There may be nothing more difficult than finding a therapist. Think about it if you will. You’re experiencing problems in your marriage, feeling depressed or anxious, in need of help for your child or any other emotionally taxing concern. That’s stressful enough, but now you have to add the stress of having to try and figure out what kind of therapist you should go to.
Here are a few tips that may help you in your quest.
Try to get a referral from someone you know and trust. This may be a friend, your family physician or a spiritual adviser.
What can you afford? Before you begin your search, make sure you have figured out how much you can afford. There are a number of options including using your health insurance, paying out of pocket, going to a family service agency or mental health Center. If you do use your health insurance, make sure you understand what practitioner will be covered and what they will cover in terms of actual percentage of fee.
Research. Once you get some names, do an Internet search to gather as much information as you can (sites like Psychology Today and Healthgrades). Then make a phone call and spend a few minutes on the phone interviewing them. Trust your gut. If you don’t feel comfortable, move on to another resource. When finding a therapist you want to make sure there’s a connection interpersonally. Also, don’t let the telephone be your only guide. If you feel comfortable enough to set up an initial appointment, then make sure you are also comfortable with where the office is and the actual office setting. Meeting that professional will also give you more information about your comfort level.
Ask Questions. Some of the questions you might want to ask the therapist in their first visit include:
Is s/he licensed?
Does s/he have experience working with people who are experiencing what you’re experiencing?
Does s/he have a graduate degree? If so, is it in social work psychology or counseling. Therapists should have some kind of a graduate degree.
Seeking help can be stressful, but landing the right therapist that matches you and what you’re looking for can lead to great benefits. For further information, don’t hesitate to contact someone at Perspectives. We are happy to assist you in this process.
For more information about Bernie Dyme, LCSW, click here.
Originally published February 1, 2015