How to Make Sure Your Online Mental Health Counselor is Certified and Trustworthy
Finding a counselor who has your best interests at heart is essential for your personal progress and wellbeing. Feeling as though you can trust your therapist is the most important way to lay a foundation in which you feel like you can open up.
When you choose to try online therapy, making sure your counselor has the proper credentials, like those required at MyTherapist, is crucial. To find out more about the therapists at MyTherapist, click here.
In this article, we will review the ways in which you can ensure that you are in good hands.
7 Tips to Make Sure Your Counselor Is a Good Fit
1. Check the credentials
Most online therapists are required to have certain accredited credentials, such as a PhD or PsyD for psychologists and psychiatrists, an LMFT for marriage and family therapists, an LCSW or LMSW for clinical social workers, or an LPC for licensed professional counselors. These degrees and certifications will ensure that the therapist has attended the proper training and graduated from their respective programs.
In addition to finding out their credentials, you can also find out how long a person has been a practicing therapist. For example, the professionals at MyTherapist all have at least 3 years of experience and 1,000 hours logged practicing therapy.
3. Listening skills
Once you have matched with a therapist, you can likely allow for a few sessions as a trial run to see if it is a good fit. One thing that you must look out for is their listening skills. If you feel like you are being seen and heard even when they are not guiding you toward an answer, that is one sign of a good counselor.
It might fly under the radar from time to time, but one’s organizational skills can be the key to a good therapist. If you can tell that they are keeping track of the information and feelings that you are sharing, and they seem committed to your wellbeing in an organized fashion, you may feel more secure.
A good counselor is not pretentious and does not pretend to know what you are going through. Even when they think they can relate, they do not make it about what they would have done differently or what you should do or should have done. They are there to learn about your experiences and help guide you towards a better way of living and thinking.
The balanced back-and-forth between a client and a counselor can be a tough balance to find at first, but it will get more fluid over time. If you notice your counselor frequently interrupting you or going on tangents, you might feel like you are not being heard or understood. Observe your communications and aim for a healthy balance if you can.
7. Asking for what you need
With an experienced counselor, you should be able to ask for what you need without the counselor getting defensive. Even though trusting the process is important, if you need something more from your counselor, you should be able to voice it without concern for the response. Practice asking for what you need whenever possible.
If at first, you do not succeed in therapy, try again. The old adage is appropriate in this setting because the circumstances are not constant. Your relationship with one counselor might be completely different from your relationship with another counselor. Finding the fit that is right for you will be a great way to ensure that you are in good hands.