Looking for a therapist can be overwhelming. There are so many options, yet, it can be difficult to know which therapist will be the best fit for you. In this blog, we will provide helpful information to assist you in choosing the best therapist in Jacksonville for your needs.
What Does A Therapist Do?
A therapist is a licensed professional who holds a master's degree or higher in their field and has undergone extensive training to provide talk therapy. Talk therapy involves discussing your mental health struggles and receiving feedback, guidance, and support from a therapist in Jacksonville to help you process your emotions, develop coping strategies, and make positive changes in your life.
Misconceptions About Therapists in Jacksonville
There are many misconceptions about working with a therapist in Jacksonville that can prevent people from getting the help they need. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about working with a therapist in Jacksonville:
Therapists give advice.
Therapists rarely, if ever, give you advice. A therapist's job is to help guide you through your thoughts and emotions so you can come to your own conclusions and decisions. They may provide feedback based on what they know about your own values and goals, but ultimately, the decision on how to proceed is up to you. A therapist in Jacksonville will help work to understand your story and help you brainstorm solutions that work well for your specific circumstances.
Therapists force you to make changes.
Therapists cannot force you to do anything. Instead, they are there to help you understand your own thought patterns and behaviors, and support you in making positive changes that align with your personal goals. If a therapist makes a suggestion you don't agree with, you are more than welcome to express your opinion to your therapist and work together to develop a better alternative.
Therapists prescribe medications.
Many people believe that a therapist in Jacksonville can prescribe medications, but this is not the case. Only psychiatrists and medical doctors can prescribe medications for mental health conditions. However, therapists can refer you to a psychiatrist or medical doctor if they believe medication would be beneficial for your treatment. A therapist will never force you to take medications, they will simply recommend that you speak with a psychiatrist to support you in meeting your mental health goals.
Therapists make you talk about your trauma.
Therapists do not force you to talk about your trauma or any other uncomfortable topic. Instead, they create a safe space for you to discuss your thoughts and feelings at your own pace. If you don't feel comfortable discussing a particular topic, you can always let your therapist in Jacksonville know and they will respect your boundaries.
Different Types of Therapists in Jacksonville
When searching for a therapist in Jacksonville, you'll often see a series of letters following their name, representing their credentials. Understanding these credentials will help you choose the right therapist for your needs. Some of the most common therapist credentials in Jacksonville include:
LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor): LMHCs hold a master's degree in mental health counseling and have completed the supervised clinical hours and exams necessary to be licensed to practice talk therapy. LMHC's typically specialize in working with individuals, although some do work with couples and families.
LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist): LMFTs specialize in working with couples and families to address relationship issues, communication problems, and other mental health concerns. They hold a master's degree in marriage and family therapy and have completed the supervised clinical hours and exams necessary to be licensed to practice talk therapy.
LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor): Like LMHCs and LMFTS, LPCs have a master's degree in counseling or a related field and have completed the supervised clinical hours and exams necessary to be licensed to practice talk therapy. LPC credentialing is a more generalized credentialing than LMHC or LMFT, therefore, you will notice a large variety of specializations among LPCs.
LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker): LCSWs have a master's degree in social work and have completed the supervised clinical hours and exams necessary to be licensed. Although LCSWs can provide talk therapy, you will also commonly see LCSWs working in community mental health settings.
Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy): A Ph.D. in psychology indicates that the therapist has completed a doctoral program in psychology, conducted extensive research and produced a dissertation. Individuals with a Ph.D. commonly work in academia and research. Therapists with a Ph.D. typically charge more for their services, given their level of education and their ability to conduct psychological assessments for things like Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD.
Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology): A Psy.D. is a doctoral degree focused on the clinical practice of psychology. These individuals have similar characteristics to those with a Ph.D., however, the focus of their work tends to be more clinically focused.
Psychiatrists: Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in mental health disorders and medication management. They typically prescribe medications and conduct assessments.
Psychologists: Psychologists typically hold a doctoral degree in psychology (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) and are trained in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health disorders. They provide therapy services and may also conduct research or teach at universities.
How to Choose the Best Therapist in Jacksonville
After you have determined what credentials would best support your mental health needs, you can begin reviewing therapists' biographies and websites to learn more about their specializations and services. During this phase, you may want to consider the following:
Specializations: Some therapists in Jacksonville focus on specific issues, such as anxiety, depression, addiction, or trauma. Look for a therapist who specializes in the issues you want to address, as they will have more experience and expertise surrounding what you are struggling with.
Gender and Age: You may feel more comfortable working with a therapist of a specific gender or age group. Consider your preferences and choose a therapist with whom you can build a trusting and open relationship.
Location and Accessibility: Find a therapist located near your home or workplace for convenience and ease of access. Additionally, consider if the therapist offers remote sessions (via video or phone) if you prefer the flexibility of virtual therapy.
Cost: Ensure the therapist's pricing fits your budget, and/or that you are able to receive insurance coverage for services.
Availability and Scheduling: Consider the therapist's availability and scheduling options. Look for a therapist who can accommodate your schedule and provide consistent appointments to facilitate progress in therapy.
Initial Consultation: Many therapists offer a free initial consultation, either in person or over the phone. This is an excellent opportunity to ask questions, get a sense of the therapist's style, and determine if you feel comfortable working with them.
Trust Your Intuition: Ultimately, trust your intuition when choosing a therapist. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to finding a good therapist. Make sure you feel comfortable talking with the therapist you are choosing and remember that if at any point you determine a therapist is not a good fit for you, there are a multitude of other options available.
Philosophie Therapy's Services and Getting Started
At Philosophie Therapy in Jacksonville, FL, we understand the importance of finding the right therapist for your unique needs. Feel free to reach out to us today for a free, 15-minute consultation with a therapist in Jacksonville who will be happy to answer any and all questions you may have about our services.