Mental health practitioners are a bit like nutritional supplements. It can be hard to distinguish between what's hype and what's helpful.

Counsellor, psychologist, psychiatrist? Registered counselor, registered psychologist? Some person with a PhD? Self-help author? Oprah guest?

When I evaluate a practitioner, I ask myself these questions:

  1. What level of education did this person receive?
  2. How much clinical supervision, if any, has this person received?
  3. Would my extended health plan cover sessions with this person?
  4. Did the person's education focus on well established evidence-based practices?
  5. What professional regulating bodies, if any, has this person joined?

Since I would ask those before letting someone perform surgery on me, why wouldn't I ask those before following someone's advice on how to live my life?