Choosing the Right Therapist

A Guide to Choosing the Right Therapist For You

What you should expect from your therapist:

  • Open and honest communication about the fee, methods of therapy and expectations of you, the client.
  • Caring and understanding
  • Encouragement and respect
  • Reliability and consistency
  • That your goals can be reached, or that improvement occurs, within a reasonable time

Your responsibilities as a client:

  • Communicate your needs openly and clearly
  • Be an informed consumer
  • Pay for the services as agreed between you and your therapist
  • Give adequate notice if you need to cancel your appointment
  • Let your counselor know how you feel. If you need something you aren't getting, ask for it.

Reasons for seeking a therapist:

  • Relationship problems
  • Teenager in trouble
  • A death in the family
  • Home or work stress
  • Financial problems
  • Childhood issues
  • Sexual difficulties
  • A desire for personal growth
  • Career decisions or job change
  • Domestic violence
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Loneliness
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Anger management problems
  • Trouble at school
  • Grief or loss
  • Other transitions

Different kinds of counselors and therapists (and what they do)

  • Psychiatrist: a medical doctor who can prescribe medication and also do therapy.
  • Psychologist: a PhD in clinical or child psychology who treats people with mental problems and can do evalutaions, testing or custody reports.
  • Marriage and Family Therapist: trainded to work with people having relational problems. An MFT can work with one person, couples, families, or in groups.
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker: can do therapy, and help with agencies or network as a support person for the family.
  • Pastoral Counselor: can help with personal and family problems withing a spiritual context.
  • Mediator: helps people resolve disagreements of many kinds.
  • Hypnotist: can help with specific goals such as weight loss or stopping smoking, using hypnosis.