Searching for a Therapist: What to Consider

Embarking on the journey to find a therapist is a significant step towards your well-being. To ensure success, it's vital to understand the key factors to consider when selecting a therapist who aligns with your needs. Here are some things to consider as you navigate this process.

1/  Prioritize Compatibility

The cornerstone of effective therapy lies in the relationship between you and your therapist. A strong rapport can profoundly impact the outcome of your treatment. Feeling secure, supported, and at ease with your therapist is paramount. Many practitioners offer complimentary 15–30-minute consultations, allowing you to assess compatibility. During this time, you can also inquire about their qualifications, including credentials, years of experience, and the therapeutic approaches they commonly employ.

2/  Consider Specializations:

Therapists possess diverse expertise, and specialties in different areas. 

Therapy comes in various forms and each tailored to specific needs. The therapist could specialize in one specific form or use an eclectic approach.  Here are a few examples:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Focuses on identifying and altering negative thought patterns.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): Centers around aligning attitudes and behaviors with value-driven goals.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): Aids in managing emotions and distress, offering skills for effective problem-solving.

Exposure Therapy: Targets anxiety and phobias by addressing and diminishing them.

Person-Centered Therapy: Revolves around deep listening and client-centered discussions to facilitate self-discovery.

3/  Shared Experiences

For some, connecting with a therapist who shares similar life experiences can foster a profound sense of understanding and rapport. If this resonates with you, seek therapists who can relate to your background.

4/  Utilize Various Search Avenues

Utilize Third-Party Insurer Directories: Some insurance providers offer directories of therapists in your local area. This can be a convenient way to find therapists who are covered by your insurance plan.

Seek Recommendations: Trusted sources like your doctor or friends can provide valuable recommendations. Their insights can guide you toward therapists known for their expertise and particular approach.

Use Reliable Platforms: Platforms such as Psychology Today allow you to customize your search based on specific criteria. You can narrow down your choices by factors like specialization, preferred treatment methods, cost, and even the ability to bill third parties, such as insurance companies directly.

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP): You can connect with Western’s EAP provider. They are able to search community resources to help you find a suitable therapist in your area.

Finding the right therapist is an essential step towards achieving your well-being goals. By prioritizing compatibility, exploring specialized expertise, and utilizing various search methods, you can increase your chances of connecting with a therapist who understands your needs and supports your journey towards healing and growth.

EAP is designed for short-term, solution-focused support and not an appropriate model to support all counselling goals. Although the EAP counselling model may not fit your needs, Western’s EAP provider is able to search community resources to help you find a suitable therapist in your area.

Please review your employee benefits to confirm your coverage.

(Adapted from: Psychology Today, TELUS Health, CMHA, Healthline, 2023)


This information is designed to be of assistance for employees in starting a self-directed learning and search. This information is not intended to be expert advice.  Western cannot endorse specific providers or guarantee the eligibility of benefit coverage for those providers.


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