It’s important to find a good therapist with whom you feel comfortable. After all, you might talk about uncomfortable subjects—or even share things you’ve never told anyone before. There are many different types of licensed professionals who are trained to help people process and manage challenges, including those related to mental health and substance use. If you are thinking about starting therapy, you may wonder how to find the right counselor or therapist. We’ve rounded up our favorite tips to help you get started.
Where to Begin Your Search
It can be helpful to understand the difference between in-network and private pay therapists. In-network therapists are therapists who accept insurance. Unfortunately, most therapists, do not accept insurance because the reimbursement rates tend to be low. Private pay therapists do not accept insurance, however they are almost always able to provide a super bill for their services which may be submitted to your insurance provider for reimbursement. The cash rate for most private pay therapists is between $100 and $200 per session, however some therapists charge more and others charge less, often on a sliding scale.
If you have insurance and would prefer to see an in-network therapist, consider checking with your insurance provider for references in your area. You can also find out how much your insurance will cover and if there is a limit to the number of sessions.
Explore Different Types of Therapy
There are many different types of therapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), trauma-based therapy, EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) and more. Your primary care provider, or other referring professional may have a recommendation as to which type of therapy you should try. If so, it’s important to find a therapist who has experience with that modality.
Consider Any Personal Preferences You Have
It would be impossible to interview every therapist in your city, so the first step in choosing a therapist is narrowing down potential candidates. To do this, you must decide what factors are important to you: The distance to the therapist’s office? The fee? The gender of the therapist? Or their religious affiliation? If you have a specific life experience that’s important to your therapeutic work, such as being part of the LGBTQIA+ community, you may want to look for a therapist who works with members of that group.
You can also utilize search engines to find therapists practicing in your area, as well as ask your primary care physician if they have any strong recommendations. Since the beginning of the pandemic, telehealth has helped increase access to therapy for many, especially those in rural areas. However, it’s important to keep in mind there are pros and cons to meeting with a therapist virtually.
Just as it’s important to know which factors are most important to you, it can also be helpful to keep an open mind. Sometimes a therapist might not initially seem like they check all the boxes, but they could still be a great fit for you.
Give the Process Some Time
Building a relationship with a therapist takes time, and it may take two or three appointments before you know if it’s a good fit or not. Starting therapy can be a nerve-wracking process, so allow for the idea that some discomfort may come from waiting to feel more comfortable discussing personal situations and feelings with someone new.
If you know from the first appointment or after a few sessions that a therapist is not a good fit for you, let them know you don’t feel it’s working out and start looking for someone new. The therapist may even offer recommendations for you. Remember you deserve to find the right counselor or therapist for your particular needs.
Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment in California
If mental health or substance use is affecting your day to day life, we understand how difficult it can be to reach out for help. Especially if weekly therapy sessions haven’t provided enough support, we can help. Contact Clear Recovery Center today and take the first step towards recovery.