How To Choose The Right Therapist

There will come a time in life (if it has not happened already) when it could be beneficial to talk to an outside, objective person in order to solve a problem. A psychotherapist is trained to help empower you to find solutions to life’s dilemmas and enable you to live your best life. When looking for psychotherapist near me, remember the following.

A psychotherapist is a trained, mental health professional, able to diagnose and treat mental illness and equipped to help you develop personal insight, cope with life’s dilemmas, solve problems, and strengthen your relationships. There are many types of psychotherapists, so how do you go about selecting the best one for your?

First, you must feel you can trust the therapist with your inner most thoughts and feelings. She should exhibit warmth and empathy. She should be skilled at listening and be willing to offer compassion, demonstrate authenticity, and hopefully, have a sense of humor. Psychotherapists are people with their own personalities, just like clients, so look for one that you connect with–one you believe understands you and your unique situation.

Psychotherapists will either have a master’s or a doctorate degree. Look for the initials M.S. (master of science), M.A. (master of arts), PhD (doctorate of philosophy), PsyD (doctorate of psychology), ARNP (advanced registered nurse practitioner), or MD (medical doctor). Other initials behind the therapist’s name indicate license. These include LMFT (licensed marriage and family therapist), LCMFT (licensed clinical marriage and family therapist), LSCSW (licensed specialist clinical social worker), LMLP (licensed master level psychologist), or LPC (licensed professional counselor).

In addition to these licenses, psychotherapists will generally have specialties. For example, some, like marriage and family therapists, have more training than most in relationships. MFTs, therefore, often prefer to work with more than one client in the room at a time. Others’ training is based in individual therapy. Therefore, some therapists hope to uncover what is going wrong inside the patient (anxiety, depression, grief, etc.), while others are looking for what is wrong between people in relationships (conflict, communication difficulties, boundary issues, etc.). Psychologists perform psychological testing, while psychiatric nurse practitioners and psychiatrists can prescribe medications. Keep these specialty differences in mind when considering which therapist is best for you.

Most psychotherapists have an online presence today. And each contracts with different insurance companies to provide care for clients. Therefore, a logical place to start when looking for a therapist is your health insurance company’s online directory. Read several profiles to understand the theoretical philosophy of each therapist and his or her specific training. Call those you think might be a good match and ask if they offer a free consultation to better judge therapeutic fit. Look at each therapist’s personal website for more information. All of this research may seem like a hassle, but choosing the best therapist for you is imperative, because once you get started with a therapist, you will find it more of a hassle to start all over and repeat your story to someone new if the first one doesn’t work out. For more info: