Choosing a Therapist
Finding someone to help you and your family is a significant step toward making the change that you want to have happen. There are important questions you may want to ask to be sure you have found a person with whom you can work. It is important that you and your family feel comfortable, understood and respected by the therapist.
Some basic questions to ask a therapist include:
- Are you licensed to practice by your professional board and by the state?
- Does you have experience treating my specific problem?
- What other types of experience do you have?
- Do you have a specialty?
- What kind of treatment will be used for my problem?
- What are your fees and financial policies (charges for phone calls between appointment, missed appointments, cancelations)?
- What are the billing policies? Is insurance coverage accepted?
- Is the office conveniently located?
- What are the office hours? Is an appointment available within a few days?
- Are you available for emergency consultation if I experience a crisis?
- Will you consult with my physician or psychiatrist about medication or other health issues, as needed?
- Will you consult with school personnel or other professionals, if indicated?
Seeking help for you or your family is a brave and sensitive endeavor. Finding the right person to talk to, to trust, and help you take action requires a commitment for both you and your therapist.
It is complicated to make the most of your unique skills and abilities while maintaining a healthy balance of work and relationships. Everybody in the family has their part in making a happy family life, but one person can start making a change for everybody to benefit.
Laguna Family Therapy can help you figure out how to reduce behavior problems, relationship difficulties, school and work stressors, and create a life that supports and nurtures all aspects of you. We invite you to start finding the benefits of change. Contact us for a free telephone consultation.
What to expect from your therapist
Your therapist should respond directly and completely to your questions so that you feel comfortable with your understanding of the information. It should feel like a “good fit” and give you hope that you can work together to resolve your concerns. Research has shown that the quality of the therapeutic relationship between you and your therapist is an essential component of successful growth.
By the end of the first session, the therapist should be able to give you a compassionate summary of your concerns and suggest potential treatment strategies and steps to take to meet your goals. This may include referring you to other professionals who also may be able to help or who may be better able to meet your needs.
What to expect from yourself
Therapy is a significant investment of time, money, and energy. Every person will find unique benefits but usually therapy serves you in becoming the person you want to be, living the kind of life you hope to lead. To accomplish this, you will have to make time in your life to work in therapy. It is an investment in your future happiness. The dividends increase over time as you decrease your stress, anger, confusion, or sadness and increase your confidence, tranquility, clarity, and joy. You are making a commitment to look at different perspectives, try out new ideas, try making different choices, try changing your responses. Often, it is hard but rewarding work.
As you make changes, you may begin to see changes in your relationships and in your problematic situation. Some of these changes may be immediately gratifying, some may be surprising, and some of these changes may be almost terrifying. The therapist is there to help you manage by offering novel strategies, gentle feedback, skill development, additional resources, and emotional support. You will build on the skills you have now to get the skills you need to make things better and better. Each step forward makes the next step easier and brings you closer to your goal.