How To Get a Good Therapist
If you are thinking about finding a therapist, it probably means that your gut is telling you that something is not right in your life. Whether it’s your relationship, your health, job stresses, money problems, or something else, your mental health is at risk. It is essential to get an accurate diagnosis and explore your treatment options.
Choosing a good therapist for you is essential. Everyone has different needs, and you should feel comfortable discussing potentially uncomfortable topics with a therapist who has a non-judgmental, culturally competent manner. You and your therapist need to agree on your therapy goals, have good communication, and be willing to work together to make things better for you.
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Tips for Choosing the Right Therapist
When choosing a therapist, use all your resources, including your insurance company, online resources, and personal recommendations. Seek referrals and recommendations from trusted people such as your family, friends, and healthcare practitioners. They may better understand your needs and the type of therapist who would work best for you.
Consult Your Insurance
When looking for a good therapist, start with your insurance plan. Check to see if therapy is covered under your plan. If so, what is the difference in cost if you stay in network or go out of network? Is there a limit to the number of sessions offered or the kind of therapist you can consult? When weighing your options, consider geographic access, availability, and cost.
Many therapists offer sliding scale or cash-only discounts if you do not have insurance. Online therapists do not need to cover as much overhead and may be a more cost-effective option. Cost will undoubtedly influence your decision, but keep your options open until you have priced each.
Use Online Resources
Online resources are available that provide a database of therapists and short biographies for each person. Whether you are looking for someone in your geographic location or online licensed therapists, start your search online.
Ask for Recommendations
If you are comfortable sharing that you are looking for a therapist, family and friends may be a great resource for finding a good therapist. They are likely to provide more personalized recommendations than can be found in an online database.
While it is true that even if a therapist works well with a family or friend, it does not mean that they will be a good match for you. Family and friends may offer insight into their therapist’s personality and style and provide a list of factors to consider when choosing your own therapist.
Types of Therapists Available
Knowing that you need a therapist is the first step. The second is trying to find a good therapist for you. Therapists come from a wide range of educational backgrounds and have diverse niches. Telehealth companies, such as Telegra MD, have made finding a therapist easier so you can get an accurate online diagnosis. No longer limited by geographic access, you have access to a wide range of general practices and specialists online.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have completed a specialized residency in psychiatry. They can diagnose and treat medical, mental, and psychiatric disorders. Unlike therapists in some fields, they can write prescriptions when warranted. Many of these prescriptions are available as online prescriptions.
Psychologists are doctoral-level professionals who specialize in psychology. They use cognitive-behavioral therapy and other counseling techniques and psychotherapies to help people identify distorted thought patterns and use this insight to adapt and change their mindset.
Licensed Professional Counselor
Licensed professional counselors earn a master’s degree from a program accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. In addition to academic coursework, licensed professional counselors must complete between 2,000 and 3,000 hours of cumulative supervised experience and pass a licensing exam. The requirements vary by state.
Social workers have a master’s in social work and work in a variety of settings, including educational, health care, and government settings. Their role is to help people improve their health and well-being. Social workers help people analyze how their environment, relationships, and other systems impact their lives and health.
Questions to Consider When Choosing a Therapist
There are several factors to consider when choosing a therapist, including the following:
- Whether you have gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or age preferences for your therapist.
- Whether you have a preference for how the therapist conducts therapy.
- Whether you prefer a therapy style that focuses more on support or accountability.
Potential questions for your therapist include:
- What is their specialty, background, and education?
- Are they licensed?
- How long have they been working in their field?
- Do they have experience treating clients with your specific symptoms or diagnoses?
- What are their areas of expertise?
- What treatment options do they offer?
- How much does each online doctor visit cost?
Another important aspect to consider is the availability of your therapist or doctor. If you choose a good therapist for your therapist, but their practice is so full you need to wait weeks to see them, they are not a good therapy choice. Online telehealth makes it possible to schedule an appointment with a therapist or other specialist 24 hours a day, whenever you need to talk with someone.
While we strive to always provide accurate, current, and safe advice in all of our articles and guides, it’s important to stress that they are no substitute for medical advice from a doctor or healthcare provider. You should always consult a practicing professional who can diagnose your specific case. The content we’ve included in this guide is merely meant to be informational and does not constitute medical advice.