There are many different reasons people go to therapy. Now that society is slowly moving away from the stigma of needing help as if it’s some
fundamental failure on your part (it’s not), therapy has become a great way to deal with many different issues and is more accessible than ever. Here are some common reasons you might seek out a therapist:
- Coping with the loss of a loved one
- Feeling depressed or anxious for extended periods of time
- Needing help communicating within a relationship
- Dealing with past traumas or PTSD
- Improving your general mental health
- Dealing with addiction
- Recognizing a lack of self-esteem or self-worth
- Coping with an illness diagnosis
- Battling insomnia
- Dealing with imposter syndrome
Not every therapist specializes in each of these things, and sometimes a therapist isn’t what you need. There are several options for professionals you can seek help from. These include:
- Board-certified therapists
- Clinical social workers
- Psychiatric nurse practitioners
Once you isolate why you need therapy and which type is the right fit for you, it’s crucial that you find someone you are comfortable talking with. If you don’t feel at ease with your chosen therapist, you won’t feel comfortable being honest, and you won’t get all the possible benefits of therapy. It could take time and a few different appointments with different practitioners, and that’s okay! Think of the first session as an interview of sorts and ask questions that are important to you. Common questions include:
- What’s your area of expertise?
- How long have you been working in this field?
- What’s your experience with my specific issue?
- What type of treatments do you find most effective for your patients?
- Can you prescribe medication if it’s determined I need it, or will I need to seek a second team member?
- Is telehealth possible for the days when I can’t make it in or need quick access?
- Are you open to having several backup plans if I feel the treatment isn’t working?
- How do you feel about and take into account patient feedback?
- Do you take my insurance, and if not, is there a payment plan available?
It’s important to note that your personal experiences with trauma or issues such as racism are a crucial factor in finding the right therapist for you. If your therapist is culturally disconnected from your experiences, they won’t truly understand your needs. It’s okay to seek out someone with a similar background so that you feel a connection with them. Please know that it’s also okay to need more than one practitioner. Maybe you love your therapist but need a psychologist as well. Take the time you need to find the right team, and you’ll find therapy is extremely helpful.