Asking friends, people you know or your doctor for a referral is a good way to start. You may also check the list of professionals listed by your insurance company. Of course, Internet directories such as the Psychology Today Referral Service and Graig List as well as search engines are excellent sources too.
Professional credentials and licensure are critical.
You can check these licenses with Florida’s Department of Health for my credentials, my license information and history.
You can call them (850-488-0595) or check on-line:
Use my last name Moransais and my first name Patricia for the psychology license. My nursing license is still in may maiden name: Frell.
You can also search by license number (PY4937 Psychology and RN832322 Registered Nurse).
I have a doctorate in Psychology, a PsyD.
This diploma requires years of study, multiple practicums, one year internship and one year residency. It differs from a PhD in psychology because the main orientation is towards therapy as opposed to research. I am also a registered nurse and a diplomate in Hypnotherapy.
You should also check such things as the therapist's education, specialized Areas of Practice and experience. Ask questions about the therapist’s style and experience with working with the kind of issues you whish to present. It is important that you feel comfortable with your therapist. You may also want to consider whether you want to see a man or a woman.
In addition, more intangible factors play a role, such as the therapist’s personal values, judgment as well as life experience. Therapy is about a great deal more than theory and a seasoned therapist is a great thing to have in your corner.
Be sure to ask about the kind of treatments that the therapist will employ and how they have been shown to be effective for your condition. Often, a combination of medication and psychotherapy is the most effective course. Ask your prospective therapist about his or her approach to therapy and how a global strategy could be beneficial in your case.
Clearly, you should inquire about the fee structure, cancellation policy, insurance reimbursement issues and the privacy practices that are in effect. (Check the Office Procedure Page)
Your therapist must have the skills and experience to help you but also be a strong and positive person.