If you’re in the midst of a bad depression or series of panic attacks or a manic episode, it can be important to get immediate help. This means you might not be able to shop for the right health care provider at that moment. Is it okay to start with one doctor or therapist and later change to another who might be a better fit? 

Absolutely. In fact, at any point during therapy if you feel you are not progressing then try another therapist. Your current therapist should be supportive about the transfer. If the therapist is really resistant, then it’s often more about the therapist than you. 

I would look at the timing of when you want to leave the old therapist, too. Most of the time when people want to leave it’s when they are feeling stuck, when they feel like they’re going in circles. Sometimes a good reason for leaving is if therapy has just become too comfortable and it has stopped being a challenge. 

If you’re in the middle of crisis, though, or have been dealing with something that is very challenging and emotional, that could be a signal that the desire to leave is less about liking the therapist than wanting to avoid what is painful. 

Answered by: Gail Tager, she is a marriage and family therapist from Sierra Madre, California, with two decades of experience. Here, she answers five of the most common questions regarding mental health, ranging from how to find the best therapist to how to figure out when and whom to tell others about your struggles.