Updated on August 4, 2020
How to Choose a Psychology Therapist
A psychology therapist is the ideal person to help you through a particular type of problem. You may have a troubled marriage, anxiety attacks or suffer from depression. These are some of the types of areas in which a psychology therapist specializes. You need help and the right therapist could make a huge difference to your health and happiness.
But perhaps you know little if anything about this type of therapy and even less about finding the right therapist for you. Because yes the therapist is qualified and registered even perhaps experienced, but that doesn’t necessarily make them your first choice.
All types of therapy and especially that dealing with psychological problems is a delicate and intimate subject. You need to be confident and feel comfortable opening up your heart and soul to your therapist. That’s why the following steps are important.
Try local first. If you have a choice, select the closer therapist. If you have to travel a long distance, so be it, but you’ll be less tired and less likely to cancel an appointment if your therapist is reasonably close.
Try before you buy. It seems silly when it comes to such an important human aspect but this is a major activity in your life. Not only does it cost money, your whole life is being treated and you want it to work. Many therapists offer a first session for free. From that first session you can tell if you ‘click’ with the therapist. Are you happy to spend weeks or months working with this professional? If you’re not happy, find a therapist with whom you feel comfortable.
Work at it. Selecting a psychology therapist may not be easy. You may need to find those in your area, contact them, ask about their methods, experience, areas in they specialize, insurance cover and success rate. That could take some time. If you trust someone who has seen a therapist, maybe a recommendation will help. But be prepared to do some calling to establish your short list.
Money is important. You might say your health is the issue here and it is but therapists charge for their services. Does the therapist you’ve chosen recognize your insurance cover? What are the fees? Is there a sliding scale for those on a low income? Is there a lower fee for on-going sessions? You have every right to ask and should.
Qualifications. There is an array of qualifications which a psychology therapist can hold. Understanding them is not as important as finding a therapist with whom you feel comfortable. The approach to treatment, whether they are male or female or share a particular faith may be relevant. But nothing is important as how you feel working with your therapist. You need to be confident in their listening skills and trust their recommendations.
Ask questions. Normally you would expect the therapist to have you do most of the talking but there is a lot to be gained from you asking questions of the therapist. What sort of problems do people face? What are the causes of the problems I face? What are the alternatives to treating my condition? You have to work hard but make sure the therapist is kept busy and accountable too.
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