Before making a choice, you need some information to base that choice on.Please remember that this is my opinion. What type of therapy you use will be a your personal choice not a guarantee of being better or worse than any other just what you want to try or use, no one type of therapy works for everyone and you may need to try a few others before you find what works for you. The more qualification’s a therapist has does not mean they are any better than any other because there is much more to a therapist being successful in therapy than just qualifications.Do not pay any attention to any testimonials a therapist uses as advertising on a website or anywhere else, it could be totally untrue, if they give out emails for you to check the authenticity of the testimonials that will then have breached ex-clients confidentiality and secondly using clients to validate the therapist is seen as unethical by most therapists and therapy organisations.Beware of promises such as I can help you or I will change your life or even outrageous statements like I can cure your depression, as it’s all empty promises or bluff and bluster to make you part with your money, because that’s all their interested in.Never pay up front before therapy starts and always ask for a free consultation first to find out if you like the therapist, if they won’t do that why not, are they afraid or worried, the relationship between you and your therapist is probably the most important part to any successful therapy outcome and you need some time to talk to them first before you can make a considered choice.Remember who is in charge, you pay the fees you make the choice you can hire and fire when you wish and you have no obligation to stay with that particular therapist.Recommendations from family or friends are just that not a promise or guarantee just someone’s opinion and you may find the experience very different from them even with the same therapist.Therapy organisations should never be seen as a guarantee or validation of any particular therapist it is only an organisation that promotes their members over and above other organisations, you will always be the best judge of the therapist based on the experience you have had, no organisation should never be seen as a guarantee of your personal safety, always be aware and take responsibility for your own safety first. If the therapist says or does anything that makes you suspicious find a new one and you have no need to say why. If Doctors can steel kill and generally do bad things to patents in their care it can be said that the regulatory body they belonged to was no guarantee of good behaviour, and neither should you. It matters not if people are police doctor’s firemen therapists or lawyers because they are just people the same as everyone else, good and bad or were once good and are now bad, people do sometimes change for the worst overtime.
What to look for in a therapist?
There is no simple answer but remembering a few suggestions may be helpful to you.Number oneRemember that qualifications are not a very helpful indicator, a therapist who is a Dr in psychology is not necessarily going to be better than a therapist with just a diploma in counselling, because books and theory are just guides, they don’t tell therapists how to cure depression or anxiety, if they did then then you could buy your own books and cure your own problems. Being a good therapist has more to do with personal ability when using a combination of empathy life experience and knowledge than just book reading or qualifications.Number twoSteer clear of any therapist that makes big claims or makes big promises to cure issues like depression or anxiety, it’s probably all about marketing and money and luring in desperate people, if it’s too good to be true it probably is not true. Marketing tactics such as using clients to provide testimonials about their therapy service shows a total disregard for their client’s confidentiality and in my opinion shows very questionable professional ethics.Would you like someone emailing you and asking about your personal therapy experience or asking for proof of who you are to validate a testimonial by proving that you are not just a fictitious person?Providing a confidential service means that it is confidential and even the fact that you have had therapy is also confidential, any testimonial has to be shown to be true and in some countries the name and address of the person providing the testimonial has to be made available to people or advertising regulatory authorities to be able to check its validity.Number threeIf possible talk to the therapist before making any payments, a free consultation will help you find out what you think about the therapist and give you the chance to ask questions and get an idea how you feel about them as your prospective therapist, if you can’t find a therapist that you like who provides a free session then you may have to pay to find out if you’re a good fit together.Number fourA therapist’s specialisations or expertise in any particular problem area or issue only shows that that they are focused on a particular subject or area of interest, for instance if a therapist specialises in eating disorders does it mean they can’t work with anger issues? No because therapists need to work with the person as a whole not just one problem, everything we are as a person is complex and interlinked, anger love happiness fear anxiety depression are all part of the bigger picture, they all exist in the same place and each part influences the other, quite often an emotional issue like anger or anxiety is nothing more than a symptom or emotional expression of an undetected deeper problem. A therapist has to be flexible and adaptable and work with a wide range of problems because we are all complex unique individuals and not just a single symptom.So if you have anger issues don’t just look for therapists who specialise in anger, by doing so you may overly restrict your choices.Number five If it feels wrong or you feel uncomfortable with the therapist even if they seem to be a good choice on paper change the therapist immediately.Number sixToday online therapy services provide you with more opportunities to find counselling and psychotherapy online, you don’t have to use the therapist closest to you anymore.Number sevenlisten to your inner voice and trust your instincts, if you feel unsettled in the therapist’s company or you feel there is something wrong find a new one, remember you are the one in charge. If you have your hair cut and you like the cut or find the service helpful you will go back, if you don’t like the service you just find a new one and it’s the same with a therapist you just move on until you find one that works for you, not every therapist will be a good match for all clients, just like you will not agree with or like everyone you encounter in your life.Good luck in your future search and I hope you find what you need in a therapist and in life.
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