I Can't Find A Psychologist Near Me: What Are My Options?
Once you decide that you would like to try talking with a psychologist, the process of finding one has just begun. Many things go into finding the right psychologist to work with, and when you're limited by location, it can be not easy. This can leave you thinking, "I can't find the best psychologist near me; what am I supposed to do now?"
Why It Can Be Difficult To Find A Psychologist
There are plenty of different reasons why it isn't easy to find a psychologist when you're looking to meet with one. Just know that this is not uncommon, but it is definitely a surmountable task! Listed below are some of the most common reasons that people struggle in their search.
If you live in a more rural part of the country, it can be difficult to find many options for mental health services. This is also true about other health services as well. In this situation, it generally means that others, such as general practitioners, end up taking on additional roles.
However, it's important to remember that general practitioners are not the same as psychologists. While they can provide you with medication, they're unable to walk you through your therapeutic options, such as psychotherapy, which might be what you need most.
Rural areas aren't the only place where it might be hard for you to find a psychologist to meet with. It can also be difficult if you live in a large city and lack the transportation you need to get to an appointment. It might be that the psychologists in your area nearby don't meet the requirements of what you're looking for in a psychologist. This can make it difficult to find someone to work with.
Mental health services can be costly depending on who you're working with. It may be that you have a psychologist in the area that you can work with, but you can't afford the prices that they charge. While many psychologists are willing to work with individuals on payments, such as providing a sliding scale, this isn't always the case.
The Affordable Care Act has made improvements in affordability for some, but it has not addressed the larger issue of affordable mental health the way people were hoping. Even if you have health insurance, it doesn't mean that you will have coverage that works for you.
There's also a problem with there not being many psychologists and health insurance companies working together. An article on NPR titled Frustrated You Can't Find A Therapist? They're Frustrated, Too discusses where the breakdown is occurring. Mental health professionals think that health insurance companies are keeping them from their patients. Health insurance companies think that there's a shortage of therapists. In reality, many mental health professionals don't want to work with insurance companies because they aren't paying them what they're worth. And chances are, you don't even care where the disconnect is between the health insurance companies and the psychologists. You want to get the help that you need.
It can also be difficult to find a psychologist that you're comfortable with. If you have a limited number of psychologists you can choose from, it may be hard to find one you're comfortable really opening up to.
Thankfully with modern society, there are many options that you can turn to if you're unable to find a psychologist to work within your area.
What to do when you can't find a psychologist near you:
- Look for another type of mental health professional
Most people think of psychologists when they think of going to counseling, but other mental health professionals may help as well. Some psychiatrists provide options such as psychotherapy along with their other services. While this isn't always common, it could be true in your area.
Others can provide therapy services, such as social workers, counselors, and some organizations' religious leaders. These can be options for you to find therapy services that a psychologist doesn't provide.
- Hotlines or support lines
There are also mental health hotlines that you can call if you don't have a psychologist that can talk to you and offer advice or provide resources. There are different hotlines based on the specific challenges that you're facing. For example, there's the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) or Panic Disorder Information Hotline (1-800-64-PANIC).
These hotlines are staffed by employees and volunteers who are looking to help those with challenges.
- Talk to your health insurance company.
If you're struggling to find a psychologist, you can also talk to your health insurance company. They can provide you with a list of psychologists that are located within your area and your coverage.
You can let your health insurance company know what type of professional you're looking for and if they specialize in something, and then your health insurance provider can do the searching for you. This is also helpful because you'll know that the results they give you will be a psychologist covered under your health insurance plan.
- Find a support group.
Even if you can't find a psychologist in your area, you may be able to find a local support group. Support groups can be helpful because you're meeting with a group of people dealing with the same type of challenges you're facing. They understand what you're going through and can provide advice and support. Groups help you know that you're not alone, and others are struggling in the same way you are.
While support groups are not the same as meeting with a psychologist one-on-one, you can still learn coping strategies and methods to overcome your mental health challenges. And, it can feel good to offer advice and assistance to others in the group as well.
- Listen to a podcast
Podcasts are on the rise, and there are plenty of podcasts around mental health topics. You can do an online search to find a podcast in the area that your experiencing setbacks such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, or other mental health disorders.
Some of these podcasts are run by mental health professionals, while others are put on by people living with mental challenges themselves. Ensure that you do your research and remember that simply listening to a podcast is not the same as having specific one-on-one advice from a trained psychologist.
- Online therapy
Online therapy is another option if you're unable to find a psychologist near you.
This also allows you to find an online psychologist with a specialty that you're looking for. However, there are some limitations when it comes to online services. Some mental disorders and other issues require types of therapy that are most beneficial when done in person.
If you're interested in online therapy, you can start searching for the right therapist with Regain today.
- Check out online resources.
Just like you're reading this blog post right now, there are plenty of online resources for mental health. Searching online for treatment options for the experience you're going through can lead you to helpful tips and strategies you can do independently.
For example, self-care is very important and can make a big difference in your mental health. Things like making sure that you are eating right, exercising, and getting enough rest can go a long way in helping you to gain control of your mental challenges.
There are also other forms of alternative treatment that you can benefit from. As you find these resources, make sure that you're paying attention to who is providing them.
Don't give up your search.
If you're struggling and thinking, "I can't find a psychologist near me," don't give up. It's definitely worth your time and effort to getting help. If you really feel stuck in finding the right options for you, reach out to others in your life that you know have been through something similar and see what has worked for them.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does seeing a psychologist cost?
The cost of getting therapy from licensed psychologists varies widely from one situation to another. Certain factors might determine the overall price of each session. For example, a therapist’s level of expertise may increase the cost of their services because the laws of supply and demand dictate availability. However, the American Psychological Association reports an average price of between $65 and $250 per hour. Meanwhile, most therapy sessions require at least one hour each week, if not more.
Fortunately, many insurance companies now cover mental health services. Still, some patients may be asked for a co-payment depending on the terms of their policy. To find a licensed psychologist in your area that accepts insurance, search the American Psychological Association's annuls or use an online service locator. You can often ask your family doctor for a referral to the best psychologists in their network or look for targeted ads on social media.
Can I see a psychologist without a referral?
Seeing a psychiatrist requires a doctor’s referral to treat mental health issues. Still, you can make your own appointment with a clinical psychologist to start seeking effective treatment options right away. Psychologists work closely with psychiatrists to offer helpful strategies and coping mechanisms in-office and across social media. Thus, the Psychological Association of America (APA) typically recommends both experts' services to create a more substantial treatment plan.
For more information on how to find a licensed psychologist in your area, talk to your family doctor or join a mental health awareness group on your favorite social media outlets. Psychologists specialize in helping patients develop meaningful health treatment for countless mental health issues. So, don’t delay in getting therapy if you need it. To find a licensed psychologist that accepts your insurance, contact your policy underwriter directly.
What does a psychologist do to help you?
Clinical psychologists work alongside other mental health professionals to provide patients with various treatment options, including virtual therapies through social media platforms. To find a licensed psychologist that fits your needs, it’s important to ask and answer specific questions. Once the intake is complete, licensed psychologists can then develop the ideal health treatment for each patient. Therefore, every case is unique.
Overall, a clinical psychologist will use tools such as in-person therapies and/or online sessions via social media to provide continual support, guidance, and education about mental health. They can help patients learn new coping mechanisms, overcome substance dependency, and manage chronic symptoms. And if they’re licensed through the Psychological Association, they can also run tests, perform assessments, and diagnose to create more effective treatment options.
Psychologists specialize in promoting healthy thoughts, behaviors, and habits while also working to prevent mental illnesses and improve patients' quality of life. Thus, to find a licensed psychologist in your area means looking for someone with enough availability for and interest in your cause.
When should I see a psychologist?
There are many reasons why someone might try to find a licensed psychologist in their neighborhood or social media. That’s because clinical psychologists help people overcome or cope with mental and emotional illnesses. Licensed psychologists working in a clinical setting can also diagnose and treat various personality disorders. So, it’s important to heed the American Psychological Association's advice: Seek help whenever you’re experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, or any other mental struggle.
Since mental health can be difficult to self-diagnose, many people keep a clinical psychologist on speed-dial just in case. Experts from the American Psychological Association (APA) suggest that perceptively healthy individuals also find a licensed psychologist even if they’re not immediately experiencing mental illness symptoms. However, if your thoughts or feelings are becoming disruptive to your life in any way, seek help sooner than later.
How do I start to see a psychologist?
Once upon a time, it was difficult to see a therapist for mental or emotional health issues. Patients had to either wait for a referral from their doctor or experience a complete breakdown before seeing any help. But thanks to technologies like social media and virtual reality, people can get the guidance they need without ever leaving their homes these days. Office visits are easier to book as well, with most major insurance companies being accepted by therapists.
To locate the best mental health services in your area, be sure to know what you’re looking for and determine if your insurance is accepted. If not, determine how much each session will cost and then work that number into your budget. On average, most people see their therapist either online or in-person at least once per week for several months or years.
You can find out more about each psychologist in your neighborhood by searching the American Psychological Association's annuls (APA). Or research mental health professionals near me to set up an initial appointment with a team you know and trust. Once the sessions begin, make sure you’re as open and honest as possible to avoid prolonging or complicating your therapy sessions.
Why is it so hard to find a psychologist?
What to do when you cant find a therapist?
Why do people not go to psychologists?
What should you not say to a psychologist?
When should you stop seeing a psychologist?
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