Finding a therapist for you or your child may seem like a daunting task, but it may be much easier if you take a few things into consideration.
Rule Out Physical Causes
There may be physical reasons for you or your child to feel or behave certain ways. It is always good to start with your/your child’s physician to rule out any physical causes for emotional or behavioral changes.
Create a List of Names
Talk with Your Child’s School:
Check with your child’s teacher or guidance counselor. They may have referred other students in the past to counselors and therapists in the area. Teachers and guidance counselors may understand the needs of your child and have some recommendations for therapists that may work well with your child.
Check with your Insurance Company:
Your insurance company may provide you with a list of therapists that are covered by your plan. List list may help you locate a therapist or eliminate options that are not covered by insurance.
Talk Your/Your Child’s Physician:
Your physician may be a great resource to locate a therapist that may be a good fit for you, your child, or your family. They are usually familiar with the practioners in your area and the practioner’s area of expertise.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 26% of people above the age of 18 have some form of diagnosable mental illness in any given year. Chances are, you know someone who went to a therapist or whose child saw a therapist. Your friends may provide great suggestions to help you find a therapist for you or your child.
Find the Right One
You are the consumer. Give therapists on your list a call. You usually have to leave a message. Have them call you back. Feel free to ask them questions to find out if they are a good fit. You may want to know their level of education, how long they have been in practice, and if they have an area of expertise.
Does it Work for You?
If a therapist doesn’t have available time that fits into your schedule, it may be worth seeing if someone else is a good fit or to see how much stress it would create to change your schedule.
Not All Therapists are the Same:
You wouldn’t see a dentist for a pain in your foot. Some therapists specialize in working in some areas. Some work with children, some don’t. Some work with families, some don’t. Some specialize in certain topics, such as: depression/anxiety, grief, changing families, or phobias. When calling a therapist, find out what age ranges they work with, if they work with families, or their areas of expertise.
Find Out if They Accept Your Insurance:
You will probably want to find out right away whether or not this will be covered by insurance. Some therapists do offer a sliding scale fee.
Does it Feel Right?
It is important to have a therapist that feels like a good fit. If you don’t feel like it is someone you could be comfortable with, it may be worth trying again and looking for a good fit.