Disclaimer: I am in no way qualified to give medical or mental health advice. I am simply someone who’s had their own mental health experiences and want to share my processes used for treatment. This post is in no way medical advice.
The process of finding a therapist can be daunting. Often people begin the arduous search for this unbiased resource to help them when they are at the most heightened state creating a miserable search that too many people could get burned out by. If you have insurance, there’s finding a provider that is in your network and then getting the consultation to see if they are a good match for the help you want provided. If you don’t have insurance, it’s even harder because the process often becomes about finding a therapist that remains cost effective to a budget but also suits your needs and gets the help that you’re looking for. Once the initial steps are taken, there are things I like to look for in a therapist to provide the best care for the issue I want to be maintained.
- Someone who specializes in goals I want to set or issues that I want to help manage for myself.
- Someone who listens to me without judgment.
- Someone who can be relatable but also not use the session to talk more about themselves entirely, but focus on the task at hand for that session while providing insight.
- Someone who holds boundaries in our professional relationship and doesn’t allow me to become overly attached to them.
- Someone who doesn’t blame me or others for my struggles but rather helps me accept myself for who I am in that moment and who I can become along the way.
This list can be added to or even subtracted but it is my baseline set of standards that I used to find my current therapist that I work with. My first therapist in 2020 was helpful but became someone who stepped outside of the standards that I wanted to set for my healing journey. “Breaking up” with this therapist was difficult because I developed an unhealthy attachment to them. After a while, it became apparent that our time together was becoming toxic, and I needed to start over with someone else. It was a scary thing to tell this person, but I gathered my courage and left a short and simple text message that while I was grateful for our time together, I no longer felt that they could help me any further. Thankfully, their response was cordial which eased my anxiety about leaving but it didn’t make any less nerve wracking to do. Change is hard especially when you’re not feeling your best, but it is possible to do. It’s important to stay true to your journey and make sure that you have the appropriate person to help you along the way.
If you have insurance, you can use your insurance’s website data base but if you want a broader search for a mental health professional, I’ve used psychologytoday.com with great success.