What is therapy (also called counseling) and how does it work?
Therapy is a treatment in the science of psychology. Psychology is the study of how we think and behave. So, therapy is treating those areas.
There are many different types of treatment in therapy and many different philosophies. Lying on the couch and talking about childhood might have been common a 100 years ago, but it is pretty rare now. For the record, I do have a couch in my office, but no one has ever lied down on it.
What is your treatment style?
My style is eclectic, which means I use the many tools and philosophies I have learned over the years to fit each of the people I work with. I like this because it allows treatment to be a flexible and creative process. I do use what is called cognitive-behavioral therapy a lot, which is pscho-babble for helping people change their thoughts and behavior.
What about biology and psychology?
If you work with me, you will get to learn how your thoughts affect the biology of your brain. It’s really fascinating (seriously, it is) and understanding what is happening in your brain can be a really powerful tool for making behavioral changes. Don’t worry, if my college students don’t get bored with it you won’t either.
What about payment and insurance?
I take several insurances, just give me a call or email me and we can discuss the details. Here is my email if you want to ask now. firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I pick a therapist?
Here is the thing. In therapy we have this word called rapport, which is the ability for the therapist to CONNECT with the patient, the sense that we “get” each other, that there is a real feeling of caring and connection. Research shows if you don’t have that connection, all the skills and the tools in the world won’t mean anything and the therapy won’t go well. You will know pretty quickly if you “click” with a therapist. For that reason, I suggest you interview 2-3 therapists, either in person or by phone to see if you connect. If a therapist won’t take the time to do this with you, then I personally would move on.
Here are some other peices of the puzzle. Does the therapist’s style fit yours? Some therapists are more passive(listens, guides you to finding your own answers), others more directive(more feedback, offers tools and strategies). Think about what you are looking for and make sure it fits.
What credentials are needed?
Your therapist MUST be licensed in the state where they practice. Florida Licenses include Mental Health Counseling, Marriage and Family, Psychologist and Clinical Social Worker. Your therapist or counselor is required to display their state license. If your therapist is working under a provisional license, they MUST be supervised and you may have difficulty getting insurance reimbursement. If you are unsure of your therapist’s status, just ask. Board certification is not necessary, it is a nice extra that tells you the therapist has gone the extra mile in getting nationally certified.
My credentials are as follows.
Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Florida
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Illinois
Nationally Board Certified Counselor
But what about…?
Got a question I didn’t answer? Just send me an email and I will get right back to you. Maria @ mariamurphycounseling dot com