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Finding a Therapist

Finding a Therapist

Working through the stigma, and navigating funding options…the uphill battle doesn’t end there! Finding the right therapist is arguably the most important task ahead of someone who has determined they could benefit from professional mental health support. There are many factors to consider regarding both the “who” AND the “how” when it comes to finding a therapist. In your search, whether it’s today or in the distant future, be sure to consider the following:

The “who”

Just like each of us is a unique individual with specific needs, mental health professionals make up quite a diverse group with differing educational and training backgrounds, treatment approaches, personality traits, and much more. Finding the person who will help you find healing and achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself can include some trial and error, persistence, and time. Here are some questions to ask yourself (or your potential therapist) when determining if they’re a good fit:

  • Does the therapist offer my ideal setting (online vs face-to-face sessions)?
  • Does the therapist accept my insurance, or is their out-of-pocket cost affordable for me?
  • Do the therapist and I share common availability in our schedules?
  • Is there alignment between us regarding my needs and their professional skill set?
  • Is this a good fit both in terms of their personality and my own cultural considerations?
  • Do I feel like I can trust this individual with my personal thoughts and experiences, and do they make me feel heard and understood without judgment?
  • Is this the person who will help me realize my goals?

You may have noticed that these questions are arranged in such a way that you would need increased exposure to the therapist the further down the list you get. It’s possible you won’t have a solid answer to some of these questions until you’ve already begun working with the therapist. If you notice at any point in the process that it’s not a good fit, don’t be afraid to let your therapist know that you’d like to explore other options. Your healing and your goals are worth it!

The “how”

You might be thinking to yourself, “where do I even begin?” Online directories, such as PsychologyToday allow you to search for a local mental health professional using a number of filters including insurance accepted, price out of pocket, cultural factors, age range of clients, area of professional expertise, gender, and more. Each professional’s profile includes all of those factors, and it also indicates whether they are currently accepting new clients, what their scheduling availability looks like, whether they offer face-to-face and/or virtual sessions, and a brief introduction of themselves. This is a great resource to use when beginning your search.

Call to action:

  • Familiarize yourself with PsychologyToday or another online directory of mental health professionals. Get to know what that process could look like if you or someone you love should ever need that support.
  • Be ready to share this resource with someone you love who might share with you that they are struggling with something, or are interested in seeking this type of support.

Check out the Mental Health Spotlight in every edition of the BHS Weekly Update! Next month’s Mental Health Spotlight theme is Healthy Relationships.