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Choosing a Therapist

by Jessica B. January 18th, 2019 | Mental Health
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therapyThe key to successful mental health treatment can be choosing the best therapist for you. This is not an easy task, but having a therapist you feel comfortable with can really make a difference in your treatment. Here are a few tips for choosing a therapist that can provide you with what you need.

1) Covered by insurance – If cost is an issue, your starting point for choosing a therapist should always be your insurance list of providers. If cost is not an option, you have a broader scope to choose from.

2) Title – Therapists have a multitude of titles, from MSW, CSW, Psychologist, PhD, to Psychiatrist, the list goes on and on. The title may affect the amount of insurance you get to cover your visits, but otherwise is not of the utmost importance. If you are considering being on medication, you will eventually need to consult with a psychiatrist or medical doctor, but most should not be your primary therapist. Make sure, however, that your therapist is licensed in your state and has a degree.

3) Recommendations – You may want to ask around or check on the Internet on the reputations of different therapists, but do not get caught up in what others have to say, unless there are multiple warning signs. Your relationship with the therapist is always completely unique.

4) Book a first session – Narrow down your list to providers that specialize in the area you need assistance with, including depression, addiction, relationships, etc., and book a session. Sit down with the therapist to discuss your personal issues and concerns. The key issue from the first session is that you begin to feel comfortable with this person, and you feel this individual is someone you can trust and respect. Do not expect too much at first. A good therapist may challenge you at times, and the work can be hard, but during a first session, you should be able to discover if you are able to build a connection with the therapist or if things just feel awkward. If things feel awkward, try a different therapist. Determine if you are feeling awkward in the new situation, or with the therapist.

5) Express your concerns – If you do not agree with something the therapist says, ask him or her to explain further. Sometimes it is good to get an alternate opinion, other times you just have a difference of opinion that may divide the relationship. This is something you should do a few sessions down the line, if you like your therapist, but disagree with a suggestion or technique.

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.