Counseling, psychotherapy, coaching… You’ve heard all these terms, but you’re not sure you really understand the differences among them. It can make the process of finding a therapist in Miami or the neighboring areas of Brickell, Coral Gables, South Miami, Pinecrest, or Doral all the more confusing.
By now, you’ve probably found a few therapists in Miami that seem pretty nice. You also probably have a ton of questions (that’s completely normal), so I’d like to put you at ease with the process of starting psychotherapy. Below are some of the most common questions I’m asked by prospective clients considering therapy and coaching.
How do I know if therapy is right for me?
Many people from all walks of life seek counseling when they realize that things aren’t going as they planned. You might not feel quite like yourself, making poor decisions, or sleeping and eating less. It might be time to seek therapy if you’ve tried managing life’s challenges alone and feel like you’ve used all your resources and there’s been no improvement. Therapy can help you work through these difficult times.
How do I know if I need coaching?
Coaching is the best option if you’ve got specific future goals you want more accountability with. You’re not likely anxious, sad, overwhelmed, or insecure to the point that these symptoms are significantly impairing you. You just need an objective outsider to provide feedback and correction as needed.
Why choose a psychologist?
Licensed, doctoral-level psychologists have the most extensive education and formal training in the mental health field. To become one requires ten years of academic training and involves thousands of hours of formal clinical training in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of varying mental health issues and concerns. Psychologists are also trained to administer a wide variety of tests, such as intelligence tests. Click here to learn more about the different types of mental health professionals.
How often are sessions?
Sessions are usually once per week, but twice a week might be appropriate. Your therapist and you will decide what works best for your situation.
How long does psychotherapy last?
The length of psychotherapy varies on you, your goals, your readiness to change, how regularly you attend sessions, and how effectively you put into practice what you’re learning. It also depends on your therapist, his or her approach to therapy, and understanding of your goals. Finally, the duration of therapy depends on what circumstances brought you to therapy. For example, it takes more time to experience relief from deeply rooted issues developed over long periods of time. Ask your psychologist how long they foresee therapy lasting after the first or second session. S/he will usually have a ballpark idea by that point.
Are sessions confidential?
Yes. The laws of the State of Florida provide legal protection of confidentiality for psychological services. However, there are some exceptions when mental health professionals are legally bound to break confidentiality. These situations can include a client’s disclosed plan and intention to hurt themselves or someone else, reported cases of child or elderly abuse, or court-issued subpoena. FYI, coaching sessions are not subject to the same strict laws regarding confidentiality.
What if I don’t feel comfortable/happy with my current therapist? Can I get a second opinion?
There are endless reasons for this complaint. It boils down to the fact that both the client and therapist are people. Sometimes in life, there are some people that you just “click” with. When you don’t, it makes it difficult to interact with them. If this is happening, tell your therapist your reservations. A good psychologist will understand and won’t get offended. S/he will help you determine what is making you uncomfortable. If this is hurting your therapeutic process, s/he will probably refer you to someone else that may better suit your needs.
We hope this helps you feel more comfortable with the process of finding the right therapist in Miami or the surrounding areas of Brickell, Coral Gables, South Miami, Pinecrest, and Doral. If you’re a young professional looking for counseling to help anxiety and depression related to dating and relationships, self-confidence, dysfunctional family members, or, you can read more about how we can help here. If life’s got you stuck, we hope you’ll call us at (305) 501-0133 or click here to schedule your free 15-minute Clarity Consult. We are happy to hear about what’s got you considering psychotherapy and help direct you to a professional that fits your needs.