Do Educational Degrees Matter?

By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

The short answer is no, the educational background of the mental health professional will have little impact on the outcome of your treatment. There is virtually no research that has been published that suggests you will get a more positive outcome or get a more positive outcome more quickly if you choose a higher-priced, more-educated professional. What research does show is that experience and specialization matters. Generally, the more experienced a professional is in a specific topic area, the more likely that person will be able to help you more quickly.

So rather than focus on educational degrees, focus your search for a professional on how much experience they’ve had in treating your concern in the past, and whether they have a specific specialization in that concern. Typically you will only be able to discover this information by asking the professional.

Finding a mental health professional that is going to be best for you is more of an art than a science. The educational background of your psychotherapist should not be a deciding factor in this process. Your best bet is to determine what kinds of things are important to you and finding a professional that seems to fit with your needs and personality. Often times, finding the right therapist or mental health professional takes more than one try. You may need to “try on” a few professionals before finding one that feels right to you. Don’t be afraid to do this, as it is your well-being and treatment you’re investing in.

 

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2006). Do Educational Degrees Matter?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/do-educational-degrees-matter/00014
Scientifically Reviewed
    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Jan 2013
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.