How to Find a Therapist: Part I

The process of finding a therapist is two-part. The first involves asking yourself what you are looking for. The second is going out and finding it. In this article, we’ll focus on the first part of asking yourself what you need.

There are a few considerations to make before you begin searching for a therapist.

First, what problem(s) are you dealing with? Is it something obvious, like an eating disorder, or is it more vague, like a general feeling of dissatisfaction? It’s a good idea to write down a few things that aren’t going well—the types of things that lead to the thought Maybe I should see a therapist—and see if there is a way of grouping them. If not, that’s good to know, as well.

Secondly, what are your goals? Do you simply want the problem to go away, or do you want to go beyond symptom relief? Do you want someone to understand you, or are you looking for someone to give you advice?

Finally, what can you afford? This is a question of both time and money. (Also, see Pros and Cons of Using Insurance.) Take a look at your budget and see what it can accommodate per month. Ideally, therapy happens weekly, at a fee you can afford, at a location that is within a reasonable distance.

The most important part of the process is actually choosing the therapist you are going to work with—for that, see the next article, How To Find A Therapist: Part II.

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