How do I find a qualified therapist?
Selecting a therapist is a highly personal matter. A professional who works very well with one individual may not be a good choice for another person. There are several ways to get referrals to qualified therapists, such as licensed psychologists, including the following:
- Talk to family members and friends for their recommendations, especially if they have had a good experience with psychotherapy.
- Many state psychological associations, including the Hawaii Psychological Association, operate referral services which put individuals in touch with licensed and competent mental health care providers.
- Ask your primary care physician (or other health professional) for a referral. Tell the doctor what’s important to you in choosing a therapist so he or she can make appropriate suggestions.
- Look online or in the phone book for the listing of a local mental health association or community mental health center and check these sources for possible referrals.
Ideally, you will end up with more than one lead. Call and request the opportunity, either on the phone or in person, to ask the therapist some questions. You might want to inquire about his or her license and level of training, approach to psychotherapy, participation in insurance plans, and fees. Such a discussion should help you sort through your options and choose someone with whom you believe you might interact well.