Beginning the journey of therapy can be overwhelming. Every week I hear from people that have called multiple therapists, sometimes even dozens of them, and never received a call back. They are ready to begin the process but can not interact with someone to take the next step. This can lead to frustration, anger, sadness and an increased feeling of hopelessness. If you are one of those people, I want to say “I am sorry. Thank you for reaching out to start your healing. Do not give up and keep searching.” Elevate Mental Health has a policy to return calls and emails whether we can help or not because of the lack of responses that people get.
Many therapists/counselors/psychologists have online options to either request an initial session or contact them to provide information about your needs. I always recommend that if someone calls to also follow-up with an email or the online form on the providers website. This increases the chances of getting connected. Before you begin your search for a therapist here are a few things to think about and explore. Being able to understand the process and what you are trying to find in therapy will hopefully assist you in finding the right therapist.
Why do you want to see a counselor? When you initially begin to reach out to find a therapist they will want to know what you would like help with. Keep this in mind and be ready to discuss this in a brief and precise way so you can leave a message, send an email or talk with the therapist directly. Also, keep in mind what you want the outcome to be. When you are done in therapy what will be different? How will your life be different? Are you wanting to change your mood? A relationship? Increase a skill? Release something from the past?
What type of therapy will be most helpful? There are A LOT of direct types of therapy that can be used to assist in your mental health journey. Here is an extensive list which may be helpful to explore. Some of the more common types are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Psychoanalytic or Psychodynamic Therapy, Solution-Focused, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Asking the counselor what type of therapy they use will give you a better idea of what to expect in the process.
What is your budget and do you want to use insurance? Mental health providers are either in or out-of-network. Being in-network means that they will accept your insurance directly. You will be responsible to pay the co-pay each session. Providers, such as Elevate Mental Health, are out-of-network. This means that you pay the full fee directly to the provider and are provided with a superbill (medical receipt) that can be submitted to your insurance for possible partial reimbursement if you choose to do so. You can find questions to ask your insurance company on our website.
Connecting with the therapist is the most important part! An article published by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2019 showed that a good relationship is essential to helping the client connect with, remain in and get the most from therapy. You need to feel comfortable with the person you are doing treatment with. You are looking to them as your guide in this process and the therapeutic alliance and trust is paramount to making it a successful process.
Remember that you are doing this for you. It will take time and some searching to find the right fit for you. It is healthy for you to contact multiple therapists to see which one you feel would be the best fit. You may start with someone and after a few sessions realize that it was not a good fit. Again, you need to find the person that works best for you and you feel the most connect with. If you are in California feel free to reach out to use at Elevate Mental Health to see if we may be a good fit to help you in the journey of life.