Deciding to seek a therapist to help with working through concerns, issues and areas of struggle is a big step in working on getting healthier. Now that you have made this positive decision, how do you find a therapist who will be a good fit for you? There are many ways to begin your search for a therapist. You can look at some of the following resources to see who is practicing in your area:
Referrals from Others.
Ask your doctor who they refer for counseling is a great way to start your search. Checking with close friends who may have had counseling or who are currently in counseling, who they recommend. When asking friends, remember that their needs may be a little different from yours and their therapist may or may not be the best fit.
This website has a detailed directory of therapists in your area. You can search by area, insurance, and specific needs. Not all therapists choose to have a profile, but this is a great way to start your search.
Insurance Company Directories or Customer Service.
If you have insurance that provides mental health benefits you will want to see which therapists are paneled with your insurance company. This will also be a great starting point for your search especially if there are concerns about the financial investment of seeking therapy.
Doing a Google search can also bring the name and websites of local therapists and practices in your area. Google My Business can be a good place to get basic information about the therapist and practice.
Once you have found a few therapists to call then starts then you can start to look for specific needs you may have:
- Do they currently have appointments? If not how long is their typical wait for an appointment?
- What are their hours?
- Do they accept your insurance?
- What are their session fees? Do they have any other fees?
- Do they see clients in person? Do they offer telehealth?
- Do they offer a phone consultation prior to scheduling an the first appointment?
- If I have a question, can I reach out to my therapist?
These are some general questions that will hopefully help you as you narrow down your search for the best therapist for you.
Once you have chosen a therapist to talk with, what are some of the qualities that you should look for?
- Is there a personal connection to them? You will not be building a friendship, but you will need to be able to share personal and possibly hard experiences with your therapist.
- Do you think you can trust them with your experiences and that they have your best interest in mind?
- When they are talking do they appear to be honest and genuine?
- Are they knowledgeable about how to help others? Do they come off as superior or a know it all?
- When you are talking with them, do you feel valued as a person? Do you sense that they believe you can move forward?
- Are they communicating openly with you? Do you think they will be able to say hard things or share areas of growth when needed?
In order to move forward you will need to feel connected and comfortable with your therapist. That does not always mean you will like what they are saying or not feel some resistance to the steps they many be encouraging your take, but you know they have your best interest and are encouraging you to grow and to move forward into a healthier better life. Working with a therapist is joint venture where both of you will need to be committed to working together to find the best ways to help you move forward in the life you want.
Along with the need for a good connection and working relationship with you therapist, you will want to review some other aspects of their education, experience and training. It will also be important that their hours, locations and practice fit well into your schedule do that you will be able to work on your progress. Some other areas to research on the therapists you would like to see are:
Education and Experience.
You will want to make sure that your therapist has completed the requirements and is licensed by the state. This is important not only for the foundational education that is needed to earn these licenses but also the requirements of ethics and legal standards that they must uphold. In order to maintain their licenses, therapists must also continue to complete training and further learning which is very beneficial for their clients.
Each therapist will have certain training they specialize in and use often in their practices. Most therapists will have trained and utilize multiple therapies so that they can provide what is best for each client they see. Some of the more common therapies currently are:
-CBT-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
-ACT-Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
-EMDR-Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy
When first meeting with your therapist, you can ask them if they have worked with other clients who have had similar concerns or issues and what types of treatments have, they used that have been successful.
A good therapist will be able to use many different tools to personalize a treatment plan that is right for each individual client and the goals that that client has for therapy. There is no one therapy that is right for each person and every situation.
Cost and Insurance:
It is important to know what your cost will be for therapy. Most people will start out working weekly with their therapist. How long a person stays in therapy is very specific to each person and on what they are working. Every practice can have their own set fees, so it is important to know what your therapist is charging. It is important to know if your therapist accepts insurance and if they will accept your specific insurance. If they do not accept insurance, then you would be paying upfront for your sessions and then be responsible to submitting claims with your own insurance company possibly.
It is important to know that your schedule needs can be accommodated by your therapist. Knowing the hours, they are open and how flexible they can be if you need to reschedule is important. Also knowing your own schedule and if you are able to miss work if needed or possibly go on your lunch hour.
There are many things to consider when researching and choosing a therapist to walk along this journey with you. We hope this article has been helpful. Our therapists would love to schedule an appointment with you. One of top priorities as a company to is to make sure that every client that comes to Upstate Restorative Counseling feels seen, heard, and supported in their journey to creating their best life.
For more information on Upstate Restorative Counseling, please see: https://upstaterestorativecounseling.com/