CHOOSING A THERAPIST
There are literally hundreds of psychologists, counselors and therapists with varying degrees of training and expertise from which to choose. It can be a daunting decision to make, particularly considering that other than a few examples portrayed in the media (Bob Newhart for my generation, Dr. Phil for the current generation), the average person is unacquainted with the details of psychotherapy.
I think there are five factors to consider when choosing a helping professional – training, experience, therapeutic approach, personality style and cost.
My training, experience and approach are detailed in the two sections called Qualifications and Areas of Practice. You will see that I have a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of British Columbia and have worked extensively in the fields of mental health, family violence, anger management, employee assistance and disability management. I work with adults, adolescents, couples and organizations.
My approach is practical. My goal is to help people solve problems as quickly as possible and make myself obsolete. I believe I would be described by clients as easy-going, warm and humorous, and capable of being direct if necessary. I also prefer plain English to psychological jargon.
My primary therapeutic orientation is Cognitive Behavioural, an approach that helps people understand and change the assumptions, beliefs and behaviours related to emotional problems. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has been shown to be effective in treating many client issues including depression, anxiety, anger problems, low self-confidence and trauma. When appropriate, I use other therapeutic approaches as well.
My fees are in accordance with the British Columbia Psychological Association recommended fee guidelines.
While psychologists are not the least expensive of the mental health professions, we do have a very high level of education and professional training. Our fees are tax deductible and covered by many extended health plans. In addition, along with physicians and psychiatrists, we are the only mental health professionals who can provide an official/legal psychological diagnosis.