How to Find the Right Therapist for You
For part 2 of my therapy series, I wanted to give you all tips on how to find a therapist. Finding a therapist is very similar to finding a doctor, dentist, hair stylist, etc. There are certain things you should look for and be aware of before selecting a therapist. Websites like Psychology Today or Health grades can help you find therapists near you or even a simple Google search.
Keep reading and I’ll tell you what you should look for when finding a therapist:
1. First and foremost, check to see which insurance networks the therapist accepts. It is also important to know how many sessions your insurance pays for. This will narrow down your search. If you do not have insurance, most therapists will list if you are able to pay out of pocket and how much it will cost you. Out of pocket sessions can range from $90-$120 (from what I’ve seen).
2. Look at what the therapist specializes in. If you need a therapist for grief, substance abuse, certain mental disorders, etc., this will often be listed. It also important to know what therapy services they offer such as: individual, family, or marital. This also requires self-awareness of what you need help with. If your family needs grief counseling, check to see if the therapist offers that. There are therapists who only see children/adolescents as well. Not all therapists offer family or marital counseling. All therapists don’t specialize in everything, just like you wouldn’t go to a cardiologist for a neurological issue.
3. Location. Find a therapist that is within good proximity of where you live or work. As someone who has experienced rough sessions or been anxious about sessions, it helped that my therapist was located less than 15 minutes from my house. Don’t pick one far out unless you absolutely have to. Driving a long distance could interfere with you attending/missing a session.
4. Make sure the therapist has times that work for you. If you work until 5, you may need a therapist who has 6pm appointments or weekend appointments. This is especially helpful if you do not have a flexible schedule.
5. Some therapists offer virtual sessions, if you need them. I, personally, feel as though I need to be in an actual therapists office for a successful session. However, I know everybody’s schedule or work life may not permit that. For example, if you have to travel for work, you may want to find therapist who offer therapy via video chat. If are unable to leave your home due to various barriers, this may be perfect for you.
6. If gender and race matters to you, consider that in your search. While this may leave you with fewer options, it may make the experience worth it. For example, I prefer to have an African American therapist who is female. If you want someone who you feel like can relate to you, there’s nothing wrong with that. I will caution you that this is not to find someone who you think will agree with you.
I hope these tips help you find who you need to began your therapy journey. Please remember that attending therapy is nothing to be ashamed of.
How was your search when you initially looked for a therapist?