So you’ve decided you’d like to see a therapist… But where do you begin? A simple search of “therapists near me” is sure to provide you with a long list of names, but how do you figure out which is the right therapist for you? Read on to find five simple questions to ask that should match you with a great therapist who meets your personal preferences and needs!
- Are they covered by your insurance provider?
If you’re looking to use your insurance to cover some of the cost of therapy sessions, then the first thing you’ll want to do is figure out which therapists in your area accept your insurance provider. You can typically look at your summary of benefits and coverage online, and some types of insurance even allow you to search from a database of professionals.
- Are you more comfortable talking with a male or female therapist?
For some people, gender doesn’t matter. But for others, they simply feel much more at ease talking with one gender over the other. Since therapy requires you to really open up and discuss your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, it’s crucial to find a therapist you’re going to be comfortable with. Oftentimes, you can even see photos of potential therapists online, which allows you to question whether you can imagine sitting and talking with this person. Of course, you can also switch therapists later on if you find that the two of you simply don’t mesh well together.
- What education and credentials do they have?
The next step is to check out your potential therapist’s education and credentials. Most therapists have a short bio available online, and you can also use other online resources to double-check credentials. The most important thing is to make sure that any potential therapists have at least a master’s degree or doctoral degree, along with being credentialed in the state they practice in. If you’re looking for a certain type of therapy, like music therapy or marriage and family therapy, for example, you might want to look for additional certifications showing that your potential therapist has completed studies in that area.
- Do they have experience with the specific mental health issues you are experiencing?
Although any certified therapist is likely to be able to help you make progress with your mental health, it’s always a good idea to look into potential therapists’ experience to see what types of disorders they spend most of their time treating. Certain diagnoses do better with specific types of therapy; for example, PTSD is often treated with Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure Therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. A therapist who doesn’t have experience in treating PTSD may stick with more of a standard Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, even if one of the other types of therapy would be more effective. Flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety are a few common symptoms of PTSD; if you think you may be living with this disorder, you can visit Mind Diagnostics for a free assessment. Similar to this PTSD example, be sure to seek out therapists who have experience treating the specific problems you’re experiencing.
- Are there any client reviews available?
Of course, it’s also a great idea to check out any client reviews that you can find online, since they can give you a good idea of your therapist’s style and approach. Oftentimes, reviews can help you to understand whether or not a potential therapist would be a good match with your personality. They can aid you in figuring out whether or not the two of you will click and be able to make progress on your mental health journey together. However, try to take reviews with a grain of salt; remember that everyone is different and brings their own unique expectations to the table. One person may have a negative experience with a therapist, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good experience with the same therapist.
It can be stressful to figure out which therapist is right for you. But thanks to the wealth of information provided by the internet, it’s become easier than ever before to determine which therapists might be a good fit for you, and which are likely not to be. Be sure to check whether any potential therapists are covered by your insurance provider, that they’re educated and credentialed, and that their specialty and experience matches what you’re looking for. Sometimes photos and client reviews are available as well, which can help you to decide whether you can picture yourself sitting and talking with a particular therapist.
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Last modified: June 18, 2021