Friends and family ask me this all the time when they’re looking for help finding a therapist in Austin, TX. I tell them choosing a therapist is kind of like dating—it may be a matter of trial and error until you find the person who’s right for you. It’s a very personal decision.
First and foremost trust is the foundation on which the client-therapist relationship is built. If you don’t feel comfortable opening up and sharing with your therapist, then the therapy is most likely not going to go anywhere. Remember, if you do end up with someone who isn’t a good fit, there are plenty of qualified therapists in Austin. You may even find another therapist or counselor right down the street.
Therapists and their varied treatment approaches
Do some research and make sure the person you choose is qualified, and has the appropriate training to help you with whatever it is you’re going through. Are they licensed? Where did they earn their degree? In which areas do they specialize? What kind of treatment approach will they take?
Therapists from different training backgrounds commonly have various approaches to treatment. It’s vital to find someone with a style that is appropriate for your concerns and who meshes with your individual needs. Counseling isn’t “one size fits all.” What works for one person may not be a good fit for you.
What do all those letters mean?
There are many different paths one can take to become a mental health professional. So what exactly do all those letters after a person’s name mean? Here’s a quick breakdown of what you should look for:
At the master’s degree level, a therapist may be a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), or a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).
At the doctoral degree level, a therapist may be a Psychologist (PhD or PsyD).
Once you find someone you think might be a good match, take a closer look at their credentials. Psychology Today’s online therapist directory is an excellent resource that can help you find a therapist. You can search by zip code, specialty, or name. Therapist profiles provide information about the person’s education, credentials, specialties, treatment approach and fees.
Begin your journey
Regardless of which kind of therapist you choose in Austin, they should help you feel empowered and prepared to take charge of your life and your mental health. If you are ready to take that first step and begin your journey to a place of self-acceptance, strength, and serenity, please schedule an appointment.