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How to choose the right therapist.




Finding the right therapist can be a stressful process. If you don't know where or how to search. Here are some helpful tips for anyone looking for a therapist.



 
  • Make a list of your symptoms & goals: This is something that you will discuss with your therapist during the intake session (first session/info gathering). It's also a good idea to have this information available during a consultation call. This can help the therapist determine if they are a good fit for you.

  • Think about what approach you would like: Are you looking for someone to support your while you process your thoughts? Do you need more structured sessions with homework? Would you prefer to focus on your past experiences and childhood? Is there any trauma that you would like to work on? Are you looking for a therapist that is comfortable with being more confrontational? If you're a creative person, maybe an artistic therapist would be a great fit for you.

  • Determine if you will be using your health insurance or self-pay: Some therapists & psychologists do not accept insurance. If you are expecting to pay out of pocket. Come up with a budget before you reach out so that you can sort thru more quickly. Also, don't be too alarmed by the rate. A lot of therapists offer sliding scale if mentioned and are able to send you a "superbill". Superbills allow you to get reimbursed by your insurance for out-of-network services. Including therapy! Check with your insurance company to confirm. I will post more about the financial responsibilities & options for therapy later this month.

  • Now it's time to visit reliable directories with verified licensed therapists, psychologists & counselors. Some great options are www.psychologytoday.com , mentalhealthmatch.com, Therapists.com , www.therapyforblackgirls.com www.blackfemaletherapist.com . Or just do a google search in your area and include your concern.

  • Schedule consultations with more than one therapist: If you know, you know. So don't assume that your absolutely have to speak with more than one. But it is a good idea, especially if this is your first time searching for one. Most therapists offer a free 10-15 minute consultation to discuss your concerns and goals. This is a good sign that your therapist is mindful of their own limits when accepting new clients. During the consultation, they will be able to determine if they are a good fit for you and vice versa. If they are not, they may be able to give you a referral to one that they know can help with your problem.

  • Complete your intake session and if the vibe is off. Find a new one! Therapy isn't one size fit all. If you are not feeling your first session that doesn't mean they aren't a good therapist. It just means they may not be the right therapist, for YOU. You are not required to stick it out. You can find another one. Just be sure to let them know in advance so that it's an easier transition for both of you.


The Atlanta Therapist

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