There are many things to look for when looking for a therapist. However, there are three major things for which to look. One is credentialing. If you are needing help with a individual issue such as depression, anxiety, addiction and the like, then look for someone in that related field. Many times a Social Worker (MSW), Psychotherapist, or Registered Marriage and Family Therapist will have a focus in one of those areas. It is important to find someone who deals fully in the area of need. As the saying goes, one does not go to a foot doctor for brain surgery.
There may be times one may need to seek help on a deeper level through a psychologist or psychiatrist. The difference, a psychologist is steeped in assessment and cognitive/systemic treatment plans without medications. The psychologist is better trained in “talk therapy”. Where a psychiatrist is steeped in assessment and many times will provide medication for the diagnoses. There are times when both a cognitive/systemic treatment plan is needed in addition to the medication.
When looking for “relational” help, the best choice is usually a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist. They are steeped in relational treatment through Individual, Family, Marriage and Couples Counseling. Even then do your homework.