What Is A Therapist?

What Is a Therapist?

First and foremost, a therapist is a person who works to understand your specific needs and troubles and offers comfort and healing when you hurt.  A therapist is a person who journeys with you during difficult times in your life and remains hopeful for change through the therapy process.  A therapist helps you gain insight to your life, develop an understanding about problems, and facilitates productive change.  A therapist cares about you and your life experiences.

Are there different types of therapists?

Many types of therapists exist and specialize in the treatment of specific populations.  Psychologists, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and counselors are all types of therapists.  The work of therapists differs among the population in which the therapist works.  A therapist who is specialized in the treatment of children would work much differently than a therapist who is specialized in the treatment of depression.

What types of treatment exist?

The type of treatment a therapist will provide depends on the type of your concerns.  Play therapy is a popular treatment method when working with children.  Emotionally Focused Therapy is a successful method for working with couples.  Narrative therapy is helpful when working with depression, eating disorders, and identity formation.  Many therapists specialize in a treatment method, however, most therapists are widely trained and skilled to work with any population.

Will I know what kind of treatment my therapist is using?

After meeting with a client for two to three sessions and gaining an understanding of the situation, the therapist will chose the type of therapy best suited for the client.  Some therapists inform the client of the treatment method, however, understanding the method is not necessary for successful treatment.  If you are concerned about the treatment method, ask your therapist to explain what is happening and the intention for using a particular model.

How do I find a therapist that is right for me?

The first step in finding a therapist that is right for you is to identify what type of concern you are having.  Are your concerns relational, personal or about a child?  Do you feel depressed, anxious, or confused?  Identifying the specifics of your concern will help you find a therapist who is skilled in working with you.  Second, finding a therapist that makes you feel comfortable is important when seeking therapeutic treatment.  You should feel open, honest, and relaxed with your therapist (this may take a couple sessions), and you should trust that your therapist is skilled to work with your concerns.  If you feel uncomfortable with your therapist or believe a different type of therapist may suit you better, then speak with your therapist about your concerns.  Not all therapists and clients are a good fit.

If you are considering therapy, begin calling different therapy practices around your area.  When searching, explain the details of your concerns and ask therapists if they are skilled in treating the concerns you present.

From our blog – “Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Counselor, Therapist – What’s the difference?”

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