Finding a therapist that is a good fit can feel like a defeating task. Many times we end up calling several therapists that either don't return our phone calls or simply answer the phone to let us know that they are currently full and no longer accepting new clients. My hope is that this blog post gives a few helpful tips to make the process a little less daunting.
Before seeking a therapist, it is important to know what we would like to work on in therapy.
Are we seeking therapy to alleviate anxiety or to help manage depression? Would we like to process unresolved grief and/or trauma? Do we want help learning healthy coping mechanisms to enhance our relationships? Would we like to build our confidence and self esteem?
Knowing what we would like to take away from the therapeutic process will help narrow down the search of what we are looking for. If we are seeking a therapist to help us process unresolved trauma, than we should seek a therapist who specializes in trauma.
Once we feel confident in what we would like to work on in therapy, then it is important to know who we are seeking therapy for.
Are we seeking for therapy for ourselves? Are we seeking therapy for our child or our significant other? It is important to know who we are seeking therapy for to think about who that person would be most comfortable with. If I am seeking therapy for myself, am I most comfortable speaking with a man or a woman? Is there a specific ethnicity or language that feels more comfortable than the other when I am thinking about being vulnerable with another human? If I am seeking therapy for my child, what kind of person would my child feel most comfortable with?
When we have an idea of what kind of person we are looking for, then we can think about how we are going to afford therapy.
Therapy is a form of health care and a form of self care.
Often times we can use our insurance benefits to cover the costs either directly or through reimbursements. If our insurance does not cover the therapist that best fits our wants and needs than we can add therapy into our budget as a part of our self care routine similar to going to the gym, going into a tanning salon or massage parlor.
If we are relying on insurance to cover the costs of therapy, we can use our insurance website to search for providers that are in network to find the perfect therapist. Most therapists are listed on psychology today and/or therapy den and list which insurance providers they are currently in network with and if they are currently accepting new clients. If we happen to find the perfect therapist is out of network then we can ask that therapist to provide superbills to send to our insurance company for possible reimbursement.
During the search, look for therapists that offer free phone consultations that way we have the opportunity to hear the therapist's voice and understand a little more about them. Ask the therapist questions about their education, about the way that they go about helping people and about their delivery of therapy either telehealth or in person. It is crucial to ask questions prior to the first therapy session to have a better idea of if the therapist feels like a good fit.