|Assessing the competency and goodness of fit necessary for psychotherapy to be effective can be challenging. In Colorado, anyone can represent him or herself as a registered psychotherapist even though they may possess no formal education, licenses, psychological training, or clinical experience. Many people lack a trusted source that can provide recommendations or referrals and might hope for testimonials to fill this gap.
The effectiveness of testimonials from a marketing perspective is clear. I know this, because I earned a degree in Business Administration a long time ago – with a major in Marketing. However, I do not solicit testimonials for the following reasons:
The following statement appears in the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct issued by the American Psychological Association (effective date June 1, 2003):
“Psychologists do not solicit testimonials from current therapy clients/patients or other persons who because of their particular circumstances are vulnerable to undue influence.”
So how do you choose? Trust your instincts!
I encourage potential clients to trust their instincts and feelings when meeting or interviewing a therapist. During a first session you should have a sense that you can be yourself, and that the therapist is capable of understanding and addressing your individual needs. In addition, because psychotherapy is both an art and a science, professional training and clinical experience also matter.
One may choose to consult with more than one professional before making a final decision. Keep in mind that clients can terminate therapy or get a second opinion at any time. Even though psychotherapy isn’t always anxiety and pain free, it should feel right when it’s going in the right direction.
If you have questions or need help, please feel free to contact me for a free phone consultation.