The decision to begin therapy is hard enough, but after you decide that you need therapy, who do you call? We’ve designed the following list to make this search more easy, and less stressful. Here’s what questions to ask:
- Does this person have a master’s or doctorate degree in mental health? Some therapists practice whom only have bachelors degrees. We recommend a higher degree than a bachelors, to ensure proper training and experience.
- Has this person had supervised clinical experience? “Clinical experience” means this person has done actual therapy under the supervision of a qualified individual. This is very important because it indicates this person has been trained. Not all therapists practicing have been supervised and trained under a qualified program. Unfortunately, therapy cannot be learned simply by studying......only practice makes perfect. You wouldn’t go to a surgeon who had never been trained to perform the procedure, would you?
- Does this person have any credentials (license or certification)? Receiving a license or certification means this person has passed state requirements (each state is different), and will be held accountable under a law-abiding board. After receiving a license or certificate, the therapist must still meet certain requirements to ensure appropriate practices are being upheld.
Here a few tips to keep in mind:
- Just because a therapist has a lot of letters after their name, doesn’t make them an excellent therapist. Remember, the key is their degree, and whether they’ve had supervised clinical experience. Credentialing is important, but not the only thing to consider.
- Ask the therapist about their experience and treatment approach. Try to find a therapist who has experience in the issues you are dealing with. Does their treatment approach match your beliefs?
- Observe the atmosphere of the office, and of the therapist. Is the setting comfortable? Was the therapist polite and courteous during the initial phone call? Do you feel the therapist is listening to you as you talk? Do you feel more or less comfortable the longer you are in the office? Trust your gut; if something doesn’t feel right, most likely it’s not.
- A good therapist is going to exhibit certain qualities and attributes. Among those qualities are empathy, honesty, flexibility, respect and commitment. Your therapist is there to teach you how to have healthy relationships, (whether it be with another person or yourself) by modeling. Does the therapist show up on time? Are they empathetic? Do you believe they are being honest with you? Are they flexible in changing appointment times?
Each of the therapists at Imagine Hope has a master’s degree in mental health, along with licensure and certifications. Each therapist has also had supervised clinical experience while in their master’s program, and as a postgraduate. When you call Imagine Hope, you will be in contact with a therapist, not a receptionist. We believe your therapy experience begins the minute you call. To inquire more about our services, feel free to call us at (317) 569-0046, or visit our website at www.imaginehopecounseling.com
Need a little help finding a therapist in your area?
If Imagine Hope is not right for you, here are a few resources to help you find a therapist in your area.