I recently came across this article by Dr. Kevin Grold. Here are some extracts.
A good therapist for one person is not necessarily the right therapist for another person. You have to find a good match for your personality.
First, and most importantly, start by finding three therapists to interview for the position of “your therapist.” [snip]
If you have a close friend who … is seeing a therapist who is being helpful, what better recommendation could you receive for the beginning of your search? I would say, “Start with THAT therapist.” [snip]
Let’s say you decide to ask your family doctor for a recommendation. Your doctor probably has one licensed therapist in the office building who he or she uses for cross-referrals.[snip]
Another way to develop your list of three interviewees is to call a referral service.
MAKING THE CALL
Next, call your three therapists and say, “I am considering becoming a new client of yours, is there a time we could discuss this for five minutes?” The therapist may be busy at the time you call but this allows him or her to set up another time to have a short phone call with you. Do not expect a full counseling session on the phone, but do expect to be able to say, “Here are the issues I have been facing–do you have any experience in this area?–How would you approach such issues?–What would you consider your therapeutic approach to be?” These questions will help you prioritize your list of three therapists from most to least favorite. If a therapist is not willing to take 5 minutes of time to talk with you over the phone, then you have an easy decision to cross that name off the list.
Next, make an appointment with the therapist with whom you felt most comfortable on the phone. If after the first session, you feel you may have not chosen wisely, do not continue. Instead, go to the second therapist on your list. Remember that you are making a choice for a life-long companion and guide. Do not take this decision lightly.
the full text is avaiable online at