Choosing a mental health professional can be daunting given the variety of options available. With different levels of education, experience, and specializations, it's important to understand the basic components one should expect from therapy. However, there are three critical components that go beyond the basics and contribute to a truly quality therapy experience. This article will explore these components and their significance.
Before stepping foot into a therapy office, research and choose a licensed provider. Licensed providers have at least a Master's degree in a counseling field that requires completion of graduate-level courses in counseling theory, ethics, and techniques. Providers with PhD or PsyD degrees have undergone significantly more rigorous training beyond Master’s level practitioners, in general. Years of experience can also be a helpful factor to consider. Furthermore, find a practitioner who offers a free consultation and has an online presence that provides insights into their personality style. It's important to be cautious of “life coaches” without proper training or those making dubious claims.
Moving on to the therapy experience itself, a therapist should be a non-judgmental advocate. A good therapist strives to create a safe and well-guided environment, especially during challenging sessions. Even during difficult, challenging moments, the client should feel safe that their provider is helping them develop skills to manage or overcome mental health and behavioral issues effectively. Furthermore, providers must use interventions grounded in rigorous science. While clients don't need to understand the intricacies, the provider should be highly trained in the techniques they are using, follow the guidelines closely, and explain the treatment plan in an easily understandable manner.
Although these basic components are a good start, three additional components are crucial for a powerful therapy outcome. The first is practicing talking about and experiencing emotions. Humans are neurologically built to experience emotions, even though some people work hard throughout life to ignore or undermine this fact. Addressing emotions, particularly traumas, is not just nice-to-have, but vital for powerful therapy. Avoiding emotional content out of fear will almost certainly hinder one’s progress. If someone has had partial success in therapy but continues to struggle with fear, panic, anxiety, or phobias, not working through emotional life content is likely the underlying issue.
Secondly, finding a provider with training in psychophysiology, the interaction between the brain and body, is crucial. A highly trained provider can guide clients through moments of overactivation and employ safe strategies to deescalate the client. Providers with biofeedback training possess elite knowledge in psychophysiology, while other providers may have nearly no de-escalation skills.
Lastly, it's essential to find a provider who is willing to collaborate with other healthcare professionals involved in the client's care, such as psychiatrists or primary care physicians. A dedicated mental health practitioner ensures timely coordination of care, sharing important information to help formulate an effective treatment plan and advocate on their client’s behalf.
By considering these three critical aspects and researching providers ahead of time, individuals can find a mental health professional who offers a high-quality therapy experience.
Company Name: Stress and Relaxation Services of America, PLLC
Contact Person: Dr. Michelle Di Paolo, PhD, LPC, NCC
Email: Send Email
Country: United States