Therapy is beneficial to everyone whether they have a mental health condition or not. In therapy, you learn coping skills, how to communicate effectively, and the importance of our emotions.
Although most therapists have the same goal when taking you on as a patient, they often take different roads to get you to the destination. That said, not all therapists are created equal, and some might not be a good fit for your needs.
Keep reading for seven tips on how to find a therapist that fits your needs.
1) Consider Your Needs and Preferences
Before looking for a specific therapist, spend some time determining what you need to receive the best healthcare.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How far are you willing to travel?
- Do you prefer virtual sessions?
- How soon do you want to be seen?
- How often would you like to be seen?
- Are you more comfortable with a male or female provider?
- Do you have a preference for the provider’s age?
- Are you using insurance? If not, what can you spend on sessions?
Once you have identified these personal needs, you can begin filtering through therapists to find the best fit for you.
2) Look For a Provider Whose Views Align With Your Own.
Often, an individual will find a therapist they think will be a great fit; however, when they begin their sessions they discover their views clash, resulting in a patient feeling judged and pressured to make lifestyle changes.
Looking for a therapist that has the same views as you does not mean finding someone who will agree with your opinions. This means finding a therapist that does not offer a biased opinion on things like your religious beliefs, marijuana use, and sexual orientation.
Many healthcare organizations and offices clearly state on their website whether they support religious diversity and the LGBTQ+ community.
When it comes to cannabis consumption, it may be best to visit Veriheal.com to find a local medical marijuana doctor who will not only offer treatment but suggestions on which products will help with your mental health situation.
3) Check Your Provider Directory
If you are using insurance for your therapy sessions, you may want to visit your provider’s directory for a list of therapists that accept your insurance plan.
Each directory can be filtered according to the department, and your search results will provide the doctor’s name, address, phone number, and picture.
Many directories have a schedule now link that allows you to schedule an appointment on the website.
4) Talk to Your Primary Caregiver
Nobody knows your health history better than your primary care provider which is why it’s often the best place to start when looking for a referral. Your doctor can use your medical history, personality, and concerns to help determine which therapist they feel will be a good match for your needs.
Primary doctors are asked for referrals regularly, and their patients often return with feedback on how each therapist conducted themselves and how helpful they were. Therefore, you can trust that your doctor is offering educated suggestions using real testimonies and patient experiences.
5) Ask Loved Ones For Suggestions
If you have friends or family members who currently attend or previously attended therapy, you can ask them for provider suggestions and advice on which therapists to avoid.
Unfortunately, many people start their self-healing therapy journey with one or more providers that were less than professional or not very helpful. Since your loved ones tend to be like-minded individuals, it is common for their provider preferences to align closely with yours.
Patient-doctor confidentiality laws are strictly upheld by all therapists so, having your personal conversations shared with offers is not a problem to worry about if you have the same therapist.
6) Find Suggestions in Local Forums
To find therapist suggestions from a larger group of individuals, try turning to local forums and community pages.
Facebook and Reddit have groups dedicated to specific communities, and in these groups, people ask for suggestions on things like doctors, restaurants, and where to purchase an item.
One of the major pros of using one of these forums is that you will likely receive multiple incredibly detailed responses. The con of posting in a local forum is that people you may know might see your post, which may not be ideal for everyone.
7) Look at Reviews and Credentials
Once you have developed a list of possible providers, do your due diligence by looking at reviews and verifying their credentials.
Reviews are always biased opinions, but they give you great insight into what to expect when visiting a therapist.
The best way to read reviews is by checking the overall rating, and skimming for keywords that apply to your preferences such as “wait time”, “bedside manner”, and other things you may be worried about.
Credentials are listed directly on the therapist’s website and although you may not feel this is a necessary step, you may be surprised to find that not all therapists are entirely qualified for their positions. Sometimes, when an office is desperate for staff, they will hire someone from a different medical field, and your therapist might have gone to school to be a dental assistant or physical therapist.