VOS: How To Choose a Suitable Psychotherapist

How To Choose a Suitable Psychotherapist

Psychology explained

May 2021

How To Choose a Suitable Psychotherapist

Deciding that you should get some psychotherapy is the first step in a big challenge. But how to choose a suitable psychotherapist? It isn’t a completely simple process these days, so I’ve written down some points of advice on how to proceed.

1. Paid or free?

You can find various organizations that provide free services, such as "Counseling for family, marriage and interpersonal relationships," or go to your district doctor and ask for a request for a psychologist who works for an insurance company.

If you can afford to pay for the therapy, count on about 500-1800, - per session (what currency??). The price often depends on the popularity of the therapist, the length of the doctorship, the education they completed. If you come across someone who wants thousands for a session, make sure it's really worth it, and it's not just an overpriced therapist.

2. Recommendations

The most reliable way is to get a specific recommendation from someone you trust (and ideally feel that something has improved for them). It can be difficult to come across someone who talks about it without prompt, so don't be afraid to ask your loved ones in a comfortable setting.

3. Internet

If you do not have anyone in your area who could recommend an expert to you, you can always use Google. Keywords like: "psychologist", "psychotherapist", "city" (where you live), "difficulty" (what is bothering you, such as relationship, anxiety, ...). Find 2-3 experts and browse their site. Then, focus on the following:

4. Education

First and foremost, check their education and experience. A quality professional should have a university degree, ideally with a focus on single-subject psychology, sociology, social work, special pedagogy, or another "social humanities" discipline.

5. Professionality.

The university degree does not wholly make an expert a psychotherapist.

Therefore, look for further education in the form of professional training, coaching, licenses, certifications, etc. The difference could be between entrusting yourself to someone who has completed a weekend coaching seminar, or a 700-hour psychotherapeutic training. Also look at the years they graduated - the professional should be constantly educated within the most up-to-date psychology. If their last addition to education is more than a decade old, I would reconsider your choice.

6. Supervision

You can't always see from a website alone, but it's a good idea to try and find out - a quality psychotherapist has a supervisor. This means that they go to another expert and improve and consider their work. They can discuss with their supervisor how they work with their clients or specific topics, as well as their own personal issues that may hinder their work. This reflection not only shows you that they are keen to develop their own life professionally but also personally.

7. Focus

Now you know that your therapist is a person who is dedicated to people, has the appropriate education and continues to improve, you can now check if they’re really dedicated to what you need help with. If they specialize in addiction, for example, it may not be a good choice to choose them for help dealing with infidelity in a relationship.

8. Sympathy

If you have chosen, I recommend you look at interviews, articles or videos with the given expert. It will help you decide if you like it and would be able to talk to them.

9. Contact

Writing an email or a text can be the most reliable way to contact psychotherapists, as they often do not answer the phone because they are in session. Therefore, the written form is more appropriate.

10. Personal meetings

Once you make an appointment for the first meeting, that doesn't mean you have signed up for life. If you still feel that you have made a good decision after the first meeting, I congratulate you very much. If not, try someone else. When I am alone in the first sessions, I tell my clients that the first meeting is just a trial, and that it is perfectly fine to say that they do not wish to continue. I will then be happy to offer interested parties a way to contact my colleagues who could be a better choice for them.

Original source: How to choose a suitable therapist

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