Find the Right Therapist – How to Make Your Choice

It may have taken months or even years to take this step forward. But you’ve finally decided that you want to tackle your mental health struggles head on and work with a therapist.

Now, you’re seeing that booking your first session isn’t really that simple. There are so many therapists specializing in different areas and approaches to treatment. Reviewing them all can easily become overwhelming.

Where should you begin your search?

Trying to find the right therapist doesn’t have to feel like an impossible task. By getting organized and gaining a deeper understanding of your own reasons for seeking therapy, you can connect with a therapist who will know exactly what you need.

Determine Your Needs

To know what your needs are, there are a few things to consider. Will you be attending therapy sessions by yourself? Or is there another individual who might be accompanying you?

For example, if you’re working through some relationship problems, you may suspect that the state of your mental health is linked. As a result, you may need to find a therapist who works with both couples and individuals. If you’re dealing with serious family conflict, you will want to start seeing a therapist who knows the ins and outs of family therapy.

Make sure to identify your most important needs before you begin researching the therapists in your area. This is the first step if you want to find the right therapist. 

Consider Your Symptoms

You may not have a diagnosis for the things you’ve been struggling with. But now is the time to clarify the symptoms you’ve been experiencing, and think about what they might add up to and whether you may be struggling with a mental health condition.

Do you need a therapist who specializes in helping people with depression and anxiety? Or do you require one who has extensive experience working with people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or trauma?

It’s also entirely possible that you know something is wrong, but you’re not quite sure what your potential diagnosis could be. In that case, it may be best to find a therapist who can complete a diagnostic evaluation and provide recommendations for a specialist. 

Get Specific

When you decided to seek therapy, your first thought was probably about your own mental health. You may have been reflecting on the struggles you’ve been experiencing and finally decided that it was time to make a change. However, you also need to consider if there are any specific traits you need in a therapist.

For example, you might realize that you feel more comfortable seeing a female therapist. If your faith is important to you, you could connect with a therapist who practices your religion. It’s okay to be a little picky when you’re trying to find the right therapist!

Research Types of Treatment

When it comes to treating mental illness, there is no such thing as “one size fits all” therapy. Before you assume that you’re about to find the right therapist, explore the therapeutic approaches they tend to practice.

Even if you don’t understand all of the terminologies, you can probably get an idea of the many methods used to treat different conditions. Some may seem more appealing than others.

Estimate Your Budget

Once you have a solid idea of your symptoms, your needs, and any preferences for your therapist’s background and favored approaches to treatment, it’s time to take a look at your budget.

Often times, therapists who specialize in the type of treatment that may be most helpful for you may not take insurance or be a provider in your insurance network. Ask about fees and insurance before you make an appointment and determine whether the therapist’s fees fall within your budget.

Are you ready to start your search for the right therapist? Learn more about the many different types of therapy to figure out your next step.