
but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him.

Victor Frankl

When choosing a therapist, it’s important to understand that there are different types of therapists. Each type will have a different style and approach, and some will be a better match for you than others.

I suggest looking for a therapist with whom, as Dr. Schnarch puts it, you feel “productively uncomfortable.”

If your primary objective is finding someone you “feel comfortable with,” that may lead you to a therapist that won’t challenge you in healthy, productive ways. However, if you are too uncomfortable with a particular therapist, you won’t experience the safe, empathetic environment that’s necessary to free you up for the work of therapy. Finding that “productively uncomfortable” balance is crucial for ensuring a good match.

I suggest using the first few sessions to check out the fit with any particular therapist. These sessions are also the time for the therapist to determine whether they are a good match for you. At times, I may refer you to another therapist that is better suited to work with your particular needs.

Psychotherapy is hard work. It requires courage and a willingness to stretch yourself beyond your current capabilities. Yet it’s rich and satisfying work that can lead to an immensely gratifying, life changing experience.