Self, Health And Wellness

4 Expert Tips On Finding A Great Therapist To Help With Depression And Anxiety

Photo: by Guilian Fremaux on Unsplash
4 Expert Tips On Finding A Great Therapist To Help With Depression And Anxiety

If you're experiencing depression or anxiety, stuck wondering how to improve your mental health, or just having a difficult time, it may be time to find a good therapist.

But like many people suffering from emotional and mental pain, you may not know how to find a therapist who's the best fit for you — or even where to begin looking.

It's important to remember that therapy is medicine. Finding a good therapist is a process of discovering which mental health professional works best with your personal circumstances.

With a little guidance, you can find the right therapist for you and start feeling better fast.

RELATED: The Most Important Questions To Ask In Order To Find The Right Therapist

Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health concerns experienced today. In fact, there are 40 million people who will grapple with anxiety and 17 million people who will suffer psychological and emotional pain from depression in a year’s time.

Incidents of self-harm and suicide attempts are also pervasive. In spite of the high prevalence of mental and emotional stressors, many people do not seek support from a mental health professional.

More often than not, this is due to most people simply not understanding how to start the process.

Perhaps you're always stressed out, are having difficulty sleeping, or struggle because your thoughts always seem to be running the show. It’s so difficult to concentrate! This may lead you to see your general practitioner first.

After running a series of tests, your general practitioner may suggest taking a prescribed medication to get rid of these ailments. While medicine can be effective in helping you feel better, there are other methods that can make a positive difference in your mental health, too.

In another example, you decide that you would like an unbiased, unrelated person to discuss the sadness you've been experiencing over the past month.

You might even realize you're isolating yourself from those you previously enjoyed spending time with. Now, you want to get back to how you used to feel.

So, where do you begin?

Here are 4 simple steps to find a therapist that's right for you and help improve your mental health right away.

1. Contact your insurance provider.

If you have insurance, contact your provider's member services and let them know you'd like to receive counseling, therapy, or behavioral health.

The representative will likely ask for your zip code, preference for male or female providers, and other specialty areas to help you find a good fit.

There is a possibility that you will receive three providers to get started, with a pleasant prompt to call back if they "don’t work out" so you can get new options.

RELATED: Should I See A Therapist? 10 Questions To Determine If Therapy Is Right For You

2. Search a therapist directory.

Many clients have found their therapist on Psychology Today, Good Therapy, or good old Google.

Try researching a therapist who specializes in the area of concern you would like to get treatment for, your zip code, and whatever other criteria that would be a good fit for you.

You can still do this if you don't have insurance. And if you do have insurance, this is a good way to see who's available in your area.

3. Research each therapist and make sure they treat your particular symptoms.

Clinicians may have this information listed on their website or professional therapist's page. If you want to discuss it with the office directly, give them a call and see if they're trained in providing treatment for the symptoms you're experiencing.

This step may feel odd, but you can do it!

Call the office and mention you're interested in starting therapy with the provider. Find out if the therapist offers telephone consultations, so you can interview them to see if they would be a good provider for you.

Don’t feel pressured into sharing a lot of information. Give a quick synopsis of the reasons you want to start therapy, and they will take care of the rest. This is also a good time to find out if you're comfortable with the support staff in the office, as well.

4. Find out how they structure their sessions.

Are you working with a therapist who is directive more often than not? Or does your counselor want you to arrive to the session with an agenda?

Will they expect you to do out-of-session practice work to take what you’ve learned out into the world? What is their opinion of what needs to happen in order to make therapy an outstanding experience?

Whatever you're dealing with — be it anxiety, depression, PTSD, or another mental health issue — don't wait to get the support you need to start feeling better. With these tips in mind, you can find a therapist that's right for you.

RELATED: Why Seeking Therapy Isn't A Sign Of Weakness — It's A Sign Of Strength

Vena M. Wilson, LCSW, owner of Honey Bee Behavioral Health in Las Vegas, Nevada, focuses on helping people in rebuilding their lives after experiencing trauma. For more information on how she can help you connect with her here.