You’ve decided to go to therapy. Now what? Choosing a therapist may initially feel like a daunting task, but don’t fret! We’ve gathered some helpful first steps that will help you feel less overwhelmed and more secure in your decision-making process. Here are a few things to consider when you begin your search for a therapist.
Try and figure out what your needs are
The first step is to consider your reasons for deciding to go to therapy. Knowing what type of support you need can help highlight which therapists to seek out. Most therapists have fields of focus, and depending on what your needs are, this is an easy way of narrowing your search.
What if I don’t have an exact reason beyond general support?
Whether you need general support, or you have specified needs, consider what you know are your non-negotiables. What do you value in your intimate relationships? Whatever your non-negotiables may be, and for whatever reason, you’ll want a therapist who aligns with your values. Finding a therapist whom you trust and feel safe with is one of the most important parts of your therapeutic journey. This ensures that you will feel comfortable opening up and sharing vulnerable and private information.
Decide what is financially doable for you
There are many factors that go into the cost of therapy. When finding a therapist, you’ll want to be sure to know what their rates are before your first meeting. Some therapists may offer this information on their websites, but this isn’t always the case. Most therapists will happily discuss pricing via email or phone.
If you have insurance, it may be in your best interest to see which therapists are in your network. Not all therapists work with insurance. Some may offer other solutions such as superbills, which you pay upfront. From there, you can be reimbursed through your insurance providers. Other therapists offer sliding scale spots or lower rates that consider your personal needs.
When deciding which therapists best fit your financial needs, it may be worth examining how often you foresee yourself going to therapy per month. Knowing what works best for you empowers you with clearer tools of communication for your potential therapist. Pre-determining what is most affordable for you will reveal which therapists can accommodate your monetary prerequisites.
Ways to begin your search
If you haven’t already started actively searching for your therapist, now is the time to start! By now, you should have a strong idea of the type of therapist that would support you best. While searching for therapists in your area on Google can be a good place to start, it isn’t your only option.
Here’s some ways you can search for a therapist:
-Ask for recommendations on social media. Take advantage of your digitally connected world by asking those on your friend lists!
-Try neighborhood groups/apps such as Nextdoor. This broadens the search while remaining close to your area.
-Some organizations, such as schools and churches, will either have licensed counselors on staff, or may provide resources for you to connect to a therapist.
-Ask friends, family members, anybody you feel comfortable asking.
No matter how you search, remember that therapy is great for everyone and not something to be ashamed of.
You found a therapist--now what?
Congratulations! You found a therapist, and you’re getting ready for your first session. First appointments can feel a little nerve wracking, almost like a first date. Keep in mind that your first meeting is simply that. You are meeting one another and seeing if you are a good fit for each other.
It’s okay to meet a therapist and not book another session. Like any other relationship, sometimes we have different needs, or the anticipated connection just isn’t there, and that’s okay! Finding the right therapist can take time. While it may feel discouraging in the moment, you do have some avenues to move forward. Don’t be afraid to talk to the therapist, yes the one you won’t see again, and see if they have recommendations. Therapists are here to help you, even if that means helping you find the right therapist.
Perhaps you have some other meetings scheduled, or you have a list of other therapists to consider. Stay encouraged and remember that the right fit is out there for you.
It is possible to click right away and know the therapist you have found is the right connection for you.
Still having trouble?
Having tangible steps can make the biggest of tasks feel more manageable. However, we understand that sometimes, the tasks can still feel daunting. Whether finding a therapist feels too overwhelming, or you just feel stuck in your journey, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to lend our support and to help find the right therapist for you.