How to Choose a Psychotherapist
Sometimes, you just need help living our lives, even in the most basic of ways. These are probably times when only a psychotherapist will do. But how do we choose a good one?
First of all, a psychotherapist must be a person you are completely comfortable with. Therapy is not easy, and your psychotherapist is not there for you as a friend. Still, you should look for someone who respects you for everything you are. Your psychotherapist should get your hundred percent trust, and you should never have to lie to them for any reason. Else, they can’t really help you.
Very importantly, you should feel that the therapist is actually helping you. IF you don’t, then maybe you have to consider searching for another expert.
Secondly, find a psychotherapist who has been in this line of work for a long time (perhaps ten or more years). Of course, they should also be licensed in your state or territory.
For example, psychologists need a valid license before they can advertise themselves as “psychologists.” For clinical social workers, they will often have an “L” before their degree (eg. L.C.S.W.). In some states, clinical social workers are not required to get a license, or do not have to display licensure in this format.
If you’re uncertain about this, you can always do your research so you can learn more about your prospective therapist. Professionals do not mind questions about their educational and professional backgrounds. 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, choose someone who has extensive training and experience as a psychotherapist, and avoid those with the opposite. For instance, in specific states, you only need to finish high school, and then you are qualified to be called a Certified Addictions Counselor. While this may seem impressive, people need very little training to earn this title, as compared to the rest.
If you think therapy is easy, maybe you should try working harder, or you can also try finding 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. There’s nothing better than talking to people who’ve actually worked with the psychotherapist you’re planning to see. 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. This is the only way to know who is really the best for you.