Why choose a therapist?
Therapists who specialize in psychotherapy and other forms of psychological treatment are highly trained professionals with expertise in mental health assessment, diagnosis and treatment, and behavior change.
After graduating from a four-year undergraduate college or university, therapists spend an average of seven years in graduate education and training to earn a doctoral degree and 4 years to earn a Masters degree. As part of their professional training, many therapists must complete a supervised clinical internship. In most states, they must also have an additional year of post-degree supervised experience before they can practice independently in any health care arena.
Therapists pass a national examination and must be licensed by the state or jurisdiction in which they practice. Licensure laws are intended to protect the public by limiting licensure to those who are qualified to practice psychotherapy as defined by state law. Most states also require therapists to stay up-to-date by earning several hours of continuing education credits annually. In addition, licensed therapists adhere to a strict code of professional ethics.
How do I find a therapist?
If you plan to use your insurance or employee assistance program to pay for psychotherapy, you may need to select a therapist who is part of your insurance panel or employee assistance program. But there are many ways to find a therapist:•• Ask trusted family members and friends.• Ask your primary care physician, obstetrician/gynecologist, pediatrician or another health professional. If you’re involved in a divorce or other legal matters, your attorney may also be able to provide referrals.• Search online for therapists’ websites.• Contact your area community mental health center.• Consult a local university or college department of psychology.•• Call your local or state mental health association, which may have a list of practicing therapists organized by geographic area or specialty. Or use Westside Behavioral Care's trusted online scheduling software
to find and select award-winning therapists in the greater Denver area, on the spot. This service makes it easy for you to find practicing therapists in your location.
Therapists may work in their own private practice or with a group of other therapists or health care professionals. Practicing therapists also work in schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, health systems and health management organizations, veterans' medical centers, community health and mental health clinics, businesses and industry, and rehabilitation and long-term care centers.