How to choose a therapist


Choosing a therapist or a counselor is a very different task than picking most other helping or service professionals. There is the objective part – is your therapist qualified or not? And there is the subjective part – is this the right therapist for me?

First – the nuts and bolts. Therapy is a regulated profession. Only licensed professionals such as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT or sometimes LMFT) or a Psychiatrist are permitted by law to conduct Psychotherapy. To make sure that your therapist is properly licensed, you can look online. Any disciplinary actions will also be listed. My license as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist is MFC51160, and is regulated by the State of California. You can check my (or any MFT’s) status by going to bbs.ca.gov. You will see both my License as well as my Intern Registration (which was cancelled once I received my license.)

Second, there is the fit between you and your therapist. Therapy is a place where you need to feel safe enough to get deeply personal work done, and your therapist is the person who will be holding the tender, extremely private areas of your life. The fit between you and your therapist is very important. By all means, get referrals from your friends, but I also encourage you to try several therapists for one session each. What works wonderfully for your friend may not be the same exact thing that you need. Listen to your gut – who makes you feel safe? Who makes you feels comfortable?

To help you make the important decision about choosing your therapist, I offer a free consultation. You can come in, risk free, and see if the kind of therapy I offer is the right fit for you. Call 510-771-7760.

David Leong
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

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