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Guide to choosing a psychotherapist


Starting a personal psychotherapy path can be an optimal solution not only in the case in which you have to deal with an obstacle or impediment that does not allow you to be calm, but also – more simply – if you feel the desire to improve your own everyday life . We talked about it with Dr. Silvia Parisi, psychotherapist in Turin .


When to resort to psychotherapy

It is normal that, in the different phases of a person’s life, there are periods in which negative sensations are perceived: of anxiety, for example, but also of suffering or sadness. Thus, you feel empty or lost, and you are unable to solve these problems yourself. Here, a therapeutic support is what it takes to go further, but it is not certain that it is easy to find the right professional to rely on. On the other hand, it is good to be aware of the differences between a psychotherapist, a psychoanalyst, a psychiatrist and a psychologist . The latter is a professional with a degree in psychology who can perform tests and offer advice, remaining patients to other specialists in case he believes psychoanalysis or psychotherapy is needed.

The psychoanalyst, the psychotherapist and the psychiatrist

The psychoanalyst can have a degree in medicine or psychology and has followed a graduate school for 4 years. The method of psychoanalysis, which derives from the theories of Freud and Jung, consists in investigating and studying the unconscious dynamics of the subject to arrive at the resolution of conflicts, for a rather long journey. The psychotherapist, who in turn may have a degree in medicine or psychology, generates different approaches that serve to generate a change aimed at intervening on the discomfort for a short-term path. Finally, the psychiatrist is a specialist with a medical degree, and is the only one who can prescribe drugs, obviously only if he deems it necessary to do so. If desired, he can obtain the title of analyst or therapist to also try his hand at psychoanalysis or psychotherapy.

Better a woman or a man?

The gender of the professional you are targeting can also be important, but obviously there is no universal rule to follow: it all comes down to understanding what kind of person you might feel most comfortable with. It is not said, then, that the psychotherapist who already follows a relative or a friend always represents the best solution , even more so if it is a person to whom one is very close.

The first meeting

The first meeting is a very delicate moment, especially if you have never previously interfaced with a psychotherapist or psychologist. It is normal to be agitated, but there is no need to think about questions to ask. This does not, of course, remove the fact that those who have questions or doubts to be resolved are fully entitled to ask for everything they deem appropriate, both to achieve a greater state of tranquility and to say goodbye to any perplexities.

How to recognize a therapist you can trust

Obviously, it is essential to verify that the professional to whom one is contacting is in possession of the necessary qualifications for the pursuit of the profession: this is not just a degree, but also registration in the relevant register. Furthermore, psychotherapists and psychoanalysts must also have a specialization diploma. As for skills and personal characteristics, a good therapist, in addition to respecting the code of ethics, must show the utmost empathy , in order to create a positive and interactive atmosphere to foster the collaboration that is necessary to achieve the desired objectives.

Choosing the right therapist is very important – here’s why

If you find that you are not comfortable with your therapist, you should not be afraid to change him. What matters is having the certainty that professional secrecy will be maintained and, therefore, that we can confide in each other with the utmost serenity . The duration of the journey varies according to the characteristics of the problem to which you are trying to remedy. For psychoanalysis, for example, it can take years , while a few months are usually sufficient in the case of psychotherapy.

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