As the new year begins, you may find yourself contemplating what exactly it is that you are interested in changing about your life. For some, that includes less stress, more confidence, a better sense of self, a different job, or motivation to do all the things that you want to do. While these outcomes may require assistance from different specialized practitioners or professionals, there is always one healing practitioner that can help you start this journey: a therapist.
A therapist specializes in different philosophies and practices of mental health. Our mental health comprises our reality, our mindset, and how we perceive the things around us. Starting with a mental health practitioner, in conjunction with other health practitioners, is essential for taking that first step to really healing yourself and changing your life.
While the sentiment and interest to find a therapist may be there, the actual execution of finding the perfect therapist for you may be challenging. I’ve compiled a list of criteria and prompts to assist you on your journey to finding the perfect therapist for you! I always recommend using www.psychologytoday.com to begin this process.
|Licensed clinical therapists (LCSW, LMFT, Psy-D, etc.) are licensed per state and can only see clients within their state (even virtually!)
|Insurance / Payment
|Some therapists take insurance, some are private pay. Some require a co-pay and some do not. This is where it is best to get crystal clear about your personal financial contribution to your healing and to involve the insurance company that you are associated with. Create a budget and seek out therapists that fit in your range, therapists also often offer a sliding scale fee!
|Therapists practice many forms of psychotherapeutic methods and modes. Keeping it plain and simple, what kind of experience are you looking for? Do you want to use talk therapy? Do you want to include your body and nervous system in your healing? Do you want to talk about your past life or family? Do you want to focus on one specific challenge?
Often, the therapist will explain this in their information, but can also be clarified during a consultation session
|Sometimes, therapists work with a specific group or challenge and tend to get specialized in working with that niche. For example, there may be a therapist for teenagers experiencing ODD or one for couples who have experienced a loss. Depending on your situation, it might be helpful to look closer into your specific challenges and find someone who works closely with people with similar experiences as you.
This is a good place to start to look at finding a therapist that works for you. Once you have narrowed down a couple that may work with you, it is crucial to reach out for an initial consultation. This opens the door for communication and to answer any more specific questions that you may have about treatment. It is your opportunity to share about yourself, receive some feedback and how they plan to go about addressing your challenges. You can ask about insurance with them, what their open schedule to see you looks like, or about what brought them into this profession. Use the consultation time to get to know who you will be working with and narrow down your choices from there.
Once you have made a decision, let all parties know of your answer and move forward according to the therapist you’ve chosen. This is a journey and one that requires time and effort. Your healing is a choice and one that should not be taken lightly. I am excited for you on this healing journey and look forward to days where you feel more and more like yourself.
While on this journey, feel free to reach out to me at my contact page for more questions or assistance.
California Associate Clinical Social Worker #ASW100012
Under supervision of:
Javanne Golob #77915
San Francisco, California
I empower millennial women in life transitions using somatic, EMDR, and DBT therapy to increase her resilience and self-awareness.