Finding the right therapist can be a tricky job causing additional stress and anxiety. Often, people are afraid to start therapy because the first step of finding a therapist can be daunting.
The following 6 steps break it down and should make it easier to find the right therapist for you.
- If you have a friend or family member who is open about their own therapy, ask them for the name of their therapist. Oftentimes therapists will not see members of the same family as there may be a conflict of interest, but you can, at least, chat with the therapist and perhaps they can give you referrals.
- Ask yourself if you want to go through your insurance network since that can limit the therapists available. The benefit of going through your insurance is that it will most likely be cheaper (depending on your benefits). If you decide to not use your insurance and need a place to start with a list of therapists, I really like https://www.psychologytoday.com and their “find a therapist” tab.
- Determine if you would feel more comfortable talking to a male or female, younger or older, and any other demographics. Therapy is about YOU and you need to be able to get the most out of it by being open and honest. It's important to pick someone you feel comfortable talking to about your issues.
- Call a few therapists. Most therapists are more than happy to talk to you on the phone for 5-10 minutes so you get a feel for them, and they you to determine if it's a good fit. If you are struggling with something that the therapist does not have any experience working with, then it's best to know during the initial phone consultation.
- If you decide to not go through your insurance, ask the therapist on the phone call what they charge. If it is out of your price range, you can always ask if they provide a sliding scale. You may have to see them during “off” hours, but this will be at a cheaper rate.
- Ask them their therapeutic style. There are many different types of therapy styles; CBT, DBT, psychoanalysis, etc. You may not know what each means, but you can ask how they intend to support you and what their general process is.
Lastly, take your time finding the right therapist for your specific needs. It's truly a priceless investment when you find the perfect person to work with.