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How to choose the right therapist?

 

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How to choose the right therapist? 

Psychologists and clients work together. The right match is important. Most psychologists agree that an important factor in determining whether or not to work with a particular therapist, once that therapist’s credentials and competence are established, is your level of personal comfort with that therapist. A good rapport with your therapist is critical. Choose a therapist with whom you feel comfortable and at ease. 

Questions to ask a therapist: 

Are you a licensed psychologist? Are you registered with the Psychologists Registration Board of your state?  How many years have you been practicing psychology? Are you registered with professional organisations such as the APS (The Australian Psychological Society) the professional organisation for qualified psychologists in Australia.  It is important that a therapist is a member of such professional organisations as they have to abide by its ethical code and professional standards. 

Make sure that your therapist is a full member of a professional organisation and not an associate member, as this means they haven’t met the professional standards for this professional organisation yet, and are either under review, or need further university level training. 

What kind of university training in psychology do you have?  A psychologist should have at least a Masters Degree in Psychology, as most of the more in-depth practical and clinical studies take place at this level. It’s the combination of Masters or doctoral-level training and a clinical internship under supervision of a licensed psychologist, that distinguishes psychologists from many other mental health care providers such as ‘counsellors’ and ‘psychotherapists’. 

 

Unfortunately, almost anyone can call themselves a ‘psychotherapist’ or ‘counsellor’. To counter this, The Psychologists Registration Board only allows registered psychologists to use the name ‘psychologist’ legally. They insist on specific basic university training and professional requirements. For this reason, it is always a very good idea to check out the qualifications of anyone advertising themselves as a ‘counsellor’ or ‘psychotherapist’. A good rule of thumb is: if they have a valid Medicare provider number, than they are deemed to be professional enough by the Australian Government to provide counselling services to clients who wish to claim on Medicare.

 

What are your areas of expertise – for example working with children and families? 

What kinds of treatments do you use, and have they been proven effective for dealing with my kind of problem or issue?

What are your fees?  (Fees are usually based on a 50-minute session.) Do you provide Medicare Rebates?  Do you bulk bill? Do you have a Medicare provider number?  Do I get a rebate from my health Insurance Fund? Do you have a provider number with them?

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