How To Choose The Right Psychotherapist For You
You are now ready to start therapy and deal with problems that affect your daily functioning and your views of life and yourself. How do you go about finding the right person for you? I will provide some general guidelines to help you by this course of action.
To begin psychotherapy or counseling is a very important decision, so the choice of the “right” therapist should not be taken lightly. After all, a therapist is a person you need to trust with the most personal and intimate details of your life and relationships. Choosing the right therapist, however, can be daunting and confusing, particularly if you are approach this task for the first time and may not be acquainted with the various options obtainable
Psychotherapy and counseling are talk therapies used in the treatment of mental and emotional problems by the use of psychological techniques and interpersonal connection. Professionals who define themselves as counselors or psychotherapists keep up a Master’s Degree, a Nursing Degree, a Ph.D. Degree, or are medical doctors who specialize in psychiatry. In addition, there are other people who practice in this field. These are the coaches – like spiritual coaches, life coaches, grief coaches, relationships coaches and so on. These people do not need to keep up a degree in the field of mental health and their training is often very short and limited to very specific areas.
Which one, you may ask, is best for you?
The answer depends on what you need. If you need medications for your symptoms, you will want to contact a nurse practitioner or a psychiatrist. If you want talk therapy to help you deal with your emotional problems, learn coping skills and unprotected to insight, you will want to contact a counselor or a psychotherapist. If you are not sure, you may want to start with a psychotherapist and go from there. Psychiatrists typically charge the highest fees. Master’s level counselors typically charge less than therapists at the Ph.D. level. Coaches charge already less. However, if you hare experiencing an emotional problem, I would warn you to be very careful about selecting a coach.
Now that you have determined which category of professionals is most appropriate for your situation, you may want to proceed as follows:
Decide your gender Preference. Do you think you would be more comfortable with a man or a woman?
Try to get a personal referral. If you know somebody you trust who is or was in therapy and benefited from it, you may want to ask for a referral. Your medical doctor also can be a reliable referral source.
Check educational background, experience and areas of specialization.
Check for malpractice suits.
Set treatment goals. Are you interested in symptom relief, problems in an intimate relationship, or do you want to get to know yourself more deeply?
Now that you have done all the background work, it is time to schedule your first appointment. You won’t know whether there is a good fit between you and the chosen therapist until you sit in his or her office and the two of you begin interacting with one another. Do you feel the therapist understands what you are saying? Do you get the feeling he or she is knowledgeable, empathic and engaged with you? Is he or she providing useful feedback? Be prepared to find someone else if you have serious questions after your first appointment.
To feel connected, understood, attuned and emotionally safe with a therapist are the most important conditions for therapy to be effective and transformative.