Having good rapport with a therapist is the most important factor in determining the outcome of therapy.
The therapist should have formal training and certification and be licensed in your state. In general, the therapist should be able to describe the merits and drawbacks of different types of treatment, including ones he or she doesn’t offer. The therapist should also let you know how he or she will monitor your progress.
Here are some questions to ask as you consider working with a therapist:
- What’s your training (i.e., what certification or degrees do you hold)?
- How long have you worked in this field?
- What kinds of treatment or therapy do you think might help me?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches, including medication?
- How does the treatment work?
- What are the chances that treatment will succeed?
- How soon should I start feeling better?
- How will we assess my progress?
- What should I do if I don’t feel better?
- How much will treatment cost?
These are not always easy questions to answer, and the therapist may not be able to answer everyone definitively.
By taking note of the therapist’s responses, you should get some sense of what the therapist is like and whether you will be able to establish a good working relationship.
To learn more strategies for battling depression, check out Understanding Depression, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.
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