Here’s a link to an article by Dr. John Grohol Ph.D on ” shopping” a therapist and the difference between Degrees various therapists have: http://psychcentral.com/diff.htm.
Like he reminds us….remember “your therapist works for you” and can be fired!
Part of the article is below.
Distinctions Between Therapist Degrees
By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
May 12, 1996
Last updated: October 10, 2007
My Opinions | Other People’s Comments
How to Choose a Therapist
As managed care continues to make substantial changes in the field of behavioral healthcare, it is important to understand what you are paying for with your healthcare monies. There is a great degree of differences between professional’s degrees in this field, and those differences may impact on the effectiveness and quality of your psychotherapy work.
In nearly every state in the U.S., therapists must be licensed to practice (e.g., receive a fee for services) under specific, protected titles. For instance, the terms “psychologist” and “psychiatrist” are protected legal terms in every state and, when referring to providing clinical services, can only be used by properly licensed professionals. Ideally, such licensure helps to ensure that the professional has passed a minimum set of qualifications via a written examination and that if a problem arises with their provision of professional services, the authorities of that state have some recourse. In the real world, however, bad therapists obtain licensure all the time and the redress procedures for filing a complaint against a therapist nearly always favor the therapist. Nevertheless, when shopping for a therapist, make sure the professional is licensed whenever possible. I wrote for Mental Help Net.)
And yes, you should shop and compare therapists, just like you would in making any important life decision. You will spend a fair amount of your hard-earned money to pay for the therapist’s services (whether it’s done out of pocket or via your insurance/HMO premiums). You deserve to know basic information about the professional you are about to trust your innermost feelings and thoughts to, including their professional background, their educational background, how many years they’ve been practicing, and how much experience they’ve had in helping people with problems similar to your own. The more experience they’ve had and the longer they’ve been in practice are usually two of the best indicators to look for in finding a suitable clinician. A professional, regardless of their educational background, who has had 20 years of therapy experience and has worked with dozens of individuals presenting with problems similar to your own is much more likely to be of help to you than someone with 2 years of experience and you’re the first person they’ve seen with your particular mental health concern. (It makes sense, doesn’t it? The research backs up this view.)
Keep in mind that if you find your first choice in a therapist isn’t working out, give the therapist a pink slip and ask for a referral to one of his or her colleagues. Remember, the therapist works for you. If you don’t feel like you’re clicking after a few sessions, or the therapist isn’t listening to your concerns or providing you with enough feedback in your sessions, let them know. Don’t be afraid to change therapists if your concerns aren’t adequately addressed to your satisfaction.
There are a number of degrees which I didn’t cover in my original writings, but which are included in the other people’s comments section. These degrees/clinicians include licensed professional counselors, marriage and family counselors, and psychiatric nurses, to name a few.
Filed under: Buyer Beware, Mental Health, Therapy, Uncategorized | Tagged: buyer beware, caveat emptor, choices, choosing a therapist, Connecticut, consumer protection, employee, experience, finding a therapist, good therapist, hiring and firing a therapist, life, mental health, mental health profession, psychology, psychotherapy, relationships, shopping, State of Ct., therapist, therapy, trust, walk away from bad therapy |