The Most Important Considerations When Seeking Counseling Or Psychotherapy

Revised:  November 27, 2013

By:  Mentor Research Institute

When seeking counseling or psychotherapy, there are a number of very important factors to consider.  The American Mental Health Alliance believes there are certain principles that protect consumers and insure that the best possible outcome is obtained.  The following irreducible principles affect your chances to benefit from treatment

Irreducible Principles:

  • The individual should choose his or her own therapist. 
  • The client and therapist should decide the course of therapy. 
  • The therapist should maintain and  preserve client confidentiality.
  • The reimbursement method should support ethical practice.
  • Mental health professionals should practice in an interdisciplinary community which promotes competent and ethical practice.

In addition to these irreducible principles, there are several additional considerations

  • The quality of the relationship between a client and a therapist is crucial for change to take place. 
  • It is important to find a counselor or psychotherapist who is has experience and training dealing with the problems at hand.
  • There are significant risks or harmful consequences with little or no recourse if you work with an unsupervised unlicensed counselor or psychotherapist.
  • Insight and understanding does not automatically produce positive change.  Some action or change in behavior is necessary.
  • Clients with similar problems may require a different amount, frequency and intensity of therapy or counseling to be successful.