Frequently Asked Questions for Your New Psychotherapist
If you are in a situation where you may need the services of a psychotherapist, choosing the right doctor for you is important. You want to make sure you are fully comfortable with this person and you should be able to trust them in ways you may not have trusted a family general practice doctor. These professionals can change your life for the better and you want to make sure you are choosing one who can cater to your specific needs. Psychotherapy is usually a medicine free treatment style focusing on talking and opening up to describe feelings, emotions and thoughts. Though medication may be required for some clients, this is usually through a Psychiatrist, who is focused on the medical treatment for mental illness.
Types of Psychotherapy
There are different types of psychotherapy and different psychotherapists will use different methods. Some of them are cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, rational therapy and family therapy. Though they are different in their approach, the goal is the same: to remove distress, alter troubling behavior, improved relationships, personal growth and better coping mechanisms. Your chosen therapist may use one of these methods, a combination method or perhaps something totally different. The chosen method will depend on the malady you are suffering from as well.
We all need help sometimes and there should be no shame from seeing a psychotherapist. Everyone can benefit from the services of therapy depending on what they are going through in their personal life. For example treatment for someone who is suffering from an eating disorder will differ from someone who is suffering from grief related problems. Even if these issues are caused by medical or physical issues, using therapy can enhance treatment that is focused more on physical disorders like Bipolar Disorder, which is rooted in the brain.
What to Expect from a Psychotherapist
What to expect from meeting with a therapist can also differ depending on the reasons you are seeing them. In general you should expect a lot of talking. You will likely be expected to open up and share your thoughts and feelings about certain life issues. Working closely with you, based on what you say and share, you will come up with a plan of treatment that may involve mental exercises and even some homework like assignments you can do during the times you are not with your therapist.
How to Choose a Psychotherapist
Choosing the right psychotherapist can be a very important decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you are not fully in tune with each other, your treatment plan and treatment goals may suffer. It will be well worth your time to meet with a few different therapists and ask them questions to evaluate if they are good for you or not. A person who may be wonderful for one of your friends may not be great for you, but you should check them out. Typically friends know your personality and may be able to recommend a great therapist. There are a multitude of things you should evaluate and keep in mind before becoming a regular client.
Knowing the education background and experience level of your therapist may be very important to some people. Do not be afraid to ask for this information. It should be readily available in the office but if you wonder about background info, you can check with regulatory offices in your area.
You may want to know if your therapist has been in therapy themselves. Many of them have been to therapy and continuously go to keep up their own mental health. Though book knowledge of psychiatric issues is necessary, that practical experience and knowing what it’s like to be a client can be very beneficial. You should also, as briefly mentioned above, be aware of the type of therapies your counselor will use on you. Some may not seem or feel comfortable for you. Though your therapist may put you into uncomfortable or challenging situations, if you don’t like it or think it is too much for you, you should speak to your therapist or find a new one. You should always feel at ease when talking with this person.
One thing that people don’t often think of when going to a therapist is if they are available by phone. There are certainly therapists who are accessible most of the time, but they also may take calls during your own sessions, so if you think you would not like that, make it clear from the start. If you are interested in or believe you may be a candidate for medications, you should find out if your psychotherapist can write prescriptions. Many cannot, but they can refer you to someone who will if they feel that you would benefit from a different form of treatment than simple therapy.