There are as many different types of therapists and figuring out which one is right for you can be confusing and frustrating. By learning all that you can about the different types of therapies available to you, you will have the knowledge and power to make the healthiest decision possible.
Psychotherapy involves talking to a trained professional about the issues and concerns you have about your health. It can involve one on one, couple, family or group psychotherapy. Psychotherapy involves an agreement between you and a health professional for the purpose of resolving the mood disorder and promoting the healing process.
There are many different kinds of therapists available to you and the choice is a personal one, depending on what appeals to you and what your diagnosis is. Here are some of the most common types of health professionals offering therapy or counselling.
• Psychiatrists: medical doctors that specialize in psychiatric disorders
• Psychologists: trained professionals (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) that specialize in counselling and mental health issues
• General Practitioners: some GPs are trained in psychotherapy
• Psychiatric Nurses: nurses who specialize in psychiatric disorders
• Social workers: trained professionals (usually BSW or MSW), some of who specialize in mental health issues
There are lots of people who claim to be therapists but who do not have the credentials or professional memberships to support the claim.
Remember that the therapist is actually working for you. The work that you do together must be done as a team if you are to be successful in your journey. Before you begin, make sure that you know what it is that you want. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
There are a few good questions that you can ask. All therapists should be willing to answer them. If they won’t, move on!
When you are making your first exploratory phone calls, ask these questions:
Make sure that you write down the responses in order to review them later. As you ask the questions check how you feel about the responses. Your ‘gut’ feelings about the person on the other end of the phone shouldn’t be ignored. Pay attention to the ‘ease’ or ‘dis-ease’ that you feel as you go through your checklist. A good thing to do is to rank your gut feeling from 1-5.
1- I felt really uncomfortable with this one.
2- I felt moderately comfortable with this one.
3- I felt comfortable with this one.
4- I felt very comfortable with this one.
5- This is the one for me.
Once you have ranked your gut feeling, review the other questions to make sure that the therapist is a fit. Now you can make an appointment.
You will know that the therapist that you have chosen is the right one within the first two to three sessions. Here are some questions to ask yourself after the first couple of sessions:
Make sure that you feel comfortable. Remember, this is an important and courageous step that you have taken and you need to be on the journey with someone that you know you can count on.
If you don’t feel that you and the therapist are a good fit, let him/her know. Some problems can be resolved but sometimes it’s just a matter of “mismatched personality”. This is no one’s fault but will require you to find a different counsellor.
If you do need to find a new therapist ask your current therapist to help you by providing some names of other therapists. He/she should be able to accommodate this request.
You’re on your way.
You’ve done a lot of work to get here. If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at MDAO. We’ll be happy to support you through this complicated but important decision-making process. Therapy can be the key to unlocking all of your hidden potential. You need to respect and trust your ability to choose the right counsellor for you. Once you’ve done that, the work may be difficult but you will succeed. You’re worth it!
You can start your search for a therapist by talking with your doctor about your concerns and issues, or visit: