Currently many psychotherapists work without being a psychologist or without having previously completed a degree in psychology, occasionally not even a university degree. There are even therapists who have nothing to do with psychotherapy based on training. Especially in various places in Latin America, where restrictions are unclear or flat do not exist. In many places, online courses, "certifications" in anything imaginable and masters are offered for which it is not necessary to have a bachelor's degree or university degree if you wish to enroll and take them, while your fees are covered. Quite a few people have been trained as psychotherapists or are still preparing for it without having a university degree as a requirement, with only one of these courses, often short and accessible. So in the psychology market, today, there are many professionals who offer their help services, sometimes with rigorous degrees and postgraduate degrees that support them (which anyway does not guarantee anything), sometimes without they, and others, coming from fields of knowledge far removed from human development or psychology, which is sometimes positive, as it enriches and broadens the field of psychotherapy, not rarely quite myopic.
And in some other situations, psychotherapists come from complete self-education and life learning. Maybe with a few readings on top, others not even with that. Sustained in themselves nothing more.
Sometimes, sadly, these lyrical therapists can overcome by their simplicity, life experience, knowledge and practicality to those who have invested decades of study and thousands of dollars in their training but are unable to solve the slightest daily problem even in their own Stocks - it is not always the case, of course, there are exceptions in everything - showing the distance of present and growing light years between the formal education that is offered and sold in any educational institution that is wanted, in many cases very expensive, and The day-to-day needs of many people.
For this reason, when choosing a psychotherapist or seeking psychological help, never rely too much on his academic degrees or in the places where he says or his fans say he has obtained them. Because, in the first place, that does not guarantee that I can serve you in your personal concrete problem, much less that these papers are also real or true, or that by chance they have not been acquired by pirates.
But do not be scared if you suddenly discover that your psychotherapist is self-taught, is not graduated from his bachelor's degree, left the university truncated, left it in half or does not have any degree. As we call them, they are lyrical therapists . Those who did not study formally, but practice psychotherapy and sometimes properly and successfully. Give time to any of them all: both those who say - or say, who have studied a lot in prestigious sites, and those who may have formed themselves and on their own. Give the opportunity even if it is from the beginning to whom you have chosen, after all you already did it and for some reason, you have to find out later what it is.
Notice that really and really listen to you. This is perhaps more important than if you were somewhere in the Old World or the United States doing a post-doctorate or certification in who knows what weird puns.
To know if he really listens to you, check his gaze constantly. He will look you straight in the eye for prolonged periods of time, with greater intensity when your words reveal the darkest and most injured corners of your heart, those that nobody or almost no one but you have exposed. It will give you time to formulate your own ideas and express them. It will not interrupt you unless necessary. He will wait for you to let off steam and expose your situation with your words. Then he will make his interventions concrete, simple, accessible and will ask you, above all, what you think of what he or she thinks of you, without imposing his point of view.
A bad sign of a psychotherapist's poor listening ability is the tendency to talk in excess of himself, what he knows or what he says he has read. It is not that it is wrong for a therapist to take examples of his own experience and use them as valid metaphors to help his patients. Psychologists with a lot of weight in the history of psychology such as Albert Ellis recommend and approve as valid the use of their own experience as an example in the exercise of therapy. But something very different is to spend most of a session, which by the way your patient is paying, talking about himself. This rather shows that he is not listening and is not showing an interest that is too obvious for his story, less for his problems.
So, we recommend you: consider moving away from those therapists who talk excessively about themselves, what they know or say they know, or that in fact do not allow you to talk enough or what you need to feel comfortable. Although I can impress you from the start with your knowledge about literature, cinema, mythology or psychoanalysis.
A good therapist, on the other hand, before taking the floor and seeking to lead the dialogue, will seek to encourage you to express yourself and describe your problem as much as possible. He will want to find out from beginning to end and in great detail what your situation is and what it is, with hairs and signs, your problem.
Rather than seeking to have the floor, he will ask you questions, good questions.
In conclusion, look not at how much your psychologist knows, how much knowledge he has, how many movies he has seen and places he has traveled, but how he looks at you, what kind of questions he asks you and what interest he shows for you. Therapy is a research activity and the true therapist will inquire tirelessly into your history and your life before giving your opinion and speaking. A therapy is not a trip to the cinema to get to know the adventures of the expert, much less an informative conference so that the therapist looks good with everything he knows. The therapy should be an activity completely focused on you.
A reduced ability to listen may indicate that perhaps who needs more psychological attention is the professional who only wants to talk and not listen, and not you.
Respect goes hand in hand with not talking more about the account and not imposing their views and opinions on their patients. Get away as quickly as possible from the therapist who intends to overcome the professional relationship with you: invite you out, invite you to his house or want to go to yours. Forcing you to do something that he thinks would be useful, but it bothers you or goes against your principles and values.
Here the therapeutic goal has long been lost, it never existed, and its interest is not your health or well-being but, probably, your personal pleasure or desires.
On the other hand, a good therapist never tells someone directly what they have to do or should do.
A lousy therapist is the one who will tell you immediately what you should do or decide, reaching fast, easy and too direct conclusions about your situation.
Note that in addition to listening to you, do not try to force yourself to do what you think is right, but should provide you with a range of possible solutions, first suggesting alternate interpretations of your problem and then another range of possible solutions.
You should never say "do this ..." or "you must do that ...".
A good therapist will tend to follow more or less the following scheme (although it is not obligatory, if it is useful to think about it and apply it):
1. Listen calmly, patiently, without interrupting you.
2. Thoroughly inquire, from beginning to end, about your situation and the origin of your problem.
3. Ask calm, pertinent questions that allow you to know yourself and at the same time help you to understand yourself.
4. It will not try to change your point of view but will give you a range of alternative interpretations of your problem after identifying it, which may be two to three and allow you to choose on your own the one that suits you best to explain what you are pass.
5. Regarding the solutions to your problem, it will not be given to you as taken from a cookbook, but it will also present a series of options between two and three of which you can choose one or two with which you also Feel comfortable, never imposing yourself, much less forcing you to lean towards one or the other with which he would stay.
Author's Twitter: @adandeabajo