Do You Need a Therapist?

Should you talk to someone?

If you have been thinking about therapy for yourself, this checklist can help you to determine if therapy would be helpful. Consider the following statements as quickly and honestly as possible.

  • You know what your problem is, but can’t seem to change your behavior.
  • You are feeling trapped with nowhere to turn.
  • You are having difficulty getting along with others.
  • You feel embarrassed about some of the things you’ve been thinking, feeling and doing.
  • You become overly annoyed and irritated over petty things.
  • You are experiencing sadness, anxiety, anger or grief that just won’t go away.
  • You have goals and aspirations that you want to accomplish, but can’t.
  • You have difficult decisions to make and can’t sort things out.
  • You are shouldering a lot of responsibility and stress and are afraid that you will not be able to provide help for those who need you.
  • You are dissatisfied with your intimate relationships, but feel too embarrassed to address it.
  • You have experienced recent or past trauma, violence or abuse and are overwhelmed with feelings of fear, helplessness, shame, sadness or anger.
  • These feelings are impacting your daily functioning or are looming in the background.
  • You are experiencing distressing symptoms, such as obsessive thinking, compulsive and/or destructive behavior, intense worry, isolation, procrastination, difficulty concentrating and making decisions,
  • moodiness, or dysfunctional relationships. You feel like you are mechanically getting through your day.
While there are many reasons people seek therapy, if three or more of the statements from the list fit your situation (or even one that is causing you undue distress), you may find that talking with a qualified therapist can help you. The hardest step is making that first appointment and admitting to yourself that you need help. It takes a lot of strength but can change your life in ways you’ve never thought possible.

Your personal rapport with your therapist is a key factor in the success of your sessions.

The person you choose should be qualified, but, in addition, you must feel comfortable providing the kind of detailed and intimate information required for a productive outcome.

Seek personal referrals, if possible.

Interview two or three professionals in your area.

Research the office staff:

Will you have easy access to the doctor?
Are calls answered immediately or do you have to navigate through a voicemail maze?
Is the staff friendly, sensitive and discrete?

Ask about these credentials:

Doctorate or master’s degree from a reputable institution.
Certification in a specialty area from an accredited and nationally-recognized organization.
Supervised clinical training.
Experience with helping others in similar situation to your own.

Determine if it’s a good match:

Is it someone who makes you feel understood and accepted?
Are they able to provide feedback and interaction that is meaningful?
Is this the therapeutic relationship and environment that can help you with life changes and life enhancement?

When seeking sex therapy, find out if the therapist has:

A sound knowledge of the anatomical and physiological bases of the sexual response.
Completed post graduate training in such areas as sexual function and dysfunction, sex counseling and sex therapy.
Expertise in relationship counseling and psychotherapy.
A strict code of ethics.


© 2011 All rights reserved. Dr. Amy Demner, Ph.D., P.A. reserves the right to determine which submissions may be published. No part of Dr. Amy's Pages may be copied or reproduced in any way shape or form by any mechanical, photographic, or electronic process, nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or otherwise copied for public or private use without the written permission of Dr. Amy Demner, Ph.D., P.A.
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