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10 Questions to Help You Find the Right Therapist in NYC

by | Jul 1, 2023 | MENTAL HEALTH, THERAPY

A man struggles before seeing a therapist in NYC.

Did you know that there are over 100,000 licensed therapists in the United States?

Of that number, many are located in New York.

If you are in New York and want a therapist in NYC, you may be wondering where to start. How do you find the right therapist in New York? What are the questions you should be asking before you get started working with someone for a therapy session or multiple sessions?

This guide will walk you through what you need to do to make sure you find the right therapist! Keep reading to learn more.

1. How Long Have You Been Practicing?

Before you start seeing someone as your therapist in NYC, you want to make sure you are finding the right one.

Although you won’t know if they are right until after a few sessions, you can get a better idea for them if you do know how long they are practicing.

For instance, if you are struggling with mental health issues and want to find the right therapist, you may not want to work with someone who has only been in practice for a year or two. Although they have the right training, they don’t have the same experience and level of expertise that someone who has been in the field for about 20 years could have.

And even with that said, you may find that the length of their practice doesn’t matter to you. If you feel comfortable and supported in a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) session or a psychodynamic therapy session, then that may be the right therapist for you.

2. What Specific Areas Do You Specialize In?

Every therapy is different. Some mental health counselors specialize in specific disorders like ADHD or PTSD, while others are more general therapists such as for generalized depression or anxiety.

Finding a therapist that specializes in your specific mental health issues is a must because this is what will allow them to work through your thoughts and feelings to give you the best mental health care that you can get. They’ll know what the best coping mechanisms are for what you are doing as well as the right types of questions to ask.

For instance, you may be having relationship problems. If your counselor specializes in depression, this may not be the best therapy session for you. You want to find a counselor that is able to ask the right questions, has knowledge about relationships and underlying issues/conflicts, and can get your relationship back to where it needs to be.

On the other hand, you could have substance abuse issues. You want to ensure that you are working with a therapist in NYC that can help you with your problems.

It is important to note that many counselors also specialize in multiple specialties, so this could be great if you are dealing with multiple things or comorbid issues.

3. How Do You Work With Clients for Their Therapy Goals?

When you go to therapy, one of the most important things that you can do is make therapy goals so that you can track your progress throughout your therapy sessions.

Before you settle on a therapist, you want to make sure that you know how they plan to work with their clients in order to set the goals that you can meet. You also simply want to make sure that they plan to help you set goals in general so that you are able to make the progress that you want to see.

But what do these kinds of goals look like?

It could mean that by the end of therapy, you are feeling as though you are able to cope on your own and know the mechanisms to do so.

Or, on the other hand, working with your therapist could mean learning your triggers, figuring out plans for every single day to help you move forward and keep living, or it could mean something different entirely.

Whatever it is, you want to make sure that working with your therapist will help you set goals and make progress.

4. Do You Go to Therapy Yourself?

You may think that this is a question that you should avoid as it is quite personal, however, it is important that your therapist does go to therapy themselves. This is because they are dealing with a lot as they talk to various patients and have their own life challenges and mental health probolems as well.

Knowing the answer to this will also tell you how they view therapy and how seriously they take it.

5. What Is Your General Approach to Counseling?

As a patient, you want your relationship with your therapist to be a good fit all around. Part of this fit is making sure they have the approach to helping you in the way that you want.

But what does this mean?

There are generally two different approaches that you would want to take.

One is a guiding approach while the other is a direct approach.

The guiding approach means that you will do more of the talking while the direct approach means that your counselor will ask more direct questions to you.

A guiding approach is not for everyone as a lot of people want more direct answers and information, so be sure to ask about this!

6. How Often Would We See Each Other and For How Long?

When you start therapy, you are typically going to have a timeframe for how long you want to see your therapist. Or, on the other hand, you may not have an agenda at all. This means that you could see them for a continuous amount of time.

Either way, your therapist may give you a better idea of how long they think seeing you makes sense as this is a sliding scale depending on your feelings and mental health issues.

On top of that, they will likely give you more information about how often you should see each other. As time goes on, you can change how often you see them depending on what is going on.

One month you may want to go weekly while the next you may feel comfortable with every other week.

This is a great conversation to continue to have with your therapist in NYC.

7. Is There Any Homework?

Depending on how much time and energy you want to put into therapy, you should go in knowing if there is any homework that you should be aware of coming your way.

This could be anything from journaling to figuring out other coping mechanisms that work for you. Whatever it is, you need to be reasonable about if you are going to be able to actually do the homework or not.

8. How Does Your Health Insurance Policy Work?

Before you commit to a therapist, even if you love the therapist that you have found, you need to know about the health insurance plan. If they don’t take your insurance, paying out of pocket can be quite expensive.

If you aren’t able to commit to paying those fees on a biweekly or weekly basis, then it is best to keep looking.

Depending on the insurance carriers that they have, this can make it much cheaper which is why you should always ask this question before deciding on a therapist in NYC.

9. What Is the Cost Per Session?

Before you have a therapy session, you need to ask about the cost of therapy. You may also want to ask if there are payment plans in place if they are a bit more expensive than you were hoping for.

This can help offset costs and allow you to pay over time rather than in one sitting.

10. What Certifications and Licenses Do You Have?

Although it may not entirely matter, knowing what certifications and licenses a potential therapist in NYC that you work with has can be important (and just good to know in general).

For some people, it may be better for them to see a licensed social worker while others may need a psychologist. Learning the differences and choosing the right one based on specialized training can drastically impact your therapy and meeting your therapy goals.

Finding a Therapist in NYC

When it comes to finding a therapist in NYC, you want to make sure that you are asking the right questions. Knowing if they see their own therapist, more about their credentials, and if they have the right licenses and credentials that you want is very important.

Are you in need of a therapist in New York and York City? Whether you need one individually or for your relationship, then you should definitely reach out to us to find the right type of therapist for your needs. It is best to get the help that you need sooner rather than later.

Here at Modern Intimacy, we specialize in many different services that you can use. You can check them out here to learn about what treatment plan is right for you and contact us to schedule a consultation for your therapy needs!

Modern Intimacy is a group therapy practice, founded by renowned Psychologist and Sex Therapist, Dr. Kate Balestrieri. This inclusive blog is designed to provide a wealth of information and resources for mental health, relationships, and sexuality. Subscribe today to get the latest information from our expert contributors from all around the world.


Author Bio

Dr. Kate Balestrieri is a Licensed Psychologist (CA, FL, IL + NY), Certified Sex Therapist, Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, and PACT III trained Couples Therapist. She is the Founder of Modern Intimacy. Follow her on TikTok and IG @drkatebalestrieri and the Modern Intimacy team on IG @themodernintimacy.



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