Finding a Therapist


The good news about therapy is how largely accepted it is as an effective way of handling stressed emotions or difficulty in improving a particular life situation.

More good news is that prospective patients have a wide assortment of therapists from which to choose.

The less than good news is that the selection of therapists is so vast, all of them claiming positive outcomes, you probably have very little idea of how to decide which type of credentialed therapist would be best for you.

This vital step of deciding who from among a certain category would be best for you, relies more on intuition, self-knowledge, and personal preferences, than logic.

Start by learning the definition of the letters after a therapist’s name because these refer to the type of professional education the person achieved.

Then, reflect on whether you prefer a short or long term change.

Say, you and your partner are having problems in your sex life. Most likely these are rooted in patterns of relating consisting of expectations, fears and wishes which to some degree, neither of you are conscious of having.

Sex therapy probably will solve the immediate problem of enhancing the mechanics of sex.
You may end up improving your sex life for awhile.

Long term, unless the foundational dynamics of the couple are also being addressed, once the novelty of following an outlined program of steps and benchmarks wears off, then whatever was the root cause of your sex life tension, will most likely show.

Similarly, anger management program “tips”, techniques, protocols, et al, offer short term results because they similarly address only the behavior, not the core reasons for being angry.

Do the short term therapy programs ever develop into longer lasting changes?

Yes, sometimes. It is definitely possible that as a side effect of less stress and tension due to the original problem decreasing in intensity, that people will feel freer, more relaxed and open to develop new standards in hearing and interacting with others.

The best way to decide whether to find a therapist who works deeply for gradual, long term results, or a short term counselor, who primarily coaches and supports you in specific behavioral changes, is to know your usual preferences in life when presented with the choice of short or long term investments of your resources.

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About Sherry Katz

Sherry Katz, LCSW is primarily a couples therapist who counsels partners and individuals of all adult ages, in relieving tension and unhappiness in their relationships. The spectrum of care in her practice includes recuperating from infidelity, clarifying and strengthening trust and communication, restoring and developing common ground for a relationship. Ms. Katz has a secondary practice interest in helping family members align themselves in response to caring for elderly parents, especially a parent who has Alzheimer's Disease.Old Stories, New Views Family Therapy

One thought on “Finding a Therapist

  1. Paula Susan

    Just to let you know not all short-term therapies are just dealing with solutions for the present. Because of my training in so many modalities, especially in the energy psychologies such as EMDR and HAT, EFT…I do deep healing in a psychodynamic approach. Having trained in cognitive/behavioral, hypnotherapy/studying with experts in PTSD, I integrate all that I know in an approach that allows me to do short-term deep healing work. Honestly. I do agree that people looking for therapeutic help, should ask for time on the phone with the potential therapist, to ask questions so they get a sense of the therapist. In one of my articles, I suggest questions to ask before making a choice. So many people begin with “Where are you located” or “Do you take insurance” as how they will determine if they will choose that therapist Many of those who do not accept insurance, will consider reducing their fee if they feel they are a good fit with the client. My article can be found in the archives.


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