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Choosing the right mental therapist

therapist-sessionAt some point in our lives, we all run into problems that seem too big to handle. Yet pride and fear can get in the way of asking for help!
After taking that crucial first step to seek help, you may have some questions about therapy. You may wonder whether information you share that is very private will be kept confidential.
You can rest assured that all mental health professionals are ethically bound to keep what you say during therapy confidential. However, therapists are bound by law to report information such as threats to blow up a building or harm another person.
Therapy is a collaborative process, so finding the right match – someone with whom you have a sense of rapport – is critical!
During your first visit, describe those feelings and problems that led you to seek help. Be sure the psychotherapist does not use a “cookie cutter” approach to your treatment – what works for one person with depression does not necessarily work for another. Different psychotherapies and medications are tailored to meet specific needs. The best therapists will work with you to create a treatment program – perhaps using a single approach, perhaps incorporating several different ones – that works for you!
Although the role of the therapist is not to be a friend, rapport is a critical element of successful therapy. After the initial visit, take some time to explore how you felt about the therapist. For example:
• Was he or she someone you felt comfortable with?
• Did he or she listen?
• Did he or she seem to understand your concerns and address them?
• Is this a person you feel you can trust?
• Did he or she seem knowledgeable about your problem and suggest a therapy/treatment plan that suits you?
• Was the “chemistry” right?
If the answers to these questions are “yes,” schedule another appointment to begin the process of working together to understand and overcome your problems. If the answers to most of these questions are “no,” call another mental health professional and schedule another appointment with him or her!

South Shore Counseling & Mediation Center is a full service mental health agency, offering CBT counseling, EFT modalities – (tapping), therapeutic counseling, a variety of behavioral and psycho-educational programs and divorce mediation. To speak with one of our therapists please call (631)286-8282, e-mail us at SSCounseling1@optonline.net or visit our website, Southshorecounselingcenter.net.

Filed in: Ask Michelle

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