Have you ever thought you’d benefit from talking with a professional? The most important lesson I learned while earning my Psychology degree is that the sanest people realize they could use some help from someone who is experienced in mental health. Keep reading today’s guest blogger, Daina Martin, if you’re in the market for a therapist.
Depression, anxiety, stress. Everyone goes through the motions of bad and prolonged feelings at least once in their life. Maybe they’re caused by an emotional catalyst; sometimes a physical one. Oftentimes these negative emotions ebb and flow naturally – there’s nothing abnormal about feeling bad once in a while.
A problem arises when these feelings persist, when they’re caused by problems that cannot be solved by only the hands of one person, or possibly when mental illness might be the cause. There are many reasons why these problems may not completely subside in a normal period of time. In order to figure out what is causing the problem and how to solve this, a therapist is necessary.
Finding a therapist is a very personal process, and one that can take some time. Much like every profession out there, the services aren’t “one size fits all.” Just like you might prefer one gardener over the other, one grocery store over another or one car model over another, a therapist is something you choose based on a very personal and individual decision and set of opinions. A therapist that you hate may be a therapist someone loves because there is an intimate connection required.
After all, a therapist is someone you will talk to about your most intimate secrets and thoughts, and with this kind of burden placed upon the role, choosing a therapist becomes tricky. You have to find one that suits you on many levels, some more tangible than others.
How you mesh together with a therapist is arguably the most important part of the selection process. Ultimately, your therapist is someone that you need to be able to come to trust. It’s alright if you don’t immediately form a tight bond with a therapist, but there needs to be some kind of connection formed within a few sessions.
To better determine this before wasting too much time, try to set up an initial consultation with a therapist. You don’t have to get too in depth about your problems or concerns, but this meeting can be a great way to see how the two of you fit together.
Some problems are simpler to solve than others. While every emotional issue is important, some require more specialization than others, especially if they exist because of comorbidity and coincide with other psychological issues. If you have a problem that you know may be more complicated to solve than others, you need a very experienced and time-honored psychologist.
In general, a therapist that has been seeing patients for a while is more likely to know how to deal with issues in the best way, simply because they are experienced and have likely seen similar situations before. A therapist’s website should have this information listed, but call and ask them questions about their clinical and educational history if you’re curious.
Also, if you want to be really specific, give a small synopsis of your current issue(s), and ask what experience they have in that area. With regards to problems like stress and anxiety, this is the bread and butter of many psychologists. More specialized cases may require a more specialized and experienced psychologist.
Some insurance providers are more forgiving of mental health than others, but it’s likely you’re going to be paying out of pocket for some or all of your therapy sessions. If you can’t swing the kind of money that some therapists request, scratch them off your list.
Therapists exist that offer quality services for cheaper prices. Psychologists also typically work on a sliding-scale fee policy and charge for services based on time periods – usually 40 minutes to an hour. Look for psychologists that are reputable and experienced, but also that exist within your price range.
Also factor in the longevity of your therapy. Is this something you’ll only need for a little while? Or is it something you need for extended periods of times, perhaps even for the foreseeable future? The amount of time you estimate should also be considered – can you afford a more expensive therapist for such an extended period of time?
The typical therapy method consists of talking – though different therapists will have different specific methods of obtaining information and resolving issues, this is still done through conversation. Other psychologists have different methods of therapy available that they believe help patients. This can include hypnosis, roleplaying, attachment therapy, and other methods outside of the typical scope.
Some of these methods may work for you, while others don’t. Maybe you’re unsure of how effective they are or their validity. Talk to a potential therapist about all the methods of therapy they may offer you in order to see if they participate in therapy methods you may or may not agree with.
Remember too that just because a therapist believes in hypnotherapy, this does not mean that you cannot refuse this method and see them otherwise. When engaging with them, ask just how heavily they rely on these methods to see if they’re someone you need to cross off your list.
About the Author
Daina Martin is a freelance author and writes for a variety of online publications like Huffingtonpost, Sitepronews.com etc.. She actively writes blogs and articles related to health and technology. When she’s not working, she likes to cook, dance and travel.
Did any of these suggestions help you? If you’ve already found the perfect therapist for you, do you have any suggestions for readers that might help them find their perfect therapist?