According to WebMD, finding a therapist can entail getting a therapy provider list from an insurance company and asking family or friends if they would trust someone on that list. Finding a therapist can also include contacting a local college or university's psychology or psychiatry department for recommendations.
The American Psychological Association also recommends consulting a local or state psychological association, a mental health center or a religious center such as a synagogue or church. WebMD notes that people who are currently in therapy, but plan to move, can ask their therapists for referrals to therapists who practice in the new location.
Questions can help narrow down the list of potential therapists, according to both WebMD and the APA. Questions include: How long has the therapist been in practice? What is his speciality? What does he charge, and what are his policies?
WebMD explains that during and after the first few appointments, people should ask themselves how they feel with the therapist. They should feel somewhat comfortable but not overly so because the purpose of therapy is not general gabbing. The therapist should ask patients what their ideal outcome is and how they see progress measured. For children who need therapy, pediatricians and other parents can offer good referrals.