Consider Why You Need Therapy
Just like medical doctors, mental health professionals often concentrate on one or more specialties. They can be expertly trained to treat specific conditions or skilled in certain therapeutic modalities or types of therapy. They may be a family therapist, a marriage counselor, a therapist who specializes in work-related issues, or someone who focuses on treating one or more mental health conditions.
Once you have answered yes to the question, do I need therapy, it’s time to begin your journey on how to find a good therapist. The first step is to ask yourself some questions about what you’re looking for and need from a therapist. Some things to consider include:
1. What do you want to get out of therapy? In your search for how to find a therapist, it’s important to honestly assess your needs. Having identified goals is key in making sure you get the most out of therapy.
- Are you looking for insight into your behaviors?
- Are you hoping to improve your relationships?
- Do you need help dealing with grief?
- Are you seeking to learn how to manage the symptoms of a mental health condition?
2. How much time and other resources are you willing to commit to therapy? Another important aspect to consider when deciding on a licensed therapist is how much effort, time, and money you’re willing to invest. How often can you meet with a therapist? Are you willing to do “homework” if they assign it? How much are you willing to spend on a therapist?
Of course, there are some practical considerations you’ll want to include on your how-to-find a therapist journey. Think about things like:
- Are the therapist’s office hours convenient to your schedule?
- Where is the therapist located?
- Do they take your insurance?
- Do they offer a sliding scale fee?
If you are concerned that you can’t afford therapy, they are other options to consider as well.
“Before searching for a therapist to work with you, think about or list out what you want to work on during your time in therapy. By figuring that out, you can narrow your search for a therapist with that particular expertise. Just because a friend/family member benefits from one therapist doesn’t mean that therapist will be the right fit for you.”