What is therapy?
People experience life events that are painful to deal on own. Dealing with the loss of a loved one, marital conflicts, divorce/separation, job loss, serious physical illness, work stress, school troubles, alcohol/drug abuse, depression, anxiety all are examples for why people enter therapy.
People usually feel at a loss to solve the problem. Through therapy, it helps to clarify the confusion, and sort out the issues so one has a new way of dealing with things. Therapy is a tool and usually people come to therapy as a last resort. Therapy is not a cure or provides instant results. Most people will feel uncomfortable and probably worse before they start feeling better. This is due to the avoidance and internal build up of the issue that the time it will take to work through the issue could be as long the problem has been around. As discouraging as this may sound, there is hope. It takes readiness and an openness to undergo therapy and just like with exercise, the rewarding results will happen gradually over time.
How do you choose a therapist?
Choosing a therapist is similar to choosing a dr. You want to make sure you feel comfortable with that person and that the reasons you are seeking help are understood by that person.
Not all therapists are the same. Each person will have letters after their name. Understanding what these letters mean will help you better know what kind of training this person has had.
PhD/PsyD is a licensed psychologist. They have gone through a graduate doctorate program and have the ability to conduct evaluations. Their training is more research based and most do teaching as well as private practices.
Psychiatrist, MD are the only ones who are able to prescribe medications and diagnose/evaluate.
LMFTs are Licensed Marriage Family Therapists who have a Masters level degree and 3000 hours of experience before getting state licensed. They receive training in the realm of relationships, helping individuals, families, and couples.
LCSWs are Licensed Clinical Social Workers who have a Masters Level degree and a state license as a social worker. They also performed 3200 hours prior to getting licensed.
MFT Associates have received their Masters degree but are in the process of doing their 3000 hours to prepare for the state license. They are supervised under a Licensed individual.
MFT Trainees are still in the graduate program getting their education.