A therapist once told me to give my life to Christ. According to her, I was depressed because I was ungodly, but the god of Oyedepo can save me.
(What are the most skewed things a therapist has said to you? Tell me in the comment section!)
That scenario made me detest the idea of therapy for a long time. But now that I think about it, I don’t think she was a real therapist. And I could have avoided her wahala if I’d been more informed.
Over time, I have learned that as important as therapy is, it won’t yield any results if the therapist isn’t right for you. So, before engaging any therapist, it’s important to make your research carefully and ensure that you’re on the same wavelength.
One way to do this is to interview your potential therapists — yes, you’re allowed to. You have the right to choose your therapist.
So that you won’t fall into the wrong hands, here are 10 tested and trusted questions to ask potential therapists before choosing one.
Your potential therapist should have a Master’s or Doctorate degree in, at least, one mental health field that provides training in fields like psychotherapy, psychology, psychiatry, or counseling.
The degrees your therapist should have range from MD (psychiatrist), Ph. D or PsyD (psychologist), MSW (social work), MA or MS (counselor).
Having a certification in a mental health field doesn’t mean a therapist is licensed. On platforms like mytherapist.ng, all the therapists are well-vetted, professional, and licensed in their fields.
The licenses show that each of them is excellent at what they do and fit for their jobs. So, ensure your potential therapist is licensed by professional counselor/licensure boards.
Not all mental health professionals are trained to treat all types of mental health conditions. So, know your potential therapist’s areas of expertise. And if they align with your needs, you’re good to go.
Each mental health issue is treated using specific methods.
For instance, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can be used to treat Depression and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Psychotherapy can be used to treat Anxiety disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Bipolar Disorder.
Your potential therapist should be able to prescribe diverse treatment options that can meet your needs effectively.
Many therapists hold 50-60 minute weekly sessions, but others may decide to offer longer, shorter, frequent, or less frequent sessions. After noting the therapist’s schedule, ensure that it aligns with yours.
Therapy sessions vary in structure, depending on a therapist’s expertise and personality and your mental health condition. For instance, some therapy sessions are focused on your present conditions, while some may delve directly into your family and relationship backgrounds.
It’s common to use medications alongside psychotherapy — evidence shows that a combination of both can be effective.
Therapists like primary psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners often prescribe medication. In contrast, other therapists will mostly refer you to any of their colleagues who can prescribe medication for you.
Therapy prices vary based on your mental health condition, your therapy needs, and the therapist’s choices.
If you can’t afford to pay the therapist’s fees, don’t hesitate to open up. Some therapists can be lenient about fees, especially if you have financial difficulty.
Also, if a therapist’s rates do not work for you, you can ask for a price reduction or a possible referral to more affordable therapy providers.
In times of crises, e.g., an anxiety attack, a suicide attempt, or a depressive manic phase, some therapists have arrangements for their clients, while other therapists explore available external resources like local 24-hour crisis lines.
After asking all the questions above, this one’s for you to decide. Are there any personal beliefs that can hinder your interpersonal relationship with your therapist?
Would you prefer a therapist of a certain religion or age group? Can your potential therapist work with people of a certain sexual orientation or race?
It’s necessary for your therapist to affirm your ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religion, and other values important to you. It’s important for you to approve of them as well. In the end, it’s vital to be on the same wavelength.
Don’t be in a rush to find a therapist. Take your time and ensure you find someone who ticks all your boxes — up to the vibes they give off.
I wouldn’t consult a therapist whose vibes are “not giving” or whom I’m not really comfortable talking to. And I definitely wouldn’t consult a religious therapist. (PTSD, to be honest.)
So, make sure you do your research properly and find the right therapist for you. And if you need help connecting with a good therapist, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team of therapists is always on ground to help you get the help and support you need.
If you have any questions or concerns, drop a comment in the comment box or reach out to us. Good luck!
P.S.: What are the most skewed things a therapist has ever said to you? Have you heard any funny stories about therapy? Tell me in the comment section!