Therapy is a form of mental health care that can treat a variety of mental health issues and illnesses. However, picking the right therapist that suits your needs can feel like a daunting task. When I was seeking a therapist, I was very intimidated by all of my options. With a little work, patience and advice from others, you will be able to find the right therapist for you.
One of the most important factors can be a therapist’s own specialty areas. For example, I am dealing with issues related to obsessive-compulsive disorder. It was important for me to find someone who had done research on OCD and was known for helping individuals with issues similar to mine.
How can you find out what is their specialty area? A simple online search of the therapist’s name may tell you about books they’ve written or studies they’ve participated in. Calling the therapist directly and asking about their specialty areas can also be a great way to gain knowledge and start developing a connection with that therapist. I started online and eventually found the contact information for my current therapist. I even have purchased and read some of their books.
Another great way to get to know a therapist is to have a consultation with them, often called an intake appointment. They are usually low in cost or sometimes free, and you can discuss what issues you need help with and get to know each other. Often times during the intake, the therapist can either determine you are a good fit for their skills or refer you to another therapist. The appointment is very relaxed and you will not be under any pressure to work with them after the intake if you don’t feel comfortable.
Insurance often covers most therapy, but finding a therapist in your network can be a challenge. Contacting your insurance company can help you find a selection of therapists that you can contact which will be covered. Also ask about how many appointments are covered by your insurance. If money is a factor, there are many therapy offices which offer free or sliding scale services. In college, I visited a sliding scale therapist and paid just $1 for each session. Contact your local university or college to see if they have a public program that is low cost.
Asking your general practitioner if they can recommend a therapist is also a great resource. You can also ask family, friends and colleagues if they have any specific recommendations about therapists they or a family member have worked with. I have recommended my therapist several times to friends, so don’t hesitate to ask your loved ones for advice.
Following the care of a therapist can make all the difference in treating mental health concerns and allowing someone to live their life more fully. I have personally found that therapy has helped me cope with my symptoms and I feel much more balanced. Finding the right therapist will help you also achieve your goals and achieve better mental health.