Help Wanted: a Good Therapist Amid Increasing Choices, How to Know What Treatments Work, When to Move On

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Therese Borchard likens herself to Goldilocks of the mental-health world: She tried six psychiatrists before she found one that was “just right.” One learned she was a writer and asked for help with a book proposal. Another put her on sleeping pills, ignoring her history of substance abuse. One even wanted to try hypnotic regression by candlelight to address unresolved childhood issues.

Finally, No. 7 diagnosed bipolar disorder, found medication that was effective, helped her to be less hard on herself and “salvaged the last crumb of my self-esteem,” says Ms. Borchard, who writes the popular “Beyond Blue” blog on Beliefnet.com.

The search for the right therapist can be baffling—and it comes at a time when would-be patients are feeling most vulnerable.

Patients who aren’t sure what’s wrong with them can be stumped about the type of therapist to call and ill-equipped to evaluate what they’re told during treatment. How well a therapist’s personal style matches a patient’s individual needs can be critical. But experts also say that patients shouldn’t be shy about pressing their therapist for a diagnosis and setting measurable goals….

 

By MELINDA BECK

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204346104576636923254728228.html

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