Real talk, looking for a therapist is exhausting. It’s hard to tell from someone’s picture if they are competent or helpful. And therapy is such a complex thing, it can’t be separated from the actual person. So, if they suck as a person, they will probably suck as a therapist. It’s just simple math.
Credentials hardly mean anything. You could get a credential in almost anything with pretty minimal contact hours. Sure, some credentials mean more than others but a credential can’t really tell you if someone is a good therapist. Credentials feel like capitalism’s way to dupe us into thinking someone can be certifiably qualified to do something well. What a credential really says is that you had the money to pay for it and that you think it means something.
I don’t mean to be harsh; this is just how my brain views this type of stuff. I guess you could say I am a bit disillusioned with the whole process. I crave substance. I don’t care about letters at the end of your name or degrees. I want to know who you are and if you know how to go into the scary deep recesses of a person’s mind and help them gain clarity. I want someone who can truly be present nonjudgmentally and be an actually authentic human. Is that too much to ask?
To be honest, I wish there really was a credential that proved that a therapist would be helpful and not harmful. So far, there is none. We have to slog through potentially sucky therapists until we get lucky. If we even make it that long. This is why so many people give up looking for a therapist. How could we blame them? They’ve been burned too many times.
Society has such a positive view of therapy without much acknowledgment of the harm that bad therapy can cause. If therapy doesn’t work out, we typically blame the client, not the therapist. We need to acknowledge that sucky therapists exist and in higher numbers than anyone admits. Don’t get me wrong, therapy is super important. But there is no real quality control beyond punishing therapists that commit actual crimes. This makes it really hard to be a consumer of therapy.