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How to Choose a Therapist

Choosing the right therapist can take time. In addition to finding someone who fits your schedule, it is also crucial that they are someone you can trust and whom you can develop a solid rapport with.

Prior to making your first contact, it is useful to determine whether you’d prefer a therapist with a specific identity, scheduling logistics, and, if known, which theoretical orientation you may prefer. It is encouraged that you spend a few minutes speaking to the provider prior to scheduling your first appointment in order to get a sense of the therapist’s education, experience in treating your issue, his or her approach to therapy, and your comfort level.

In California, there are a variety of different types of licensed mental health providers, which include:

Clinical Psychologist

A psychologist with a doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited/designated program in psychology. Many conduct psychological testing.

Psychiatrist A medical doctor with special training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues. A psychiatrist can prescribe medication, but they often do not do on-going counseling.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) A counselor with a masters degree in social work from an accredited graduate program.
Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) A counselor with a masters degree, with special education and training in marriage and family therapy.
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) A counselor with a masters degree in counseling from an accredited graduate program.

Finding the right mental health provider for you may take time and research. Be Well at Work - Employee Assistance can assist you in that process. Please contact Employee Assistance at (510) 643-7754 to schedule an appointment.