How to Choose a Therapist…
- First of all check the therapist’s education, credentials, knowledge and experience in dealing with your problem.
- What is the therapist’s reputation in the community or is the clinic reputable? How long has the counselor been in practice?
- Was the therapist referred by a physician office, other professional or prior client? This adds credibility to the therapist’s work. If any of your friends or family have ever consulted a therapist, ask them what their experiences were like. Did they like their therapist and was the treatment helpful?
- Ensure that your therapist’s moral values are similar to yours. A therapist’s role is to guide you in the choices that you make. If your therapist’s views are too different, the advice that they offer may not make a lot of sense to you. Therapy, however, is an adversarial process and you shouldn’t start looking for a new therapist just because your current therapist challenges your views and attitudes. That’s part of their job. What is important is the outcomes of the sessions. If the therapist is successful in making you think about the choices you make and their outcomes, then you have probably found a therapist that will satisfy your needs.
- After the first session did you feel a connection? Did the therapist listen, understand and respect you?
- Did you feel liked and valued as a person?
- Did you feel comfortable and was the therapist easy to talk to.
- Does the therapist’s approach make sense to you? Psychiatrist, psychologist and therapist can all offer you counseling and advice. However, only medical doctors and psychiatrists can prescribe drugs.
- Do you feel that the therapist is genuinely interested in you and your personal story?
- Does the therapist remember important details from session to session?
- Does the therapist inspire you to accept life challenges and help you make positive changes towards growth and healing?
Written by: Linda Riley, A Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Certified Sex Counselor who has counseled family's and couples for over 22 years. Her focus has been with enriching relationships and understanding relationship dynamics.