Finding A Therapist

Therapist Office

I think I need therapy. I’ve been putting off going to a therapist for a long time, but I feel like I’m running out of excuses. First I said I didn’t need therapy because I was going to get through a tough time on my own, but that hasn’t worked out so well. Later, I said therapy was too expensive. I still kind of feel that way, but now I don’t care— I need help. Finally, I said that I didn’t know how to get a therapist that I could trust. I’m afraid of just walking into some stranger’s office. That last reason is sticking with me, and I feel overwhelmed when I try to think about finding the specific therapist who will work for me.

Experts, how should I go about finding a therapist? What can I do to make sure that the therapist I get is the right fit for me? Please help!

Therapy can be an immensely powerful way to cope with mental health issues of all kinds. You’re very wise to seek out a therapist, and we’re sure that it is going to help you.

Finding the right therapist won’t instantly cure your mental health issues, of course. But being able to talk to someone who understands mental health will allow you to fully comprehend your feelings while gaining an important perspective on how your mental health works. Your therapist will work with you and help you to develop strategies that will address your symptoms, triggers, and personal habits. When you feel anxious, depressed, or upset, you’ll have a toolbox to use to cope and respond to your situation.

Of course, before any of that happens, you’ll need to find a therapist, so how can you do that, and what should you look for in a potential mental health provider?

For starters, you should know that there are different kinds of therapists. General talk therapy is a great option for a huge range of people, but you may also have options that are specific to the sort of mental health issues you’re experiencing. For instance, you may be able to work with a therapist that specializes in addiction, or one who specializes in LGBTQ issues. You could turn to art therapy, music therapy, group therapy, or couples therapy. There are a lot of options, so start your search by determining which sort of therapist you’re looking for.

Therapy doesn’t need to be expensive. Though you express fears about the cost of therapy, the reality is that there are affordable therapists—and you may end up paying very affordable copays if you work with your health insurance provider to find a therapist that is in your network.

Another good jumping-off point for finding a therapist is speaking to your primary care physician. Your primary care doctor can recommend and refer you to specialists of all kinds, and mental health providers are no exception. Your doctor might have a great recommendation for you.

Finally, you can always search for a therapist online. Just do a quick search for “therapist near me” or use your health insurance provider’s website to sort through therapy options that your insurance will help pay for. Local therapists should have great websites outlining their services and rates. If their rates aren’t available, just give them a call to chat about prices and insurance coverage. You can also check online review sites, particularly those that specialize in medical reviews.

When you find a therapist, you can expect to learn a bit about therapy itself on your first visit. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’ll want to know what sort of theoretical orientation your therapist adheres to. Don’t be afraid to try another therapist if you feel you haven’t found the right one yet. It’s okay to try more than one therapist, though you should give each a fair chance to show you just how powerful therapy is.

Finding a therapist won’t be too hard, and you can always make a change later if you decide you must. The important thing right now is for you to get the care you need, so take the first step and you’ll be one step closer to feeling better.

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