Here you are, convinced that it might be time to address that problem in your life but unsure where to turn. The blogs you’ve read and the conversations you’ve had with yourself or your partner have done their job, and you know that it is not a weakness to ask for help, and neither is it a moral failing. But where should you turn for help? When you’re not sure what you need, how do you find the right therapist for you?
1. Get honest with yourself
This is the first and most essential step to finding the right therapist for you. You are the subject and the tool to accomplish life change, and it’s important to consider what you need in order to make therapy work for you. What are the challenges you’re dealing with? Are they mood-related? Significant life changes that require recalibration of routines, relationships, or expectations? What other aspects of your life have been impacted? Sleep? Focus? Work performance?
Knowing what you’re coming into therapy to address is helpful to set some goals at the outset of the process, even if those goals change along the way.
2. Check with your insurance company
Many insurance companies will have lists of therapists or practices that they work with. At the very least, knowing this information will help you make an informed decision when selecting the right therapist for you. Conversely, you can begin the search by seeing what therapy practices are in your area and navigating their website in order to discover whether they work with your insurance provider.
On that note, it’s also important to consider whether you even want to use insurance to pay for your services. There can be some particular downfalls to working with insurance to pay for therapy, including the insistence of a diagnosis no matter your presenting concern, among other challenges. Working with a group practice like Awakened Path Therapy, where even out-of-network plans are affordable, individuals can instead choose their therapist based on quality, need, and preference.
3. Ask your friends and family
You may find the right therapist for you by learning who has been helpful to others in your life!
Many times, the best referrals come from the suggestions of those closest to you. While therapy can be a sensitive and difficult topic to approach, individuals who have had a good therapy experience are often happy to pass along the information of the therapist who helped them along in their journey.
4. Explore the options online
While the therapy profession is built on depth, authenticity, and looking beyond the surface, it is not exempt from the need for good branding online. Get to know your potential therapy practice, judging beyond the first ads that pop up from your Google search and to the information that they’ve provided alongside it. What is the therapy center or therapist’s approach? Can you imagine what it would be like to be in a room with them? Will you feel comfortable saying what you need to?
5. Commit to the process
The therapeutic relationship is important! But sometimes, it’s difficult to predict what it will look and feel like before you jump in. Consider the major factors that matter to you. Age, gender, specialization, and experience are important, but also allow yourself the flexibility to know that when you no longer allow these things to be an excuse for delaying getting started, the real work begins.