Your Therapist is employed by you!


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:

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

Related article:
How to Choose a Therapist

My Opinions
An Introduction
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.



11 Responses

  1. Brands are no more a sign of a “quality” product…noticed?

    Considering a therapist as a shopping article, might lead straight to dissatisfaction…like with each consumerist attempt to comfort the existential angst.

    Not to mention that a “good” therapist might refuse working with people having such a neoliberal dehumanised concept in mind .

    • A wise consumer is aware they have a choice.

      What leads to disatisfaction is accepting what’s right in front of you because it’s available, or convenient.

      Would you like fast food or a homecooked meal?

      Do you want a second opinion before surgery? or to choose your surgeon?

      This is freedom of choice…when we “shop”…we make a choice between what services or products are available to us.
      Like it or not… that includes human services

  2. The idea of the middle class about her “safety” assuming the “service industry ” to please her needs….is maybe one of the reason why they will get what they deserve.

    If you have the choice between a therapists who is “pleasing your wishes” or one who confront your neurotic attempt to “control” life ,who do you choose?

    • I don’t see it as an either – or proposition. A “people pleasing”, coddling type therapist doesn’t serve a client well, nor does one who “makes assumptions” about a client. The person I would choose to work with is aware that the client has their own answers, and it is the his or her “job” to help the client dis-cover them.
      To answer your question… if I “had” to make a choice between…. I’d have to go with the second option, as all defense mechanisms are survival based. However, a therapist that continually confronts these defenses mechanisms without empathy and compassion can not ultimately assist a client. So the choice is not black or white. The therapeutic alliance is key!

  3. Are you aware that the ability to frustrate the traded pattern and the demanding expectations is a important necessity to help towards a possible change?

    Nothing wrong with trusting your senses in each human contact.

  4. Please rephrase…

    Are you aware that the ability to frustrate the traded pattern and the demanding expectations is a important necessity to help towards a possible change?

  5. Absolutely right, …confrontation without empathy is just another form of arrogance, not helpful at all.

    I simply react to this very American concept of considering each human activity as subjected to her market “worth” who result in eternal smiling 10 points to happiness snake oil selling, to speak in your therm : tasteless fast food white toast.If you go around the blogs you might figure out what I mean by that.

    I simply felt inclined to ad my “grain of salt”, as I definitely think this poor planet needs a lot of introspection, what includes from my point of view, questioning the “easy ready made answers”. The necessity to question the structures who determine “health” who are mostly connected with the same profit making elites who have an advantage to not be seen as a source of individual discomfort in a postmodern society, should be questioned too, to not fall into a dangerous illusory trust that all authorities (and their franchises) are “good for you!” . The generalized “mood pill” culture is a sign of alienation of the minds. A bit of real good grain in bread is a need to bite through.

    Talking about therapy as food, you might enjoy From Fritz Perls : ego, hunger and aggression.(just a thought!I)

  6. Agreed! I’ll check out theFritz Perls info after I go make a batch of Pumpkin Cream Cheese brownies for a Thanksgiving Luncheon tomorrow!
    They are one way to “have your cake and eat it too”!
    Sweets that are homecooked, and a bit nutritious!

  7. Seems our posts crosses ; -)

    To answer to you question.
    It demands courage in the interaction to remain firm in the duty of Non cooperation with all the neurotic propositions who will get use to tempt into the old patterns.

    This “frustration” helps to reach towards a new(well maybe old but neglected)creative option how to handle that situation.
    A sign of that happening is can be as example a breathing relief .

  8. Your brownies sounds delicious!
    I just had pumpkin backed in the oven with sesame.

    Thank you to have give me room to share my “old soup”!.
    I wish you a good time with your friends to thanksgiving!

  9. Thank you too! The brownies are baking!
    Have a wonder-ful! Thanksgiving !
    We do have much to be grateful for!

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