I'm Looking For A Depression Therapist Near Me -- 10 Things To Consider
By: Stephanie Kirby
Updated March 19, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn
Are you looking for a therapist who treats depression? Finding the right therapist to work with you to overcome your depression can simply mean knowing the right things to look for and consider. Here's a list of 10 things that you will want to think about when looking for a therapist to treat your depression.
- What type of experience do they have?
Different therapists specialize in different types of mental health. While there are some that will treat many different types of disorders and symptoms, there are some that only specialize in one or two areas of mental health.
If you're looking for a therapist for your depression, it's important that you find out if the therapist is experienced treating people with depression symptoms before you meet with them. It can also be helpful to find out how long a therapist has been practicing. It's not that new therapist is not going to be able to help you, but you may want to work with one that has been in the field longer and has more experience treating patients.
If you choose to go the route of working with a new therapist, then you may want to find one that is working with a clinical supervisor with more experience. This can help give the therapist more confidence because they know that they have someone to turn to with any questions that they have.
- What type of credentials do they carry?
People refer to many different types of mental health professionals as therapists. It could be someone that's a Marriage and Family Therapist, Social Worker, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, or School Counselor. So, when you're looking for a therapist to work with, you're going to want to understand what credentials they have. This can help you to understand what type of treatment they are going to be able to offer you.
For example, psychiatrists generally are known for prescribing medication such as antidepressants to help you with your symptoms. While they're able to do therapy such as psychotherapy, many of them choose to refer to that type of service out to a psychologist. Understanding what your needs are will help you to look at the credentials and determine who the right professional is for you.
You can find out what credentials a therapist has by looking at the letters that follow their name. This guide will help you decipher what each of them means.
- Where are they located?
The location of your therapist is going to be important because you want to find a therapist that's going to be easily accessible for you. When you're experiencing symptoms of depression, the thought of getting out of bed, getting dressed, and driving across the city can feel overwhelming. This is why it's helpful to choose a therapist that is located in a place that's close by.
- How much does a session cost?
The cost of therapy is one of the major hurdles that many people face in getting treatment for depression and other mental health disorders. Before you choose a therapist to work with, you're going to want to find out how much their per session cost is and if there's a different price for the initial session. Many times, the initial session is going to be more money than the ongoing ones that follow.
A few things that you should consider when looking at the cost include checking your health insurance company to see if there's any coverage that they provide, as well as talking to the therapist to see if they offer any pricing options. There are therapists that will offer sliding scale fees which will lower the cost for people based on things like their annual income and their number of dependents.
With mental health challenges such as depression, you can't really predict how many sessions you're going to need with a therapist. It may be something that you do on a regular basis at the start and then start to space sessions out further apart, or it could be something that adjusts back and forth based on how you're feeling at the moment. If the sessions are not affordable to you it can be more likely that you will cancel them instead of keeping them. So, this is something that you want to consider.
- How many therapy sessions will I need to attend?
As mentioned above, it can be difficult to estimate how many therapy sessions you will need when you're struggling with depression. There are different types of therapy and treatments that can last a different amount of time. If you're wondering how many sessions you will need, talk to your therapist to see what they recommend.
- Do they provide any options for in-between sessions?
A therapist may want to meet with you every week, or it may be that there's more time in between sessions. Make sure that you ask what type of options the therapist offers if you need to reach out to them in between sessions.
There are some therapists that will provide access for you through text messages or emails in between sessions. When you're struggling with depression this can be helpful to be able to access advice and reminders from your therapist when you need it most.
- Do I need to involve anyone else in my therapy sessions?
There may be times in your life when you need to include other people in your therapy sessions. For example, if you're dating or married and struggling with depression it can be helpful to have a few sessions with your partner. This can help them to get a better understanding of what your depression is like as well as learn strategies that they can use to protect their mental health and what they should remember when you are struggling the most.
Depression can be very difficult on relationships which can lead to other problems as well. This is another reason why you may want to include your partner in some of your therapy sessions.
- Am I comfortable with this person?
It's important that you are comfortable with your therapist. If you're uncomfortable then you're not going to be open with them and share the information that they need to know from you in order to help you most effectively. You may not know who you're comfortable with and who you're not until you have already met with them once or twice. Check to see if they offer a complimentary session to see how you fit together.
If you find that you are feeling uncomfortable with your therapist, then you can find a new one to work with. You don't need to feel like you need to give them any type of explanation, but most are physical will understand if you do. Their goal is to help you get the best treatment for you and they may be able to recommend you to someone else.
- Will I follow through on going to appointments?
Depression can rob you of your motivation to do the things that you know are best for you such as going to therapy. Before you choose a therapist to work with, make sure you consider if you're really going to follow through with your appointments.
If you feel like you're likely to just continue to cancel them, online counseling could be a better fit for you. Online therapy provided by sites such as ReGain, allow you to have access to a therapist without ever having to leave your house. That means even on the days when you don't want to roll out of bed, you can still access a therapist and keep your session.
- What am I hoping to get out of my sessions?
This is something that you should consider before starting therapy sessions, but it's okay if you don't know what the answer is. Most likely if you're dealing with depression you simply want to feel better. If you have specific results that you're really looking for out of your therapy, make sure to share them with your therapist. This will help them know what area to focus to help you get the results that you want.
Depression is treatable
Keep in mind that there are many different treatment options for depression. Along with therapy, there are things that you can do at home to manage your depression symptoms as well. Some of these things include getting enough sleep at night, making healthy food choices, exercising, spending time outdoors, journaling, and meditating.
There are also prescription medications that can help you manage your symptoms while you learn other coping strategies to overcome your depression.
Depression is something that can best be overcome by a combination of treatments. What works the best for you may not be the exact same thing that works for someone else. Talking with a therapist about your depression can be the right step to getting you on the path to recovery.