How do I know if I need therapy?
- Have you noticed that you are not feeling like yourself? (e.g. sleeping more/less, eating more/less, socializing less, moody, not able to focus, using drugs or alcohol more)
- Are you having more difficulty managing your life at work or school? (e.g. tardiness, forgetful, overwhelmed, avoiding class)
- Are you feeling unsatisfied in your relationships with family, romantic partners, co-workers or others?
- Have your friends/family suggested that you get some help?
If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, therapy could be helpful for you. Answering ‘yes’ does not mean you are ‘weak,’ ‘incompetent,’ or ‘incapable.’ In fact, recognizing that you may need support at this time of your life means the opposite. It takes wisdom to recognize your needs and do what it takes to meet them. Strength lies in one’s capacity to be vulnerable – think about it.
There are so many therapists, how do I know which one to choose?
One of the smartest things I ever heard is what I call “therapist shopping.” Similar to shopping for a car, the right gym, or physical therapist, etc., I encourage everyone to speak to a few therapists before deciding with whom you want to start therapy. Each therapist is their own unique blend of personality, educational background, interpersonal style, belief system, and theoretical orientation so not every therapist is a good fit for every client. Take time to speak with a few therapists to gauge who would best fit your needs. Also, don’t feel pressured to start seeing the first therapist you meet in person. If you can, try speaking to a few like you would a medical doctor when you want a second opinion.
What’s the difference between an M.D., MFCC, LMFT, PsyD, PhD and LCSW?
If you are curious about the difference between various mental health credentials, the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) has information you can review. All of the above are able to provide counseling or therapy as long as they are licensed (or working under the supervision of a licensed clinician) in the state in which they reside.
If this therapist graduated from an Ivy League/prestigious university, that must mean they are great, right?
This may or may not be true. But keep in mind that finding a good therapist for you is not about finding a clinician who graduated from a prestigious university – it’s more about finding someone who can meet your needs and who is a good fit for you.
Will it be worth my time/energy/money?
I am obviously biased when I say ‘yes’. However, generally speaking, research has found that a majority of people are measurably improved after therapy. For some people, 1-3 sessions is sufficient. For others, therapy will be an ongoing process, similar to maintaining physical health. Depending on what your needs are right now, you may want a brief therapy experience to learn skills and cope with something specific, or you may want a longer term therapy experience.
I may not have answered all of your questions but I hope that this has been useful. To find out more about more information about my practice, read on or contact me. You can also browse my referral network.
Jennifer T. Young | Licensed Psychologist
STATE OF CALIFORNIA| PSY 24664
WASHINGTON D.C. | PSY 1001223