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 choose a good one?
First off, remember that a psychotherapist is someone you should feel comfortable with. Therapy is a complicated process, and psychotherapists are not there to be a friend to their clients. Still, you’ll want someone you feel respects everything about you. Your psychotherapist should have your full trust and confidence, and you must never have to lie to them at any point. 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.
Secondly, find a psychotherapist who has been in this line of work for a long time (perhaps ten or more years). And they should be registered 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 unsure about this, do your research to learn more about your potential psychotherapist. Professionals will not take offense when asked about their qualifications. If the psychotherapist has a degree, it will always follow their names in their ads or it may even be required by law.
In any case, it’s best to choose someone who has a solid background of training and experience as a psychotherapist. In certain states, for instance, becoming a Certified Addictions Counselor requires no more than a high school diploma. 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. Don’t hesitate to stand up for yourself and keep looking for the right therapist.
The best method of finding good professionals is still through referrals. 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 personal recommendations, check out online reviews but stick to popular consumer websites for more credible info (marketing websites are usually full of fake and misleading reviews).
Finally, compare different psychotherapists rather than focusing on a single prospect at a time. Without comparisons, you can never tell who’s really the best for you.