A colleague and I were discussing the characteristics of successful therapists. I gave him some traits, some of which were listed by Robinson (2012). The therapist should be able to listen to your story, build rapport, establish a relationship, demonstrate empathy, adapt treatments to the client/situation, use effective communication skills, exhibit confidence in use of therapeutic techniques, and repeatedly update skills with ongoing education and research.
You should talk with the therapist. In addition to asking the therapist about his/her experiences and specialty in treating the issue you want to address; you will gain a sense of the therapist’s ability to connect with you in your first phone call or meeting with him/her. This is why I offer a free 15-minute phone consultation. You can use the above criteria to gauge the therapist’s ability to do the following: Hear you, join with you in understanding the issue, and indicate some ways in which the issue may be treated.
I specialize treating anxiety and relationships and would like to talk with you if you have questions about how I may be able to help you.