Guidelines for Choosing a Therapist

1.  Choosing a therapist that will meet your needs:

According to the HPSCA all Therapists fall into different scopes of practice. For example: if someone is struggling with pathology they need to consult a clinical psychologist. When a child is presenting with behavioural , emotional or academic difficulties, you need to consult an educational psychologist.

2. Feeling Comfortable

Choose a therapist that you feel comfortable with and with whom you can work with. Therapists are all different and have different styles, so there will be someone out there for you.

3. Phone more than one therapist

When exploring two or more therapists it is important to gather information on their qualifications and working style.  Trust your instincts when choosing the therapist.

4. Ask the following questions:

  1. Medical aid fees / Private fees
  2. Consulting hours
  3. How many sessions will you need?
  4. How often do you need to attend your sessions?
  5. Qualifications

Therapist Categories

According to the health profession council of South Africa, therapists needs to follow their scope of practice.

This means that a therapist needs to practice only in the category that they are qualified in. The following categories might help you when choosing a therapist:

Clinical Psychologist:

These Therapists : assess, diagnose and make interventions in order to alleviate serious psychological distress and psychopathology,  or what is referred to as ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR.

Counselling Psychologist:

These Therapists focus on well adjusted people in coping with normal problems in daily life. They facilitate psychological adjustment, growth and self- development.

Educational Psychologist:

These Therapists focus on children  and  adolescents. They diagnose and intervene in order to facilitate Psychological adjustment and development within the family , school and peer groups.

Industrial Psychologist:

These Therapists  focus on well adjusted individuals in order to optimise individual, group and organisational well being and effectiveness in the work place.

Research Psychologist:

These Therapists apply research methods and techniques in order to contribute to the knowledge base of that particular field.

Registered Counsellors:

The difference between a registered counsellor and the above psychologists are their qualifications. The above Psychologists have a master degree in psychology, whereas a registered counsellor only have a honours degree in psychology. Registered Counsellors also focus on short term interventions.


These Therapists are professional trained in the administration, scoring and reporting of various assessment instruments that can be utilised in a wide variety if context.

Social Workers:

These Therapists provide psychological counselling, guidance and assistance. All social workers that are interested getting  listed on Therapist Box Online Directory are required to be members of the South African Association of Social Workers in private practice.