“Different physicians have different expertise, and they apply this expertise differently,” he said. “The therapist-patient fit is important, and recognizing empathetic opportunities and responding appropriately is an important part of this.”

Narayanan compares therapist evaluations to drug trials: We test the efficacy of drugs to understand what works, when and for whom. So it makes sense to objectively evaluate the efficacy of therapists. Such evaluations can improve psychotherapy, as well as the therapist-patient fit.

“If you want truly personalized health care, it’s not just in pharmaceutical care but also in psychological care,” Narayanan said.