Finding the Right Psychotherapist
Sometimes, living our lives becomes unbearable that we actually need somebody’s expertise to help us. These are probably times when only a psychotherapist will do. But how do we pick the right one
First and foremost, a psychotherapist should be a person whom you feel totally at ease with. Therapy is a complicated process, and psychotherapists are not there to be a friend to their clients. Still, you’d like someone who will respect you and all the things about you. You have to trust your psychotherapist 100%, and you should never have to consider lying to them at any stage. Otherwise, you can’t expect any real help from them.
Very importantly, you should feel that the therapist is actually helping you. If you don’t, then you obviously need to find a new one.
Second, choose a psychotherapist who has been practicing the profession for a considerable time – maybe a minimum of ten years to be safe. And they should have the appropriate state or territory licensing.
For example, psychologists need a valid license before they can advertise themselves as “psychologists.” A clinical social worker will typically put an “L” prior to their degree, as in “L.C.S.W.” In certain states, clinical social workers need not obtain a license, or format their licensure this way.
If you’re unsure about this, do your research to learn more about your potential psychotherapist. Professionals know that answering questions like this is part of their job. A psychotherapist who has a degree will have it follow their name in their adverts, or it could be a legal requirement in some states as well.
In any case, pick someone who has a long history of psychotherapy training and experience, and stay away from those who don’t. In certain states, for instance, becoming a Certified Addictions Counselor requires no more than a high school diploma. Although this sounds impressive, it takes so little to get this title, which isn’t very reassuring.
Psychotherapy is never easy, so if you think it is, that’s a sign that you either need to put more effort into it, or you need to look for a new psychotherapist. Be brave enough to stand up for yourself and keep searching for the right therapist to help you.
As always, referrals are still the best way to find a good professional. Nothing’s better than hearing it straight from those who’ve worked with the psychotherapist you’re considering. If you can’t get any referrals for some reason, read Internet reviews on reputable third-party websites (marketing websites tend to be biased) for more accurate info.
Finally, spend time comparing different psychotherapists, instead of considering one at a time. Without comparisons, you can never tell who’s really the best for you.