The holidays are just around the corner and you are starting to feel anxious. You feel sad and you’re not sure why, trouble sleeping and feeling unmotivated has begun to be your norm. You noticed that you’re not feeling like yourself and you would prefer to be alone. Dealing with the expectations of family and friends is just too overwhelming and you struggle to set healthy boundaries or speak up for yourself. You are tired of compromising yourself but you don’t like confrontation. You know you want a better life, better relationships, and a sense of freedom.
So you decided it’s time to see a therapist, however, you have no idea where to start or what questions to ask. You’re nervous about making the phone call and uncertain of what to expect. Life is filled with several twists and turns, some more severe than others. We do our best to handle them as they come and find ourselves at a loss. Not knowing what to do, or who to turn to, a Therapist can assist you through this time of need. Together you will identify your strengths and goals. Together you will develop a plan to help you live the life you want to live. Therapists are compassionate and genuine, and take a great deal of pride in providing an empathic, nonjudgmental approach to all of our clients.
So where do I start, you ask?
You can find a local therapist in your area by going to psychology today.com. There you will enter your location and filter through which type of therapist you want. For instance, if you are struggling with anxiety or depression you would want to find a therapist that specializes in this issue. There are several tabs to filter through to find the right therapist that meets all of your criteria.
Research: Looking at the tab titled Types of Therapy can be overwhelming, do a little bit of research to find out which approach best suits you. For example, if you’re looking for someone to help you regulate your moods, communicate effectively, build confidence, and challenge or stop your negative thinking a Therapist who specializes in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy would best suit you. DBT and CBT are acronyms for evidenced-based therapeutic approaches. These are important as the Therapist will use these modalities to teach you healthy coping skills. Although all Therapists have gone through rigorous training and what feels like lifelong education. We all don’t have the same training so it is important to identify what your clinicians are trained in.
Decide whether or not you will need to have treatment covered by a therapist. This can be tricky. If you are able to cover this out of pocket or you have PPO insurance you have the ability to pick whomever you want as your provider. Your therapist will be able to provide you with what’s called a super bill, you will send this over to your insurance company to seek reimbursement. Contact your insurance company to find out what the reimbursement percentage rate is. Some insurance companies cover a good percentage of the rate. You will find that highly sought-after clinicians do not take insurance. The reason for this may be due to the therapist not wanting their treatments with their client to be dictated by an insurance company. There is a lot more freedom for the Therapist to take a deeper dive into your life when they aren’t regulated by an insurance company. Many individuals choose not to go through insurance in order to maintain the highest degree of flexibility and privacy over their treatment. Insurance companies require a diagnosis and have access to sessions, which is not always ideal for every client.
If you have a PPO You may also want to ask the following questions:
How much does my plan cover for an out-of-network provider?
Do I need approval from my primary physician?
How many sessions does my plan cover per calendar year?
What is my deductible and has it been met?
For those that have an HMO, you will need to find a therapist that is paneled with your insurance company. This may be ideal for some as the payment for therapy is usually the amount of a copayment.
Ok so you filtered through the tabs and you are now ready to pick a therapist. Read their Bios! Does this person sound like someone you would like to meet and talk to? Do you find some of the things you struggle with are described in their bios, what is their background? If you like them, let’s start creating a list of at least 5 therapists to call.
The call: When you start making phone calls make sure you have a list of questions ready. I know it’s uncomfortable talking to someone new. I have provided questions for you to ask the therapist.
Ask if they are licensed or an associate. The difference is, someone who is licensed has passed the licensing exam and is cleared to see clients without supervision. If they are not licensed then they are working under a supervisor who they meet with weekly. They can not see clients without a supervisor assigned to them.
Ask them about their training and educational background. Ask them to explain their training if it’s unclear to you.
What is their specialty and how much experience do they have working with people who have issues similar to yours? This is where you would share with them your current struggles and symptoms.
What is their therapeutic orientation? DBT, CBT, EMDR? Remember we went over a few of these earlier.
Ask how this intervention would be effective for your issues or symptoms.
Ask them about their rates and if they are willing to provide a sliding scale.
Once you’re done completing the other calls and determine which one fits your needs best and schedule an appointment. I know this entire process can seem a bit uncomfortable. Remember you are taking the necessary steps to pursue the life you want to live.
Counseling in Temecula, CA
If you or someone you love is experiencing depression, anxiety or any other mental health symptoms, it’s important that you seek professional help from an experienced mental health professional. Outside the Norm Counseling in a counseling clinic in Temecula. Our therapists specialize in treating depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, couple, teens and families. Contact Outside the Norm Counseling today to set up your teen’s first counseling appointment.