New to Therapy? How to Begin Therapy
How do you even begin therapy? This can be an intimidating question for someone that does not have previous therapy experience. We frequently receive inquiries where someone googled a search term and started going down the list making call after call. Unfortunately, we speak with more people that are frustrated by this process as Google provides results based on a piece of the phrase input into the search bar, rather than the entire phrase which the person is expecting. To many, this leads to an immense number of phone calls with, unfortunately, fewer responses or referrals and suggestions on how their search can be made more efficient. It is with those experiences in mind that this post is created from, to hopefully provide tips and suggestions to make finding a therapist a little more efficient (or less daunting for those that feel intimidated).
As mentioned earlier, Google is great at providing an endless list of names of providers, clinics, and facilities. However, what it is not as efficient at is filtering those results down to a specific need. A very common example is looking for a therapist that is “in-network” with insurance. In our experience, the most efficient way to find a list of providers covered by a specific insurance plan is to call the customer service number on the back of the user’s insurance card. They will be able to provide a list specific to that plan. For those looking to filter results not by insurance, but by what the client is looking to address, we often use PsychologyToday.com to identify potential referrals.
Once you are on an initial phone call, feeling like there is a potential fit is important to consider. We value client feedback and input, we have questions we like to ask to help us understand what the client is looking to work on but it is equally valuable for us to learn what preferences the client has and values in a therapist. For instance, one client might value a direct style where another might prefer less directive and more active listening with targeted input. We do not feel there is a “one-size-fits-all” therapist. For us, it is important to help match with clients that we feel we fit their needs. This does not mean that a client should have it all figured out ahead of time, as part of the therapeutic process can be to bring awareness to what the client’s needs are.
By no means is this an exhaustive or comprehensive list, rather some insight from our experience helping clients navigate their options. If this has been a helpful read and you find yourself wanting more suggestions to consider as you begin your search, this article is a little more in-depth in navigating beginning therapy. https://www.buzzfeed.com/hnigatu/a-beginners-guide-to-starting-therapy
As always, if you would like to know if we are a fit for your needs, we can be reached here.