Choosing A Therapist
of licenses and their description)
Here are some things
to consider when choosing a therapist:
It takes courage
to face your pain and discomfort with another human being. You may
be nervous at first but that will soon fade once you begin to
some friends if they know of a therapist they like.
Having a personal
referral may help you be more at ease, knowing someone you know
had a good experience with this therapist.
the different types of therapists.
Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) are relationship
specialists who treat persons involved in interpersonal
relationships. They are trained to assess, diagnose and treat
individuals, couples, families and groups to achieve more
adequate, satisfying and productive individual, marriage, family
and social adjustment. The applications of marriage, family,
therapeutic principles and methods are used to enable individuals
to mature and grow individually and within marriage and the
family, and the provision of explanations and interpretations of
the psychosexual and psychosocial aspects of relationships. They
have at least a master's or doctoral degrees and have passed a
state comprehensive examination.
Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) help people to achieve
more adequate, satisfying, and productive social adjustments. The
application of social work principles and methods includes, but is
not restricted to, counseling and using applied psychotherapy of a
non-medical nature with individuals, families, or groups;
providing information and referral services; providing or
arranging for the provision of social services; explaining or
interpreting the psychosocial aspects in the situations of
individuals, families, or groups; helping communities to organize,
to provide, or to improve social or health services; or doing
research related to social work. Licensed Clinical Social Workers
have masters or doctoral degrees in social work, have completed a
field supervision program, and are state-licensed/certified. They
are qualified to work with groups, families, individuals, and
Psychologist (Psy.) is a non-medical specialist in the
diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional problems and
disorders. Their role involves testing, counseling and/or
psychotherapy, without the use of drugs. In most states, a
psychologist has completed a doctoral degree from a university
program with specialized training and has successfully completed a
professional licensure examination.
Psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in
diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders and is licensed to
practice medicine. They are licensed to prescribe and monitor
psychotropic medications for treatment of these disorders.
Psychiatrists are first educated, trained, tested and licensed as
4. If you
have insurance call your insurance company and ask questions.
Are you covered
for psychotherapy? Does you policy cover couples therapy? How many
sessions do you get for the year? What is your Co-pay for each
session? If you already know the therapist you want to see, is
that therapist covered under your insurance? Do you need prior
more than one therapist
Talk a while to
the therapist and get a sense of your comfort and how the
therapist responds to you. Are they taking time to listen? Do you
feel heard? What is your gut feeling?
How long have
they been in practice? Do they belong to a professional
organization? What is their fee? Do they take your insurance? How
long is a session? Questions help you spend some time with the
therapist and get a since of what it would be like to be their
If your schedule
is an issue be sure the therapist has an opening in the time frame
you need and if that time will be consistently available. Be sure
to write down the date and time and get sufficient directions so
you can easily find their office. Give yourself plenty of time to
will cover some basic structure of doing therapy together. Do you
pay each time? Do you pay a co-pay and they bill the insurance or
do you pay them the full amount and you receive payment from your
insurance? What if you need to cancel an appointment? How much
notice do they need. What happens if you do not give the required
amount of notice? What about your rights to privacy and
confidentiality? How often are you going to see the therapist?
Defining the relationship
includes sex or sexual advances. This helps keep the therapeutic
relationship a safe place for you.
Congratulations you have finished your first appointment
Writing a few
notes after therapy will be helpful and gives you the opportunity
of review what you covered in therapy and what you felt. Sometimes
you will talk about something you have so many feelings about you
may forget what was said in therapy. If you are use to writing
about your therapy after your session you are more apt to retain
the thoughts and feelings and apply what you have learned.