Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Choosing a Therapist

Posted by Nibor on July 25, 2000, at 17:06:46

In reply to Re: Questions to ask psych/therapist, posted by shar on July 25, 2000, at 16:31:01

Good answer, too. It makes me see we don't mention the cost factor in our "Choosing a Therapist" section, which I have copied below--although lots of places on our website (Undoing Depression) do discuss the problems with managed care, the struggle for parity, and so on.

> What a good question!
> I usually want to know if my therapist will help me identify and work toward general goals, what type of therapy does he or she generally use (usually there is a combination, but one that underscores the therapist's orientation). Do you want group, individual or combination? Does therapist do groups?
> Is therapist familiar with meds and how does he/she feel about them. Ie, get off as soon as possible, or what?
> Insurance, payment plans, etc.
> I'm sure others will add to this. Good luck, Shar.
> > My family doctor put me on Effexor XR recently for
> > depression and during a fit of clarity I figured I
> > should probably see a therapist as well.
> >
> > I know each experience is different, but what are some
> > questions I could ask a new psych/therapist to see if
> > he/she is a good choice? I know it's very subjective,
> > but I would appreciate any insight.


If I were depressed and seeking a therapist I would consider the following factors:
1.My gut reactions--is this someone I feel that I can like and trust? Do I feel at ease? Do I have any reservations? Psychotherapy is the one chance we get in modern life to tell the absolute
truth about ourselves. Is this person someone I feel can bear that responsibility?
2.References. Talk to friends, your minister, your doctor. A casual professional relationship isn't a good reference. You want to talk to someone who knows the therapist well--former patients are best.
3.The therapist's experience with depressed patients [or the particular reasons for which you are looking for a therapist], including familiarity with cognitive and interpersonal techniques, which are recognized as especially effective with depression.
4.The therapist's openness to medication as part of treatment.
5.The therapist's willingness to be active and directive when it's called for, not to assume that listening by itself is enough, or that the patient's needs for advice or reassurance are childish and should be ignored.

These last three factors are things you should definitely ask directly of the therapist. We are not gods, though some of us think so, and we will not be offended by direct questions. If you find a therapist who is offended, go find another therapist. As a matter of fact, it's best if you can to see two or three people for an initial consultation, and choose the one you feel can be most helpful.




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