GETTING STARTED On this page you will find information about psychological disorders, treatment options, differences and similarities among theoretical approaches, selecting a practitioner, and licensed occupations authorized to practice psychotherapy in New York State.
People decide to seek counseling at different times in life for many reasons. At an early stage in the process, some think that it's wise to do some research. Others aren't much interested in the research, they just want to find a way to feel better about their lives. Still others just ask someone they trust for a referral, and make the phone call to arrange a consultation. However you decide to proceed, being an informed consumer of psychological services is a useful first step. The link below will take you to information about symptoms and treatment of common mental disorders.
In addition to acquainting yourself with types of disorders, you might also want to learn about types of therapy, including "evidence-based practices" which have been shown through research to be effective in treating the problems you are experiencing. This would have more to do with a therapist's theoretical orientation and approach than it would with the specific psychological profession to which the practitioner belongs. Click to find descriptions of many different types of current therapies. You will be better able to choose the right therapist and the right approach if you are informed about the kinds of treatments available to you, and which treatments have been shown through research to be effective.
Next, the practitioner you select should be a licensed mental health professional. In New York State the following professions require independent practitioners to be licensed to practice psychotherapy:
Finally, and very important, is the question of "fit" between you and the therapist. Feeling comfortable with your therapist is a fundamental element in forming an effective therapeutic relationship. Ask the therapists you are considering for a consultation. Pay attention to the little things. Ask questions about what kind of psychotherapy they practice. Make an informed decision about the practitioner you select.