Ask Questions Along the Way...
As an informed consumer, you should ask questions throughout your
treatment about the process of therapy. You have a right to know what
is happening and why. Usually, the first question that runs through a potential patients mind is:
What should I ask myself?What do I hope to gain from therapy? Will this therapist help me do that?
Am I comfortable with this therapist? Would I want to come back?
Remember: The most important factor in securing effective therapy is a good relationship between you and your therapist.
Do I feel assured that the therapist is qualified to help me with the issues or concerns that have motivated me to seek therapy at this time?
Am I willing to do the work necessary to participate in therapy?
Will therapy work for me?
Research supports the assertions that therapy works for most clients.
Many report relief from depression, anxiety, relationship problems, and issues affecting the elderly amongst numerous other issues.
Many also report seeking therapy as a means of personal growth and exploration.
How long are therapy sessions?
Sessions are typically between 45 minutes and 50 minutes, but may be shorter or longer depending upon the treatment approach. Please plan on 90 minutes for your initial consultation and assessment.
I tried therapy before and it didn't work, why should I try it again?
Sometimes the chemistry between the therapist and client or the therapeutic modality just isn't a good fit. Just as you sometimes have to switch medication, you may need to switch therapists or treatment modalities to achieve success.
Therapy works best when you are open to it and are actually willing to participate in your own healing.
What should I ask a potential therapist?
Inquire about the therapist's training, licensure status, and commitment to his or her professional development.
Ask what type of therapy is utilized. How is this different from other types of therapy? What should you expect?
Does the therapist have a treatment agreement? The treatment agreement will likely cover fees, appointments, cancellations, limits of confidentiality, etc.
How confidential are the sessions?
Information disclosed by patients is generally held as confidential except for disclosure required or permitted by law.
Is it OK to say I am shopping for a therapist?
Absolutely! Interview several.
Be wary about the therapist who dismisses the idea of you interviewing more than one.
Many therapists will expect payment for the initial interview.
What is the difference between a MFT, LCSW, LPC/CMHC, Psychologist, and Psychiatrist?MFT or LMFT: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a master's degree in psychology, counseling psychology, clinical psychology, or marital and family therapy. Emphasis is on primary service in counseling and psychotherapy from a variety of therapeutic orientations with individuals, couples, families, and groups.
LCSW: Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a master's degree in clinical social work. Emphasis on primary service in psychosocial diagnosis, assessment and treatment, client advocacy, consultation, evaluation and research.
LPC/CMHC: Licensed Professional Counselor or Clinical Mental Health Counselor with a master's degree in mental health counseling. Emphasis is on primary service in counseling and psychotherapy from a variety of therapeutic orientations with individuals, couples, families, and groups.
Psychologist: Possesses a doctoral degree in psychology or a related field with a license to practice therapy and conducts psychological testing and research.
Psychiatrist: A medical doctor who specializes in psychiatry. Emphasis on primary service in prescribing and monitoring psychotropic medications and sometimes offers psychotherapy.