Finding the right therapist may be a challenging task. Finding this help has to become a priority. Why? Well, your mental health and well being has to be handled by the right person. I am a strong believer that there is no "one size fits all" when it comes to therapists. It is likely that initially you will start your hunt by asking your friends and family if they know someone. There is one thing that you should keep in mind. While your friends and family may have benefited from their therapist, it may not be a good fit for you and your needs. No need to worry.
Here are some tips and guides to look out for when you are in search of a therapist for your unique and personal needs.
Search for an option to have a free consultation
Having the option to question your potential therapist over the phone may help you "sort through" and gain an understanding about what they do. While their website and profile may include generalized information, make sure you use the free consultation to address your unique problems or concerns and evaluate if this is the person you want to work with.
Go ahead, schedule your first session
If you have never been to therapy before, go ahead book your first session. You may need to pay for your first session, but you will have a great opportunity to meet with the person whom you are about to trust with your most important and vulnerable secrets. You have to make sure that this person is "the one". There is plenty of scientific evidence that supports the concept of therapeutic relationship and its efficacy in therapy. It is really important to have the proper "chemistry" in the room to allow for healing take place.
Call your insurance company
Since therapy is not a covered benefit under Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), it is important that you check with your insurance company about your coverage and the necessary steps you need to take prior to booking your first visit. Generally, your extended health care benefits will ask you to pay upfront and then submit your invoice for reimbursement. It is always better to be informed and make your decisions with all information at hand.
Do not limit your search
Go ahead and expand your search by focusing on titles and logistics of the profession. While it is important to understand the individual's credentials and their training, feel free to step out of the rigidity of the profession and explore. It is important to remember that there are many health care providers out there who can do an excellent job helping you heal. Feel free to browse through psychologists, psychotherapists, nurses and social workers. You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that there are some psychiatrists and family practitioners who perform psychotherapy. Do not be afraid to ask what they do and how they help. This is your time, your therapy, your journey.
You may want to look into therapists who offer more than in-person session, especially if travelling and commuting may be difficult. If you do have a chance for a free consultation, make sure you ask the therapist if they provide phone or video sessions as well. Life gets busy and making time for appointments and commute may add more stress to your daily living. Paying for parking or finding a spot may also add more undesirable effects and bring negativity to your sessions. Enabling the option of doing therapy at the comfort of your home, park or your car, may increase the chances for you to be engaged and remove barriers for you seeking therapy in the first place.
This is your path, your journey. Make sure that you are giving yourself the time and space to be picky with your needs. Remember you are important.