So what did I learn from my recent search for a new therapist? Quite a lot, actually. I didn't realize how much I didn't know. After all these years of writing about depression and its treatment, and having been through therapy, I assumed that things would go smoothly.
Since this was not the case, I thought that a list of what I ultimately learned from my search would be helpful to anyone else looking for a therapist.
1. Figure out what type of therapy and what type of therapist you're looking for.
I, for instance, had been through the psychoanalytic type of therapy, which was very helpful, but I didn't think that I needed any more of that at this point, and for these particular issues. I felt that I needed a therapist who would offer her opinion instead of being completely neutral, for one thing, and utilize theraputic methods that involved more back and forth conversation.
2. Plan to interview a minimum of three therapists.
This is a pretty daunting task if you're depressed, but it's absolutely crucial that you don't settle on the first one you talk to. Most of us aren't in the habit of interviewing medical professionals, but with a therapist, personal chemistry is crucial, and chances are that you need to interview more than one therapist to find someone with whom the chemistry is really good. It's also helpful to be able to compare different styles to see which type you're most comfortable with.
3. Don't dismiss someone out of hand because you don't get a good impression over the phone.
You are going to be talking to the therapist in person most of the time, so how they come across in that venue is more important than how they come across over the phone. I was pleasantly surprised with how much better one therapist came across in person than over the phone.
4. Talk to your insurance company before you make any appointments to nail down exactly what your coverage is.
Ask your insurance provider what your financial responsibility will be if the therapist is out of network. Find out if you need to get pre-certification for the "interview" appointments. You might get some nasty surprises, but better to get them ahead of time than after you've made the appointments. In my case, I found out that I did not need to get pre-certification for the "interview" appointments, but did need to get pre-certification for treatment with the therapist I decided to go forward with.
5. Have a couple of questions prepared to, in effect, test the therapist and get an idea of how he or she would help you work through your issues.
The responses that you get can be pretty eye-opening. I, for instance, asked each therapist what methods she would use to help me work through my issues. I figured that the question was pretty much a no-brainer. To my surprise, one therapist didn't seem to have any idea, which disqualified her pretty quickly in my mind.
Do you have any tips or suggestions for other members on the best way to find a new therapist? Leave a comment or create your own SharePost.
Published On: May 03, 2007