14 Tips For Finding The Right Therapist Near Me
By: Joy Youell
Updated April 28, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Nicole Gaines, LPC
Choosing someone to talk to about your mental health challenges, emotions, memories, or thoughts can feel intimidating. Great therapists are highly qualified and skilled at creating meaningful processes on your journey to wellness. When you wonder, "who's the right therapist near me?" you may end up in the Google vortex or knee-deep in online reviews. Here are important tips to remember to help make that process easier.
- Don't just choose randomly.
When it comes to finding the right therapist near you, the last thing you want to do is randomly choose one. Therapy is a place where you should always feel at ease and comfortable discussing your concerns and issues. In the past, you might have just found a name in the yellow pages and then set up an appointment. But now, because you have access to more information through the internet, you're going to want to take the time to find a therapist that's right for you.
Many different things contribute to finding the right match. Some of these things include their specialty, price, location, and personality. This is why you need to take the time to find the right therapist instead of just choosing a name out of a list.
- Ask for a recommendation from your doctor.
Depending on the challenge that you're facing, you may be able to get a referral from your general physician. While your doctor can prescribe medication that can help you with mental health challenges, they cannot provide therapy services for you. However, they will most likely have a list of mental health specialists they can refer you to.
- Contact your health insurance company.
If you have health insurance, there's a chance that some of your expenses will be covered for therapy. To make sure that your services are covered, talk to your health insurance company. They can help provide you with a list of professionals within their network.
If you choose a therapist to work with before talking with your insurance company, you're going to want to ask to see if they will accept your insurance. Just because you have insurance doesn't mean that you need to work with a therapist that accepts your insurance, but it's something that you're going to want to consider.
- See what your school or university has to offer
If you're in college or looking for a therapist for one of your children, check with their school to see what options are available. Most schools have access to a therapist for your children. Many colleges offer free or affordable therapy.
The administration office should be able to let you know more about the options that are available to you. There is also a chance that they'll have a separate list of therapists in the area you could contact.
- Do an internet search and research.
The internet has information on counselors. If you're looking for a therapist in your area, try an online search to see who's available. Remember, going back to tip number one, don't randomly choose from a list of names. Make sure that you do some research and look into the credentials and experience of each therapist before you contact one.
It can also be helpful to look at online reviews to see what other people's experiences have been. Just because others have had a good experience doesn't necessarily mean it will be the right therapist for you, but it never hurts to know how other people feel about the services provided to them.
- Check education and professional license.
When you're choosing a therapist, you want to know their education level. Some therapists may have just a bachelor's degree, but most will have either a master's or doctorate. The type of degree and licenses that a therapist has will vary based on what their specialty is.
Counselors may hold a variety of licenses. These can include a board certification and state licenses. You will want to look for counselors who hold titles like "Licensed Professional Counselor" (LPC), "Licensed Mental Health Counselor" (LMHC), "Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor" (LCPC), or "Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor" (LPCC). State regulatory boards are granted these titles and ensure that a counselor is qualified to address your mental health needs.
Don't hesitate to ask questions if you want to know more about their background and credentials. Any therapist who doesn't want to share this information with you is not one you want to work with.
- Find out about their experience.
Just because a psychologist has a great education doesn't mean that they have the experience to go along with it. Make sure you understand the type of experience that your therapist has before working together. Just because a therapist is new and doesn't have much experience does not mean that they will not be a good fit for you. Either way, it's helpful to understand what they're coming into your sessions with.
If you're looking for help for a specific mental health challenge, you're going to want to see that the therapist is experienced and trained in those areas. For example, if you are struggling with bipolar disorder, you will not want to work with a therapist specializing in relational therapy. Seek treatment from a licensed therapist with the training in the specialization you need, such as anger management, cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral therapy, family therapy, play therapy, couples therapy, or family therapy with a marriage and family therapist.
- Think about your comfort level
When choosing a therapist, it's important to consider what you're comfortable with and what you're not. For example, if you're a woman going through struggles because of abuse you experienced as a child by a male in your family, you may not be comfortable with a male therapist and vice versa. Your comfort level is very important for the success of your therapy sessions. Even if someone is a highly rated therapist, you may feel more comfortable choosing someone else.
- Consider all options for therapy.
There are many different options for therapy, not just in-person sessions. To choose the right therapist for you, it's important that you also consider all options for therapy to see which works best for you. For example, there are support groups that could be beneficial for you to join instead of one-on-one sessions. Online counseling may be a better fit for you, especially if you cannot find a therapist in your local area that you want to work with.
Online counseling has numerous benefits. You can access your counselor much more freely, rather than being confined to a single, weekly meeting. Finding an online counselor can also eliminate the discomfort of travel or sitting in a waiting room. You have the utmost privacy and confidentiality in online counseling. The American Psychological Association has affirmed that multiple facets of mental health care can be addressed through online interactions. This may be the right option for you.
- Think about preferences such as religion
If you are a religious person, you may want to find a therapist that understands your religion and possibly shares beliefs with you. If this is an important part of who you are, then it's going to be an important part of your therapy process as well. If you draw strength, support, and comfort from your religion, it can be helpful to find a therapist who understands it and how it will impact your behavior and the things you do and believe.
- Ask for personal recommendations.
If you know people in your life that have been to therapy before, it can be helpful to ask them if they have any recommendations. They may have tried a certain therapist in the past and had a negative experience. Or, they may have one that they enjoyed working with. This can help determine who you can try and who you should stay away from.
Everyone is different. Someone may have a fantastic experience with a certain therapist that you don't prefer. Even if you have many things in common with that person, you may have a different opinion on this. Make sure that when you get personal recommendations, you also do your research into the therapist to see if they are a good match for you in other areas.
- Talk to them before you have your first session.
Before you spend your time and money on a session, it can be helpful to get the therapist on the phone to ask them any questions that you have. This can give them a chance to explain how their process works. It also gives you a chance to get a feel for the therapist and determine if they'll be a good fit for you or not.
- Trust your instinct
Sometimes you will know that a therapist isn't going to be a good fit even if you can't quite put your finger on why. Make sure you trust your instincts because, in the end, if you go against them, you're most likely not going to be comfortable with your decision. This could negatively impact the results that you get from therapy.
- Take the first step
It's easy to get stuck in the planning stages of finding a therapist. You may be nervous about starting therapy. Instead of making a decision, you continue to research different options. If you're struggling in any area of your life or with your mental health, you need to get the help you need.
If you're more comfortable not having to sit face-to-face with a therapist, consider getting online therapy like that offered by ReGain. It could be the exact answer that you're looking for. ReGain has a great team of qualified, professional counselors. Each of our care providers is trained and licensed. We have counselors from many backgrounds who have extensive experience in inpatient care. ReGain also offers specialized counseling, so you can find someone who is perfectly equipped to provide a roadmap for your mental wellness. Below are some reviews of ReGain counselors for you to review from people experiencing different issues.
"Shannon is very knowledgeable and skilled in knowing how to use that knowledge to help others. She is also very compassionate and encouraging. I was skeptical about using a counseling service, but this experience has been incredible. I highly recommend Shannon to anyone who needs guidance or helps through a difficult time in life. I gave her some enormous challenges, and nothing has been over her head. She has been a tremendous help to me."
"I don't know what I would have done without Harry. I was in a super low place, and I was not sure what my problems were or how to solve them, but he was able to help me get to the bottom of my problems and work through them. Today I am happy and feeling like myself again. He was so easy to talk to and worked with me whenever I needed him. Even on vacation, he took time to call me and talk through whatever I was going through. I would highly recommend him."
When you are looking for a therapist, you want to consider the tips outlined above. Look for professionalism, qualifications, communication style, belief systems, and any other important elements. Reviews and recommendations may also be highly beneficial. ReGain is a great option if you choose from a wide variety of qualified counseling professionals. No matter what you're experiencing, you can move forward to a fulfilling and healthy life with the right tools. Take the first step.
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