selecting a therapist from a long list
December 4, 2006 1:24 PM   Subscribe

I'm having difficulties choosing a (telephone) therapist starting from a long list. Partly practical, partly mental...

I wish to have Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for my depression/anxiety/stress. Due to my location I am unlikely to be able to find a suitable therapist locally and so I am looking for a telephone counsellor. I have started with The British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (I am British) and am trying to use this page to select a therapist.

My problem is that there's no point selecting a location and the categories into which my needs fall are so general as to narrow the search very little, giving me several hundred matches. One of my personal issues is perfectionism, so I am finding it very hard just to take a random selection of half a dozen from this long list and hope that a therapist who'll really be able to help me will be among them.

I have looked at past AskMe's (1, 2, 3) and, while these will be valuable at other stages of the process, I have two specific questions:

(1) Are there any other smart ways that I can reduce the number of candidates? Even down to a number that I can reasonably email to ask if they are taking telephone clients.

(2) How many therapists should I talk to before I make a decision?

Plus any general advice is also very welcome...

Finally, feel free to email me at
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have a very good answer for your first question, but I would say that you may just want to read through several of the descriptions and email the ones that just seem to resonate with you. Email them and gauge their responses (if they send one). I would just keep going until you find one that seems right in terms of response, specialty, hours, etc. If they end up not being helpful, you can always start over. Not fun, but you may end up talking to several or you may strike gold.

Finding a good therapist who meets your needs can be like trying to find a needle in a haystick. Just keep being persistent and you will almost surely find someone.
posted by melangell at 2:15 PM on December 4, 2006

Is there anyone you could use for a referal? Perhaps a friend or your general physician? I find that word of mouth is usually a good way to start, when it comes to looking for a therapist.
posted by amileighs at 3:54 PM on December 4, 2006

Pick one at random, call them up, and ... ask for a referral. Therapists cross-refer quite a bit, and you won't be wasting anyone's time.

It's not as ideal as having a recommendation from someone you know and trust, but it beats asking around at the pub.
posted by tkolar at 4:47 PM on December 4, 2006

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