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10 Things Your Psychologist Won’t Tell You

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Photo courtesy of

Americans spend about $10 billion a year on psychological services.

But are they really asking the right questions to get the best possible mental healthcare?

Quentin Fottrell, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch, talked to mental health professionals to find out what consumers should know when picking a licensed clinical social worker, psychiatrist or psychologist. The experts’ tips were included in Fottrell’s news article.

For instance, clients and mental healthcare providers should set clear treatment goals so therapy does not go on indefinitely, said Mirean Coleman, a clinical social worker and senior practice associate with the National Association of Social Workers.

National Association of Social Workers member Julie Hanks said consumers should make sure they are working with an educated and licensed professional. For instance people who do life coaching, or helping clients attain professional or personal goals, do not necessarily have to be licensed social workers, psychiatrists or psychologists.

And although its an important to find a qualified therapist a degree does not always guarantee good service, Hanks said.

“What it boils down to is the quality of the connection between the client and therapist,” she said.

Social workers are some of the leading providers of mental healthcare in the United States and help clients overcome depression, eating disorders and other mental illnesses. To learn more visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” Mind and Spirit website.

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  1. I can’t blame Fottrell for his article. Therapists have mushroomed over the years and the Internet has made searching easy to look for one. The challenge is for “consumers” to be able to decipher who are really qualified and licensed.

  2. What are all these rabid responses about? The man summarizes some of the risks and benefits of receiving counseling by any professional or non-professional. He does not focus on social workers as a group, and is careful to point out that Licensed Clinical Social Workers are qualified to “do” psychotherapy. The five questions he says counselors won’t answer are ones I would have no problem answering, and only those who are unqualified or reluctant to share the truth would refuse. Last and best, he says just what all the social work text books say, which is that the best way to judge a possible counseling relationship, and the best predictor of success in treatment, is the relationship between therapist and client.

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