I found this printed on a dead tree and was going to send it to a friend, but I figured more people could benefit from it if I posted it here:

Here’s what you should look for in a good therapist.  Some good signs are:

  • Someone you know says this therapist has helped her with a similar problem in concrete ways.
  • The therapist offers a plan that focuses on helping you reach the goals you’ve set, and it’s clear to you how what the therapist does will help you reach your goals.
  • This therapist uses a variety of methods depending on your problem and who you are.
  • You have an ongoing sense that this therapist is more often than not helping you feel better in your life and helping your life work better.

Some bad signs are:

  • There’s no change in your life or how you feel or what you do after four sessions, or things actually get worse.
  • The therapist seems uninterested in the concrete realities of your current life.
  • The therapist is focused exclusively on ways you’ve been damaged, instead of on your needs or strengths.
  • The therapist seems to have one all-purpose theory or “answer” that explains everything.