Minding Your Mental Healthô

 Section I - Mental Health Facts

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How to Choose a Therapist

The following questions can help you determine whether or not a mental health counselor fits your needs.

bullet Do they accept your health insurance?
bullet How much will you have to pay?
bullet Do they have the education, credentials, and recent training to treat you?
bullet Is the therapist licensed?
bullet How quickly can you be seen by the therapist?
bullet How can you get in touch with the therapist between appointments?
bullet Will they refer you to someone else if you need additional help?
bullet Can they prescribe medicine?
bullet Can they admit you to a hospital or treatment center?
bullet What hospitals or treatment centers do they have privileges in?
bullet What will you have to do during treatment? What will they do?
bullet Do people whom you trust recommend this therapist?
bullet What type of client do they feel they work best with?
bullet Does the therapist limit his/her practice to a specific type of client (children, women, family)?
bullet What type of treatment approach does the therapist use?
bullet What kind of experience have they had with a problem like yours?
bullet Do they offer group and/or family sessions?
bullet How long (typically) will you need to see a counselor for problems similar to yours?
bullet How far do you have to travel to see the counselor?
bullet Do they have an appointment time that works for you?
bullet How much advance notice is needed to reschedule or cancel a session?
bullet Will you still be charged if you canít make your scheduled session regardless of the reason?

Also consider the type of therapist you think you would prefer.

bullet Would you be more comfortable with a man or woman?
bullet Is the counselorís age a factor? Would you prefer someone older or younger than you?
bullet Does it matter to you whether or not the counselor is married, with or without children?
bullet Is the counselorís ethnicity or sexual orientation a factor?

Some people prefer a therapist that is older.

Copyright 2004, 5th Edition, American Institute for Preventive Medicine. All rights reserved.