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7 Tips for Choosing a Therapist That's Best for You

Published July 30th, 2022 by Mfarin42

Despite the prevalence of mental illness in the United States, 57.2% of adults with mental illness do not receive treatment. There are many reasons why people don't receive treatment, but one of the main reasons is that people are unsure of where to find help.

It can be daunting to try and find a therapist. Each therapist has a different approach to treatment and different specialties. Luckily, we're here to help.

When choosing a therapist, there are a couple of things you should consider. Keep reading to learn more about how to find a therapist that's best for you.

1. Check with Your Insurance Provider

This important step can set you on the right track if you're not sure where to begin. Different therapists accept different insurances, and you want to make sure your therapy won't cost you an arm and a leg. 

Call your insurance company (or email them if talking on the phone is stressful for you) and let them know you're seeking mental health services. They'll be able to suggest some mental health providers that will accept your insurance. 

Once you've decided on a provider, reach out to their intake team to learn more about your insurance coverage and benefits. 

2. Select a Therapist with Relevant Specialties

Given that you're reading this article, you likely already know why it's important to seek treatment for your mental health. But have you figured out why you need therapy? 

Take a second to think about your needs. Are you battling an addiction, or do you have some family trauma that you need to process through? Do you simply need someone to talk to so you can think through what's going on in life?

Whatever your reasoning may be, find a therapist whose specialties match your needs.

3. Find a Therapist You Like

Therapy can be very intimate, so you want to make sure you like the therapist you choose! If you try a therapist and find that their personality isn't a good match, don't be afraid to talk with someone else! It's perfectly okay to tell a therapist that you don't think they're a good fit.

Trust is vital to therapy success, and if you feel like you can't trust your therapist, you're doing yourself a disservice. 

If you like to make jokes, find someone who's funny. If you prefer a more serious approach, find someone with a calmer demeanor. Remember that the goal of therapy is to find what works best for you.

4. Determine What Kind of Therapy You Need

There are numerous different approaches to therapy. When choosing a therapist, you need to determine what approach will work best for you. 

Therapists who use cognitive-behavioral therapy will help you process through your thoughts. If you're hoping to reach your maximum potential in life, humanistic therapy may be a better fit.

Be clear and open with your therapist about the approach you're looking for. 

5. Consider Your Therapist's Education and Experience

A quick Google search will reveal that there are hundreds of local therapists ready to speak with you. Before you reach out to a therapist, consider their degree and level of experience. 

There are 5 main degrees that licensed therapists may hold. Each requires anywhere from 5-8 years of study! Take a bit of time to research the different educations of therapists to learn more about what their educational process looked like. 

Similarly, therapists have varying levels of experience. Some therapists have spent years working with people with anxiety. Others have more experience working with survivors of sexual assault. 

You wouldn't go to a doctor who wasn't properly trained, so don't go to a therapist who isn't either. Don't be afraid to ask your therapist how much experience they have or what their educational training required. 

6. Ensure That Your Schedules Line Up

You likely have a very busy schedule, and so do most therapists. Find a therapist whose schedule lines up with yours. 

The best therapists will understand that life is busy and work to accommodate you. Many therapists are available in the evening or early morning. Others have plenty of time slots open on the weekend.

Be direct with your therapist and let them know what time frame works best for you. If their availability doesn't match yours, it's okay to find another therapist.

7. Look Through Reviews and Recommendations

Most people would look through reviews before buying a new car, so why not do the same when choosing a therapist? By looking at reviews, you'll be able to see what people like (or don't like) about the therapist you're considering. 

Therapy is an investment, and you want to make sure that you invest your time wisely. Don't waste time or energy meeting with a counselor who is consistently late or has hidden fees. Watch for red flags in reviews and take them into consideration. 

Keep the previous tips in mind when looking through reviews. See what other people are saying. Look for success stories and mentions of growth. 

Looking through reviews will help you get to know a therapist before you even schedule your first appointment.

Get Help Choosing a Therapist Today

Choosing a therapist doesn't have to be difficult. With these tips in mind, you know what you need to consider as you begin searching for a local therapist. 

At New York Therapy Placement Services, Inc., our goal is to help you get the care you need. Contact us today to get connected with a licensed therapist in your area! 

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