Choosing a therapist, whether online, from the phone book, or from an insurance provider list, can be a daunting task. The first step is determining which type of therapist you need. The therapists listed in our directory provide their license or certification information which is available to the consumer for verification through their state’s regulating body.
Decide whether you want to see a therapist in their office, or use online or ‘eTherapy’ and consult with a therapist online. Our online therapy site.
There are many types of licensed mental health professionals, differing in educational backgrounds, training, licensure philosophy and technique. Regardless of the degree, you should always interview a prospective therapist about their experience and training with similar concerns to yours.
Most therapists with Masters degrees or higher offer therapy for a wide variety of conditions. Many therapists offer an initial free consultation by phone or in person to help assess if they are the appropriate professional for you. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors and can prescribe medication. Very few psychiatrists also provide psychotherapy but usually refer to and work in conjunction with other psychotherapists. If you need medication, you will often have to see a psychiatrist.
Psychologists usually have a Doctorate in Psychology and have completed an internship under supervision. Some psychologists specialize in psychologist testing only; others offer both testing and psychotherapy.
Counsellors usually have a Master’s degree in Counseling and have completed an internship under supervision.
Clinical Social Workers typically have a Master’s degree in Social Work and have completed a supervised internship.
Other types of licensed professionals include Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) and Chemical Dependency Counselors. Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) typically have a master’s or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy and receive two years of post-graduate clinical supervision.
Remember that therapy, in the hands of a skilled therapist, is a powerful and life-changing experience. It has been shown to be useful for a variety of illnesses and problems. If you need therapy and work as an active participant in your treatment, you can expect it will be well worth the time and money you invest.