10 Questions to Consider when Choosing A Therapist -
Whether you get a referral or recommendation for a therapist from your primary care doctor, a friend, or your insurance company, finding out about his/her background and training can help you feel comfortable with your choice. Here are some questions to ask before settling on a therapist:
1. What's your training? What certification, credentials or degrees do you hold?
2. How long have you worked in this field?
3. What kinds of treatment or therapy do you think might help me?
4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches?
5. How does the treatment work?
6. What are the chances that treatment will work?
7. How soon should I/we start feeling better about our relationship?
8. How will we assess my progress?
9. What should I/we do if I don't feel better about our relationship?
10. How much will treatment cost?
It's hard for a therapist to give precise answers to some of these questions, because no single therapist or type of treatment is best for everyone. But there are some general responses you should be looking for. The therapist should have formal training and certification, or be on the way to getting it. There's a tendency for mental health professionals to offer the particular type of psychotherapy that they do best. It's good if the person can describe the merits and drawbacks of different types of treatment, including ones they don't do.
The therapist should also let you know how he or she will monitor your progress. If you don't feel there's been improvement after several months, consider getting a second opinion.