Answering this question will depend on the person asking it. Any person in danger of hurting themselves or others should take the chance with the emergency room doctor or 911 to get triage help. For many people, when they are seeking mental health professional they have challenges in their lives that are overwhelming. They are looking for someone to help clear out some of the fog and have their ideas and feeling validated. There are many good qualified psychiatrists with the proper credentials and alphabet soup following their names. But, individuals seeking help are very vulnerable. Getting a therapist, whose approach conflicts with the values of the client can be frustrating and potentially damaging. There are a few quick tips to consider when choosing a therapist.
First, make a list of qualities you believe you would like your therapist to have. Second,remember the therapist works for you. Consider your first and second session as your opportunity to evaluate your doctor. Third, ask the therapist if they practice from a particular theory. If you aren’t familiar with the theories that range from client centered therapy to cognitive behavior therapy, let the therapist explain their take on the theory. Most importantly, do you feel as if you are being heard? If your therapist begins advice giving, you are in the wrong office. A bell should be going off. The bell should continue to go off if the therapist insists you talk about your mother or childhood. Many mental health professionals practice the here and now therapy. They work with the material you are offering. If you feel uncomfortable, judged, or spoken down to, the duck is quacking. You should find another provider. And, it is okay to choose a different provider. As in other relationships, people are different. One provider is not for everyone. The key to therapy is feeling safe to discuss important events in your life. The cornerstone to progress in therapy is a trusting relationship. If your therapist walks, talks, and quacks like a duck, get out of the pond. There will be a better choice that is right for you.