How to Find the Right Therapist for You
First of all: everyone needs therapy. Really. You don’t expect your teeth to take care of themselves, do you? Nope, you see your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. Your brain is so much more complicated than your teeth, of course you’re going to need some expert help with it sometimes!
Ok, now that we’re clear on that, how do you find the right therapist? There are so many different types of therapy available, it can feel a little overwhelming. This post will walk you through some questions, in no particular order, as the level of importance can change depending on your situation. Answering them will help you find the best help for you right now.
· What do you need in a therapist? Make a list of important qualities, little things that can make a big difference (like gender), and areas they specialize in.
· Ask friends, family, and colleagues for recommendations. Start your therapist vetting process here, then branch out to online searching. Read online bios to get a feel for the person.
· What’s your budget? Do you have benefits? If so, check to see if there are limits to the type of therapist they will cover as well as total dollar amount. This will also help you negotiate a fair fee if the therapist offers a sliding fee scale.
· What works best for your schedule and lifestyle? These days you can book virtual visits via video chat or even just text messaging through an app as well as the more traditional in-office visits.
Remember, you’re hiring them to help you, so the first appointment is like an interview. Many will offer a free phone call as a first step to see if it’s a good fit. Pay attention to the way you feel when you hear their voice. Trust your instincts. Keep in mind that it’s ok if it seems good at first, but after a few sessions you’re not feeling it – sometimes it takes a few tries to find the right fit, and your mental health is worth the time it takes!