How Do I Choose a Counselor and What Do the Different Degrees and Licenses Mean?Help From A Raleigh Therapist
“How do I choose a counselor and what do the different degrees and licenses mean?”
This is a confusing one that stumps a lot of people. Let me see if I can sort it out for you.
A variety of professionals see clients for counseling or psychotherapy or sometimes is referred to as simply therapy.
The designation psychologist, counselor, psychiatrist or social worker refer to the field of academia in which they have earned advanced degrees.
In order for a person to become a licensed professional who sees clients for counseling, they first earn a graduate or professional degree in addition to their undergraduate degree. They then have a period of time where they intern in their field while they are supervised by other professionals in that field. After a specified period of time acquiring experience under the direction of someone in their field, the professional in training applies for a license to practice. This usually involves sitting for an exam and passing that exam. They will have a period of time where they practice under supervision in order to gain practical experience. This may be called a practicum, internship or residency.
In addition to ongoing continuing education where a licensed person attends conferences and workshops to keep up with the ongoing advancements in their field, a license requires that they adhere to a code of ethics and answer to a board whose job it is to protect the public.
Additionally, many therapists go through a period of undertaking counseling themselves both to gain an understanding of their own issues as well as experience first hand what it is to be the client.
Personally, I regard this as a MUST in the making of a thoroughly trained counselor.
Besides training and ongoing continuing education, you want someone who has years of experience conducting therapy.
It makes sense to see and feel how it is to talk to the person you are considering to be your therapist and to make sure you feel comfortable with him or her. You will be trusting them with your emotional health.
In making a decision about who to see for counseling, use both your head and your gut. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Katherine here!