A qualified psychotherapist who you can trust can be a very valuable resource in your growth and healing. Here are some suggestions for finding a therapist in your area:
1) Look for therapists who are licensed by your state (or who are supervised by a licensed psychotherapist)
2) Look for therapists who belong to at least one professional association. While this isn't necessarily a guarantee of excellence, and there are plenty of very good therapists who are not members of these groups, such membership generally indicates a commitment to continuing training and to staying abreast of developments in the field. Listed below are several professional organizations and online directories of psychotherapists
3) Ask trusted medical, health or educational professionals, as well as trusted friends or colleagues, for names of qualified local psychotherapists.
4) If you are seeking counseling primarily related to the issues raised in the book If You Had Controlling Parents, you might seek a therapist who has experience working with, or specializes in helping, adults raised in dysfunctional, controlling, or abusive families.
5) Recognize that psychotherapy may not always be a comfortable process, but it needs to be a safe process. In choosing a therapist, it may be helpful to call two or three therapists and schedule an initial visit with each before deciding whom to work with. Some people may prefer to work with a male therapist; others with a female; some want a younger therapist; others like an older therapist. Some therapists tend to listen and say little; others freely give advice. (My orientation, particularly in working with people from controlling families, is somewhere in the middle -- I find it is not helpful to be a removed, distant, "blank screen" in the old psychoanalytic model; nor do I find it helpful to talk so much that clients feel as if I am telling them what to do, instead of listening.) Whatever your preference, listen to and honor your gut instincts in making your choice.
Dan Neuharth, Ph.D., MFT (Calif. Lic#MFC29178)