Q: HELP! What should I look for when choosing a therapist?
A: No matter what your problem, you want someone that you can trust and who meets your needs. A first concern is the education and the credentials of the therapist. Did you know that anyone can call themselves a counsellor, therapist or social worker, even with no training or education?
A professional therapist should have the appropriate university education and experience and have further training and experience in dealing with your particular concern. For accountability, look for membership in an accredited governing body, such as the Ontario College of Social Workers & Social Service Workers, which serves much as the College of Physicians and Surgeons does for medical doctors. Without this, you have no recourse if the therapist acts in an unprofessional manner.
Location may also be a concern. Do you mind being seen entering a therapist’s office or would you feel comfortable meeting in someone’s home? Fees and length of each session must also be considered.