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
- 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.