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Thoughts on choosing a therapist

I believe that choosing a therapist is a very important decision. A successful outcome will have a profound impact on the quality of your life, while a poor outcome can create more pain and confusion. So choose your therapist wisely. Since he or she works for you, interview a potential therapist to decide if you want to work with this person. The following are some points to consider.

A potential therapist should be fully certified, licensed, trained and, hopefully, experienced. Typically, they should be a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), or have a PhD in Clinical Psychology. They may also have secondary licenses and certifications such as Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) or be trained in special skills such as Trauma Therapy or EMDR. However, these technical qualifications do not, of themselves, guarantee a good therapist. Please note that Psychiatrists, with rare exceptions, only prescribe medication, although they are qualified to do therapy.

There are too many schools of thought on psychotherapy to adequately describe here. but two major divisions exist; traditional talk therapy and somatic/body oriented therapy, which is more holistic, combining talk and emotional expression with body work. Different therapeutic orientations focus on different aspects such as; behavior, cognitions, emotions, relations, body work or some combination of these. You will need to choose which type of therapy you want.

Any potential therapist should be of good moral character. They should adhere to their professional ethics and should have good personal morals. Policies and practices should be clearly stated. At all times, they should act in your best interest.

Study after study has affirmed that beyond other considerations, it is the person of the therapist that is curative. This is true regardless of theoretical orientation. It is primarily the caring, warmth, empathy, realness and emotional presence of the therapist that is most helpful. Since therapists are human, they also have issues, therefore, the best therapists have worked on their own issues. There is no license or certification for any of this personal work. You must rely on your judgment and gut feelings. For this reason, I offer a free initial consultation to allow you to determine if Counseling Solutions is right for you.

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