That is where the choice of the right mental health therapist is so important. You do not want someone to become your best friend but you do want a therapist who is well qualified, motivated, experienced and with whom you can establish a good working relationship.
There are many practical issues you can resolve yourself. Does the therapist recognize your medical insurance cover? Do they have experience in the type of problem you have encountered? Are they available after hours? Do they have variable fees according to the income of their patients? All of this type of information can be obtained from the therapist or even their receptionist. You need to do some groundwork before choosing your mental health therapist. Your choice can make an enormous difference to you making a full recovery.
Of course you need to be sure you are actually suffering from a mental health condition in the first place. You may have a physical problem which has caused you to lose your appetite and feel tired. This you may assume is linked to depression when it may be nothing of the sort. Visit your general practitioner first and he or she can discover why you are feeling the way you are.
After you have searched for local mental health therapists and conducted a simple survey on their training, experience, fees, etc., you could make an initial appointment. This could be a one-off consultation. But at this one-to-one meeting, you can do several things:
- Find out if the therapist has treated people with your condition
- Find out if that treatment has been successful
- Ask the therapist about their approach to your type of problem
- Ask any questions you wish
From this first meeting you will get a feel for how the therapist operates. Do you feel comfortable? Remember you don’t want a friend but rather a practical and caring professional. You don’t have to continue with the therapist and should not do so if you are unhappy with their methods or manner.
If you feel comfortable only with a certain type of therapist in terms of gender, race, age or religion, you should restrict your choice of therapist accordingly. Mind you this may exclude someone who is brilliant and would be ideal for your situation.
Remember you are after a therapist who sees you as unique, who will prescribe a course of action and treatment which deals specifically with your needs and condition. The one-size-fits-all approach is not recommended. Ask your therapist about your specific issue.
The key issue in all of this is you. What is best for you? How can you be helped? You make the decision about the choice of mental health therapist. You are the number one priority. Choose well and be prepared to work hard. The most likely result is your improved health and happiness.
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