Just considering therapy can be an intimidating experience for some. After all, it's not every day that we spend time with someone we barely know, one on one, talking about ourselves. Below are a few general questions first time clients might have.
1. There are so many types of therapy. How can I know which is right for me? -
Finding a therapist who is a good fit for you is crucial to the outcome of therapy. Therapist personalities vary along with types of approaches they use and particular issues they treat. It's a good idea to call several therapists and ask questions about the approaches they use and areas of expertise before scheduling your first session.
2. How is therapy different from talking to a good friend? -
When you work with a licensed therapist, the relationship is solely based on working with you to address your concerns or eliminate barriers to progress in your life. It is inappropriate for the relationship to extend beyond the therapeutic setting. This helps ensure confidentiality and professionalism of the therapist and allows you to explore thoughts, feelings, and experiences without the worry of how it might affect your relationships or other areas of your life. Also, licensed therapists have unique training and education to bring further insight and tools to apply to problems.
3. What kind of training do therapists have? -
Education and training among therapists differ. A qualified licensed mental health therapist typically has earned a minimum of a master's degree in a field related to human development, such as counseling or social work. Independent licensing ensures your therapist has met minimum educational requirements and qualified practice hours under supervision and adheres to a specific code of ethics to uphold professionalism.
4. What can I expect in the first session? -
A therapist will generally want to know a little about your family history and your current relationships. You will likely be asked about the nature of the concerns that bring you to counseling and some ideas of what it is you hope to achieve. Experienced counselors understand that this can be a new experience for many people and will strive to make the process more comfortable.