Your friend believes she/he needs therapy for severe stress. What advice can you offer on choosing a therapist?
My advice would be to find a qualified professional that he or she feels comfortable working with. Therapy is only effective if the patient is willing to share and cooperate with the therapist. If the patient is uncomfortable sharing or completing tasks asked of them, they will not reap the full benefits of therapy. It is important to find a professional that you 'click' with. It may take several tries before finding a therapist that fits the patients needs.
I would suggest finding a doctor whom he/she feels comfortable with. If there is a conflict of personalities, treatment will never go well. Getting referrals from others, as well as his/her own general practitioner will be a good start. Another important thing to consider is that any treatment needs to be complete body. A mind cannot be healthy is the body is not healthy as well. He/she may need to work with multiple doctors to insure the best possible combination of treatments.
Consulting with a person's regular physician is usually a good place to start in regards to getting referrals. Doctors frequently live and work in the same circles and therefore know each other's reputations in a professionally way which may prove useful. The added benefit of asking the regular doctor is, in that way, the regular doctor is aware of the mental health situation of the patient. Mind and body are so completed interrelated that the doctor may be able to pay attention to related health problems like sudden weight gain or increasing blood pressure that can come from the psychological problem.
I agree with #6. Many going to a professional therapist is not necessarily the best answer. Often problems can be alleviated through the listening ear of a non-judgemental friend. However, if therapy in a more professional sense is needed, then I personally would advise you to select a therapist based on personal recommendation. It is very hard nowadays to ascertain the value of educational qualifications and to judge their worth. Personal experience of a trusted friend therefore becomes much more important and valuable.
I would agree to go on qualification or recommendation when choosing a therapist, but constructive discussion and planning session with the friend, resulting in an action plan, will certainly help to get things moving. As a friend, you have been trusted with the confidence of the stressed person.If she is asking you for help to choose a therapist,perhaps find out why she feels this is the solution to her anxiety. Are there issues she can discuss with you? Are there practical issues you can help with? A person who is suffering from stress mayneed a good friend first, then a therapist.
There are a variety of ways to relieve stress, so in addtion to seeing a reputable therapist, massage therapy and acupuncture are good compliments to that strategy, as is exercise and a regular sleep cycle. Regulating diet also contributes to lower stress levels, by eating less sugar and caffeine, or quitting smoking, one can calm the nervous system and reduce stress naturally.
Post 2 has some good ideas, but I think that generally therapists can't give out patient names so the second suggestion might not work. I would think that my friend should start by deciding if she prefers one gender or the other as her therapist. Then, she should simply start trying ones that are convenient for her. As soon as she finds one with whom she feels comfortable, she should stick with that person. I think that personal rapport is extremely important in this sort of situation and therefore there is no substitute for actually going to the person to see if you'll work well together.
This is an important question as stress is not a small issue and can lead to other hardships and diseases. However, first it might be good to talk with the person to see if there are things that can be done externally to alleviate the stress. If this is possible, then he or she may not be need to go to a therapist.
If the person still wants to see a therapist, I would suggest an psychiatrist, because a psychiatrist is also an medical doctor. So, if there are underlying medical conditions, the psychiatrist can help or even prescribe medication, if needed. As you know, the human body and personality is complex.
In my opinion, cognitive behavioral therapy would also be a good approach. As the name suggests, it is a more holistic approach to the human personality.
Finally, it would be good to get referrals by doing some research.
look into therapists with a high education would be the most obvious one, but one of the most important things to look for would be like reviews from other patients to see if they actually know what their doing