If you’re considering therapy, whether it is to recover from trauma, restore a relationship, improve your mental health, or adjust to a new life phase — finding the right therapist isn’t that much easy.
Studies have found that the bond between you and your therapist has a significant impact on your growth. That’s why it is necessary to do proper research, ask questions, and pay attention to your own responses in your search for the therapist that is suitable for you.
In this post, we’ll provide you some tried and true methods that will put you in the right direction, and you’ll find the right therapist. Moreover, you’ll have a clear path towards illness.
Steps to Find a Therapist
Figure out what type of therapy you need
Do some research and spend some time to figure out what issues you want to tackle. Do you want some guidance on a major life change? Or do you think you could be struggling with a specific mental illness? If it’s the latter, consider reading on mental health issues to have a basic knowledge of what you might be dealing with. You can easily get helpful glossaries online from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), American Psychiatric Association (APA), and the National Alliance of Mental illness (NAMI). You can then ask your family, friends, or primary care doctor to recommend the best therapists they think would be the right choice for you according to your situation.
Pick the right therapist
Picking the right therapist might take some time and work, but believe me, it’s worth the effort. The bond between you and your therapist is essential. You need someone you think is trustworthy, and you feel comfortable talking to about your issues and intimate secrets. The therapist will be a partner in your recovery. The connection between both of you should be solid; otherwise, therapy won’t be effective. So, spend as much time as possible at the beginning to find the right person. It’s ok to ask questions and look for different factors when interviewing potential therapists.
- Experience matters a lot – why are you considering looking for a therapist rather than simply talking to a friend? The only reason is experience. So, pick the one who has experience in treating the problems that you have. Most therapists have expertise in a specific area, such as anxiety or eating disorders. The benefit you get from the experienced therapists is that they have seen the problems you’re repeatedly facing, so they can guide you in a better way. But if you’re facing issues such as trauma, or PTSD, seeing a specialist will be essential for you.
- Check license – credentials aren’t that necessary, but if you’re paying for a licensed professional, check the therapist’s license and make sure that he is in good standing with the state regulatory board. Try to avoid those therapists against whom people filed complaints.
- Ask them about treatment orientations – many therapists practice different treatment orientations. That’s why it is good to learn about the different orientation types at the beginning.It can affect your therapist’s way of relating and the suggested length of treatment.
- Trust your gut – if you don’t trust your therapist or feel like they truly care, look for another option. A professional therapist will respect your decision and should never build pressure upon you.
How much therapy costs?
Before you start, it is essential to know how much the therapist charges and if they take your insurance. Most often, therapists use an income-based sliding fee scale. What if your insurance plan offers some therapy coverage, but your therapist doesn’t participate in any insurance program?
Individual therapy can be expensive, and a session is often $100 or more. But you can go for other options if you can’t afford this. Group therapy is less expensive as compared to a one-on-one session. Look for community health centers that often provide free or low-cost mental health services.
There is another option of online therapy. Companies like Betterhelp and Talkspace connect users with the therapist through different mediums, including text, audio, and video call. Surveys have found that online therapy is much more effective than in-person treatment.
Is therapy working?
You should have a clear mind within a session or two whether the therapist is fit for you or not. In many cases, people may like their therapist, but they don’t make progress. They don’t know how to evaluate their progress. It is essential to keep track of each session and make sure you’re getting what you’re paying for.
You also need to remember that there is no smooth, fast road to recovery. The process is prolonged, full of twists, turns, and the occasional backtracks. Keep patience and never get discouraged over temporary setbacks.
That doesn’t mean you won’t see progress; you will notice positive changes happening in your life. To help you evaluate your progress in therapy, we’re providing you some valuable tips.
- Find out whether your life-changing for better or not?
- Is therapy challenging you?
- Are you reaching the milestones you and your therapist have set?
- Your confidence level increased or not?
- Is there any improvement in your relationships?
Therapy is somehow a combined effort of you and your therapist. It isn’t a competition, so it’s ok if you don’t meet your goals in the number of sessions you planned. Your focus should be on overall progress and what you’ve learned along the way.
When to stop therapy
When to stop? It depends on your situation. You can stop therapy if the goals set by you and your therapist have met. Sometimes you may think that you have gotten what you need out of therapy, even if your therapist feels not like this.
For many people, It is difficult to leave therapy. Because the relationship between you and your therapist is a strong bond and ending this relationship is a substantial loss. If you’ve such a feeling, talk to your therapist; it’s normal.
Whether you’re coping with trauma, grief, or relationship issues, finding the right therapist can make a big difference in your journey. Spend as much time as possible on picking the right therapist because, in the end, it’ll be you who will suffer.
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