Deciding on a therapist can be a daunting task but here are some factors to consider that will aid you in making this decision:
How does it feel to sit with the therapist?
Research shows that the most effective counseling relationship is built from a place of comfort and trust. When you interview your potential therapist, do you feel safe, supported and understood? Trust your instincts.
What is the therapist’s approach in the helping relationship?
There are many different styles that allow for the effective treatment of various symptoms. Ask your potential therapist how he or she will work with you to provide relief of symptoms.
How is the therapist qualified to practice counseling?
The State of Colorado does not require an individual to be licensed to practice therapy. Therefore, find out about your potential therapist’s qualifications. Also, be aware that holding a certification or license to practice does not, in itself, make a good therapist. It merely means the individual has fulfilled the requirements set out by the State of Colorado to practice therapy.
Is the therapist skilled in treating the issues for which you are seeking counseling?
Some therapists specialize in a particular area of mental health and some therapists are generalists. Ask questions about your potential therapist’s specialties and training.
Does the therapist adhere to the ethical guidelines established by the State of Colorado?
Whether licensed or unlicensed, there are basic guidelines that every therapist must follow. Confidentiality is one of these guidelines. This means that you can trust that the personal information you share with your therapist will not be repeated, except in very specific situations. Ask your therapist about these exceptions.
Does the therapist engage in regular supervision and/or consultation?
It is generally a good idea that a therapist engages in clinical supervision. Therapists use supervision as a tool to ensure that you are receiving the best care possible.
Have there been complaints filed against the therapist?
You can check this out by going to the State of Colorado website http://www.dora.state.co.us then click on the tab on the right that says ‘check for disciplinary action’. Having a complaint filed does not necessarily mean the therapist isn’t someone you should use. You should ask about it and understand what changes your potential therapist has made to address the complaint.