How to find a new therapist

Choosing the right therapist

This is my personal overview based on my opinions and experiences as a therapist. I hope it will give you a better idea of what steps to take to give you a better chance of finding a good therapist who you find beneficial who works ethically.

First of all, remember who is in charge, if you pay the fees, you can make the choices, and you can hire and fire when you wish, bad therapists are out there, and you need to be on your guard.

You have no obligation to stay with that particular therapist and be aware that any recommendations from family or friends are not a guarantee, only an opinion from their perspective. Your experience may turn out to be a vastly different one with that same therapist.

Therapists’ qualifications & testimonials

Remember that qualifications are not a good indicator.

For example, a therapist who is a Dr in psychology is not necessarily going to be better than a therapist with just a diploma in counselling because books and theories are only guides, and you need other personal skills to complement your therapy training to make you an effective therapist.

Qualifications do not show therapists how to cure your depression or anxiety; if they did, you could buy your own books and then cure your own problems. Being a good therapist has more to do with personal ability when using a combination of empathy, life experience, qualifications, and knowledge, not just book reading and qualifications.

Beware of false promises

Beware of promises, such as I can help you, or I will change your life, or even outrageous statements like I can cure your depression, as it’s all empty promises or bluff and bluster, to make you part with your money, because that is all their interested in.

In my honest opinion, you should never pay in advance before therapy starts and always ask for a free consultation first. You need that time to find out if you like the therapist. If they will not do that, why not? Are they afraid or worried?

The relationship between you and your therapist is the essential part of any successful therapy outcome. It will always help if you had some time to talk to them first before making a considered choice.

Therapist’s testimonials

Would you like someone to email you and ask about your personal therapy experience or ask for proof of who you are to confirm the testimonial you gave a therapist? Allowing a therapist to show your recommendation on their advertising or marketing materials could breach your confidentiality.

Supplying a confidential service means that it is confidential, and even the fact that you have had therapy is also sensitive information. Any testimonial must be shown to be true. In some countries, the name and address of the person supplying the testimony have to be made available to people. Or an advertising regulatory authorities must be able to check its validity.

Do not just accept any testimonials shown on websites, you need to check their validity and you should be able to ask for email addresses so you can try to do that they are not false marketing.

Marketing and advertising

Avoid any therapist that makes big claims or makes big promises to cure issues like depression or anxiety. It is all about marketing and money and luring in desperate people. If it is too good to be true, you can bet it is not true.

Marketing tactics such as using clients to supply testimonials about their therapy service show a total disregard for their client’s confidentiality. This shows very questionable professional ethics.

The best judge is you.

You will always be the best judge of the therapist based on your experience; no organisation should be seen as a guarantee of your safety, always be aware and take responsibility for your safety first.

If Doctors can steel kill and generally do dreadful things to patients in their care, it can show that the regulatory body they belonged to was no guarantee of good behaviour, and neither should you just trust anyone as soon as you meet them.

If something about the therapist feels wrong, or the therapist makes you feel uncomfortable. Even if they are a good choice on paper, change the therapist at once. Why wait. If the therapist says or does anything that makes you suspicious, find a new one, you do not need to say why. Listen to your inner voice and trust your instincts. Then, if you feel unsettled in the therapist’s company or think there is something wrong, find a new one, remember you are in charge.

Demanding your trust

If a therapist insists that being a member of this organisation or that one, or having a licence means you can trust them. Or it guarantees you will have a good therapist. Remember this, they just lied to you, and they know it.

No organisation or licensing body can guarantee competency and success for you in therapy. They can mention their exacting standards or talk about the training that the therapists go through, but it still is no guarantee of success.

Check the authenticity of the online therapist’s testimonials

If they give out emails or contact details of past clients for you, ask to check the authenticity of the testimonials. If they oblige by giving you contact information, they will have seriously breached a client’s privacy and confidentiality.

Using clients to validate the therapist is seen as unethical and bad practice. Find a therapist that understands the importance of your privacy and confidentiality.

No guarantee of safety

Therapy organisations should never be seen as a guarantee or validation of any particular therapist. It is only an organisation that promotes its members over and above other organisations.

A licence is needed in some countries to work as a therapist. This is also no guarantee that you will be treated professionally and respectfully.

Therapists are people the same as you

It matters not if people are police doctor’s firemen, therapists or lawyers because just like me, they are just people, the same as you, and everyone else, they may be good and bad, or were once good and are now not so good, unfortunately, people do occasionally change for the worst over time.

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