Text Box: January 2005
Text Box: Page #
Text Box: them important.  What I would put at the top of the list is your own sense of connection.  Does this person seem to “get you”.?  Do they hear you?  Research shows again and again it is not the type of therapy ( behavioral, cognitive, Text Box:  are increasingly involved with medication management.  ARNP’s work under the supervision of an MD.
As a Therapist I cannot stress strongly enough the power of your own intuition.  In choosing a therapist there are several issues to consider.  All of Text Box: supportive, REBT, EMDR, Gestalt etc.) it is the quality of the therapeutic relationship.  Good therapy outcomes are directly linked to the relationship developed between client and therapist.  If the connection does not feel right, how are you to  feel safe enough to talk about what is closet to your heart?   In a nutshell– trust your gut.  
Text Box: The Choice is Yours  continued
Text Box:  The counseling relationship a dynamic process between the therapist and the client.  Therapists have certain ideas on how change occurs.  They have their own personal style just as you have your own style.  Ultimately you can expect to connect with someone who is non judgmental and concerned about you.  The therapist will be ready to discuss anything you  want to discuss.  The session will be focused on you and your issues.  
You can expect confidentiality in your discussions.  The limits to confidentiality include disclosures about child, elder or handicapped abuse, danger to self or others, third party payment/ authorization process, collection of debt and in defense of a lawsuit.
As a client you have certain responsibilities.  These include completing any homework that is assigned, informing the therapist if you are unable to attend a session.  Generally you will be held responsible for all fees not covered or authorized by your insurance company  
It is important for you as a client or consumer of services to let your therapist Text Box: know if you feel you have not made any progress, if you feel like you are finished with therapy or you are in some way dissatisfied.
Overall a therapist is interested in you reaching your therapeutic goals.   The therapeutic relationship requires teamwork.  Together you and the therapist can define goals and strategies to assist you in the therapeutic process.
A few words about insurance.  Many people use their mental health benefits not realizing what happens to their personal information.  Just as a medical doctor diagnoses a physical illness to justify insurance payment so does the therapist.  That diagnosis and other information including demographics, appointment dates and in the effort of recertification: progress towards goals, symptoms presenting, risk factors and even the clients compliance are submitted to the insurance company.  This information remains a part of your medical record and follows you even as you change insurance companies.  All providers who bill insurance must be compliant with HIPAA regulations.  
Text Box: Take the time to read the policy that is presented to you.  Be an informed consumer.
The world is smaller than it seems.  You might see your therapist at the mall or in your community meeting or church.  Your therapist’s child may attend your child’s school.  Your therapist will not divulge any of your personal information.  In fact you can expect your therapist to behave has though they do not know you.  It would be up to you to initiate social conversation.  It is in this way your therapist creates a boundary respecting your therapeutic relationship.   
Be aware of your expectations as you enter therapy.  Talk about what you expect.  Your therapist can tell you if you are being realist and if the therapist can be helpful to you.  A discussion about therapy expectations can very well be the start of a life changing experience.
Text Box: What To Expect From Therapy

Come to the edge
We can't, we are afraid
Come to the edge
We can't, we will fall
And they came to the edge
And he pushed them
And they flew.
Appolinaire

There are many options in the search for a great therapist

Compassion, Concern,

Confidentiality