Finding the right therapists can be hard. But I’m sharing the way I figured out how to find the right therapist. It’s no secret that when crap hit the fan, I started going to therapy (in fact it helped me have the courage to write that post). Over the past year, almost weekly, I’ve shared a photo on Instagram stories of me going to therapy with the hashtag #breakthestigma. I felt compelled to share, over and over, because for one, I’ve found that people do still feel ashamed or anxious to talk to someone, and secondly, because of all the messages and feedback that I’ve received week after week.
Many of you have been writing in thanking me for talking about it and sharing that it has helped you open up and feel less alone. LCK readers wrote in saying that it’s given them the the encouragement to go out and find a therapist of their own, and many saying they’re grateful for me sharing to show that it’s OKAY to be vulnerable. And friends, it is OKAY to be vulnerable. It’s okay to be scared, have stuff going on, or just want someone to talk to! In fact, it’s real life.
How to Find the Right Therapist
The biggest questions I get asked are: How do I find a therapist that is right for me? Do I have to try out many different ones to find ‘the one’? I know how daunting that can feel. The thought of telling your story over and over to a few different therapists sounds really tiring. I also hear concerns that therapists won’t take insurance, or that you are worried you can’t find a high quality one. The answer is: they will and you can!
So I decided to share the process that worked for me because there are answers to all of these concerns!
The most comprehensive resource I used to get started finding a therapist is: Psychologytoday.com. I seriously love this resource, and it was one recommended to me by a doctor of mine. Here’s how it works:
Psychology Today Process:
- Enter your zip code.
- Sort by your health insurance provider.
- From there, a list will come up of practitioners in your area. You will see their photo, a bio, and when you click view, you will learn much more about them.
Narrowing down the search:
- I read many of their bios, specialties, treatment approaches, and issues they often deal with.
- I made a list of 5-10 that I thought seemed like a good fit based on reading their information. Some won’t answer, won’t call back, or won’t be taking new patients, which is why I suggest starting with that range.
- I set up phone calls. This was an important part of my process. I had 5 phone calls set up. To start, be open to sharing a glimpse of why you want to talk to someone, and a few issues you feel ready to share. Type it out if you need to, but the best way to get a sense of the person, is to hear how they respond to what you share! I was able to weed out 3 out of the 5 therapists I spoke to right off the bat on the phone. How? I think you can get a real sense of a person, how they work with patients, and so much more on a 5-10 minute phone call. At the end of this phone process, I believe I subconsciously knew who was the better fit for me.
- So let’s say you’re left with 2-3 that might potentially work for you. Do a little more research. See if you can find out more about them online. Confirm they are close enough to your location, take your insurance, and any other details that need to fit for you. Then set up an appointment. You can also have another phone call prior if you want to go through those 2-3 again before meeting in person.
Other issues to think about:
I went into the search process having heard of a few therapeutic approaches I was interested in such as: EMDR, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and other things like Hypnosis. So for me, I was also on the lookout on the Psychology Today website at their “types of therapy” and “treatment approach” that lives on the side bar of every therapist’ profile. Now, this might not be the case for you and that’s totally fine! But know it lives there if you are looking for it.
That’s it! That’s the process I went through and it was fairly seamless. I hope it helps!
Stay tuned for next Friday: I’ll be sharing some things I’ve come away with after going to therapy every week for over a year.
Disclaimer: If you are really struggling and in a bad place, please contact your doctor first and foremost. Love you all. I mean it.