How to Find a Therapist Near Me: Top Ten Tips and What to Avoid.

Finding the right therapist can be a transformative journey that significantly impacts your mental health and well-being. Therapy is a personal and often vulnerable experience, so selecting the right therapist is essential for your success.

When embarking on your quest to locate a therapist, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your preferences and where to begin your search. Initiating the process can often be the most challenging step. Please take a look at our recommendations for things to bear in mind.

Scientists have discovered that the connection between you and your therapist can significantly influence your personal development. This underscores the importance of conducting thorough research, posing inquiries, and being attentive to your reactions when searching for a therapist who suits your needs.

Therapist/ Mountain Brook AL/ Empower Counseling

Types of Mental Health Professionals

  1. Therapist/Licensed Professional Counselor: A professional who will focus on a particular therapy method like Acceptance Commitment Therapy, a high level form of CBT, or interpersonal therapy and collaborate with a person’s medical professionals to offer a more comprehensive therapeutic approach.
  1. Psychiatrist: An individual working in the mental health field who places a greater emphasis on biological aspects such as genetics, social sciences, and neurology. Psychiatry appointments are typically short and focused on medication.
  2. Psychologist: A mental health practitioner who utilizes conversational therapy and psychological assessments to assist individuals.
  3. Social Worker: A skilled individual who collaborates with diverse individuals and communities to assist them in achieving a more wholesome and joyful lifestyle.

In this article, we will explore how to find a therapist near you and the top ten tips for finding a therapist near you, ensuring that you make an informed decision. We will also discuss what to avoid during your search to ensure that you find the best match for your needs.

1. Learn the Types of Therapy that are Proven Effective for Your Issues and Goals

All therapy is not created equal. It’s crucial to understand the different types of therapy and their effectiveness in addressing specific issues and goals. Here, we’ll briefly explain some common therapeutic approaches:

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): ACT, a higher level cognitive behavioral therapy, is proven effective for a range of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, trauma, and difficult life transitions. It emphasizes mindfulness to separate from unhelpful thoughts, acceptance of difficult emotions (instead of avoidance) and values-based actions, helping individuals live more meaningful lives.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): DBT is well-suited for those with borderline personality disorder and emotional regulation issues. It focuses on developing coping skills and emotional regulation.
  • Psychodynamic Therapy: This approach explores the unconscious mind and past experiences to understand and address current psychological problems.

Choosing the right therapy type depends on your specific issues and goals. ACT, in particular, is gaining popularity due to its holistic approach to mental health and well-being.

ACT is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) that focuses on helping individuals accept their thoughts and feelings while committing to actions that align with their values. It has been scientifically proven to be effective in treating conditions like anxiety, depression, trauma, and even chronic pain.

By understanding the principles of ACT and other evidence-based therapies, you can better assess whether a therapist’s approach aligns with your needs.

2. Look at Credentials

When searching for a therapist, it’s crucial to consider their credentials. Check if the therapist is licensed and accredited by relevant professional organizations in your state. These credentials ensure that the therapist has received proper training and adheres to ethical guidelines.

Also, consider whether the therapist has specialized training in your area of concern.

When searching for a therapist, it’s crucial to consider their credentials. Therapists should be licensed and qualified to practice in your state. Look for credentials such as Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Associate Licensed Counselor (ALC), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Psychologist (Ph.D. or Psy.D.), or Psychiatrist (M.D.).

Also, check if the therapist has specialized training or certifications related to your specific concerns. For example, if you’re dealing with anxiety, depression, or trauma, a therapist with training in Acceptance Commitment Therapy could be beneficial.

Feel free to verify a therapist’s credentials through your state’s licensing board or professional organizations. This ensures that you’re seeking help from a reputable and qualified professional.

3. Ask Questions

Don’t hesitate to ask potential therapists questions to ensure they are a good fit for you. Some important questions to consider include:

  • What is your therapeutic approach, and how does it align with my needs?
  • Do you have experience working with individuals who have similar issues?
  • What are your fees?
  • What is your availability for sessions?

Asking these questions will help you gather information and gauge the therapist’s compatibility with your requirements.

Two female friends laughing over coffee

4. Talk to Trusted Friends and Family

Sometimes, seeking recommendations from friends or family members can be invaluable. They may have had positive experiences with therapists in your area and can provide insights into the therapist’s approach and effectiveness.

However, keep in mind that what works for one person may not work for another, so consider their recommendations alongside your research.

However, it’s essential to remember that therapy is a highly personal experience, and what works for one person may not work for another. Consider your specific needs and preferences while taking recommendations into account.

5. Read Reviews

Online reviews and testimonials can offer valuable insights into a therapist’s reputation and the experiences of their clients. While reviews can be helpful, be cautious about relying solely on them, as individual experiences vary. Consider reviews as part of your overall assessment, along with other factors.

Look for patterns in the reviews rather than focusing on individual testimonials. Pay attention to aspects such as the therapist’s communication skills, empathy, professionalism, and the overall atmosphere of the practice. However, keep in mind that some people may not leave reviews, whether their experience was positive or negative, so don’t rely solely on online feedback.

4 Friends exploring options on map

6. Examine Your Options

It’s essential to explore multiple therapist options before making a decision. Contact several therapists and schedule free consultations with them if they offer them. This will give you a chance to assess their demeanor, communication style, and overall compatibility with you.

7. Find an Open-Minded, Qualified Therapist

Your therapist’s age or life experiences do not necessarily have to match yours for therapy to be effective. What’s most crucial is finding a therapist who is open-minded, empathetic, and qualified to help you. A skilled therapist can understand and address your unique needs, regardless of their background. A skilled therapist will focus on helping you uncover the life you want to be living and the person you really what to be, and help you get there.

A skilled therapist can help you navigate various life challenges and emotions, regardless of whether you have directly experienced them. Focus on their qualifications, therapeutic approach, and ability to establish a safe and supportive therapeutic relationship. At Empower Counseling, all of our knowledgeable and compassionate therapists are trained in Acceptance Commitment Therapy. ACT has been proven effective in the treatment of anxiety, depression, trauma, and difficult life transitions. Our therapists are here to get to the root of our client’s issues. Through ACT, we uncover any thoughts and beliefs that are unhelpful to you. We provide mindfulness techniques for you to begin to recognize these thoughts and let go of them. If you are able to let go of these problem thoughts, they can no longer affect your mood and your actions. Through ACT we will help you find clarity around your values. Once you find clarity about your values, the path toward a better life becomes clear. We have helped clients in their teens all the way through their eighties through ACT. We have helped clients of all walks of life-different races, cultures, genders, and sexual orientations. Without inserting our values and without judgment, it is our goal to help you live your best, most authentic life.

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8. Determine Whether You Want Online or In-Person Therapy

Therapy is now available in various formats, including in-person sessions and online therapy sessions via Hippa compliant video. Consider your preferences and comfort level when deciding which format suits you best.

Online therapy offers convenience and accessibility, while in-person sessions may provide a more personal connection. The choice is yours, and it should align with your goals and circumstances.

In-person therapy offers face-to-face interactions, which some people find more personal and comforting. On the other hand, online therapy provides flexibility and eliminates geographical constraints, making it a convenient choice for many.

Consider your comfort level with technology, scheduling preferences, and any potential barriers to access when deciding between in-person and online therapy.


9. Determine Your Goals

Before seeking a therapist, it’s essential to clarify your goals and what you hope to achieve through therapy. Whether it’s managing anxiety, overcoming past traumas, improving relationships, increasing self-esteem, or personal growth, knowing your objectives will help you find a therapist who specializes in addressing your specific needs.

Share your goals and expectations during the initial intake appointment, and ask the therapist how they plan to help you achieve them. A good therapist will work collaboratively with you to develop a tailored treatment plan that aligns with your objectives.

10. Go to an Intake Appointment

The final step in finding the right therapist is attending an intake appointment. This is an opportunity for both you and the therapist to get to know each other better. Come prepared with questions to ask the therapist, as this is your chance to ensure they are the right fit for you. Some questions you may consider asking during the intake appointment include:

  • Can you explain your approach to therapy and how it aligns with my goals?
  • What can I expect from our therapy sessions?
  • How often do you recommend sessions, and how long will therapy take?
  • What are your policies regarding confidentiality and communication between sessions?
  • How do you handle emergencies or crises?

During this meeting, pay attention to your gut feelings. It’s essential to feel comfortable and safe with your therapist, as this trust and rapport will be essential for a successful therapeutic relationship.

danger sign

What to Avoid When Trying To Find A Therapist Near You

1.    Thinking All Counseling Is Alike

One common mistake to avoid is assuming that all therapy approaches and therapists are different. Each therapist has a unique style and approach, and therapy types vary in their effectiveness for specific issues. Avoid the misconception that it is one-size-fits-all when it comes to therapy, and take the time to find a therapist and approach that aligns with your needs.

2.    Therapists Who Don’t Specialize in Your Case or Who Specialize in Everything

Beware of therapists who claim to specialize in everything or do not have specific expertise in your area of concern. A therapist with a broad but shallow knowledge may not provide the specialized help you need. Instead, seek out therapists who have experience and training in addressing your specific issues, as they are more likely to provide effective support.

3.    Not Listening to Your Gut

Finally, trust your instincts when selecting a therapist. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe during the initial consultation or intake appointment, it’s essential to listen to your gut feeling. A strong therapeutic relationship is built on trust and rapport, and if you don’t feel a connection with the therapist, it may be best to continue your search until you find the right fit.

a happy client/ Therapy near me/ Empower Counseling/ Mountain Brook Al

Why Choose Empower Counseling and Coaching?

Empower Counseling and Coaching boasts a compassionate team of female therapists, Kathryn, Savannah, and Marti who understand your mental health challenges. We prioritize an initial consultation to ensure a tailored fit for your counseling needs.

Our flexibility in scheduling, including quick emergency appointments, sets us apart. We offer in-person and online therapy to suit your preferences and busy schedule.

With a deep understanding of the complexities of college life, Empower Counseling and Coaching offers expert guidance, personalized care, and a haven for introspection and growth.

Our therapists possess knowledge and hands-on experience in tackling diverse mental health issues unique to you. Confidentiality, non-judgment, and personalized support are our cornerstones.

happy female client/ Therapy near me/ Empower Counseling/ Mountain Brook Al

Advantages of Choosing Empower Counseling for ACT Therapy

  • The therapists at Empower Counseling possess extensive expertise and practical familiarity with various psychological challenges that people face.
  • Our therapy sessions are carefully customized to cater to the unique requirements of everyone, delivering a tailored method that highlights individualized support and complete focus.
  • Empower Counseling ensures privacy and unbiased support, offering you a safe space to openly express your feelings without fearing judgment.


Spending time on the front end of your therapist search is crucial to your success in therapy. Trust in your therapist is a significant indicator of success, so finding the right one is of utmost importance.

Remember that therapy is a collaborative process, and with the right therapist by your side, you can embark on a transformative journey toward personal growth and emotional well-being.

  1. Reach out to Empower Counseling and schedule your initial appointment.
  2. Get acquainted with your therapist.
  3. Embark on your journey towards personal growth and success.

For more information about counseling services offered by Empower Counseling and Coaching, click here to learn more.

Empower Counseling specializes in Acceptance Commitment Therapy, a higher level Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. ACT is proven effective for the treatment of anxiety, depression, trauma, and difficult life situations. Empower Counseling offers in person and online therapy for teens, counseling for college students, therapy for young adults, and counseling for professionals. Empower also offers counseling for perfectionism. We are here for you!

Here are a couple of interesting blog posts for you:

How To Overcome Self-Criticism With Acceptance Commitment Therapy: Counseling In Birmingham

Therapy For Teens In Birmingham, Alabama: Top Ten Benefits You Need To Know

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