Whether you are brand new to the therapy game in 2022 (or whenever you see this), or if you have had experience with therapy before: Congratulations! We are so happy to have you with us. I know this process can be overwhelming, so I’m here to help you through as much of it as I can. It can feel like there are too many options to go through alone sometimes, so let’s start together. This is one part in my series “New to Therapy”, which I am creating to help you feel more confident and comfortable taking the first steps towards feeling better. Today, I want to focus on finding the right provider for you.
A good first step is finding a provider that you think is a good personality fit. After all, you’ll be vulnerable with this professional, so why not check that they’re someone you’ll be able to get along with? PsychologyToday is an amazing resource you can use to search for providers that fit any criteria using their handy filtering service. You can filter providers by age, race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, or language. Maybe you want to do therapy in your native language because it would be more comfortable for you. It’s possible you want a counselor that has shared racial experiences with you, so you know they’ll understand. Perhaps a young therapist who will understand your TikTok references is what you need, or, on the other hand, maybe an older professional that you know has heard it all. Look around and see who feels like the best fit for your personality or your specific needs.
Next, you can check if this provider is a good fit for your schedule and budget. The provider’s availability and affordability are going to be huge factors in making this therapy thing work. You can check price per session, whether the counselor takes insurance or not, and whether they are providing telehealth services or not. Most providers will include their prices and insurance information on Psychology Today, but if not, you can always check to see if they have a website that includes pricing information. If you will need weekend sessions, or perhaps sessions in the evening after you’ll be free from work, check if the therapist provides openings that match your needs. If they don’t take insurance, do they provide superbills so that you can ask your insurance company for reimbursement? If someone looks absolutely perfect for you but you’re concerned about costs of session, look to see if a sliding scale is available. A sliding scale is basically an income driven payment option that allows therapists to make services accessible to clients who wouldn’t be able to afford the standard rate.
After you’ve covered the basics by finding someone who looks cool enough for you and who has the availability you need, you may start to dig into the nitty-gritty details. If you’ve really done your research before starting this process you may be looking for specific treatment modalities like CBT or DBT.
And the final step, of course, is reaching out! I know this is easier said than done. That’s why I created a handy template that you can use for email or phone calls when reaching out with providers. You can find that handy tool in our blog session labeled “first call/email template”.
My parting advice: if you have found a provider (or few) that fit your needs, feel free to “try it on”. Attend a few sessions and gauge if this clinician feels like the best fit for your healing process. If it doesn’t feel like you’re going to get what you need out of the therapeutic relationship, you are allowed (encouraged, truthfully) to try again with another therapist. Therapists are humans too and sometimes personalities just don’t mesh, but that doesn’t mean that therapy isn’t a good fit for you. We wish you all the best as you begin this journey and again, we are so happy to have you here! Congratulations on taking the first step!