Let’s face it. Many people are hesitant to have a session with a therapist.
They’ve seen the scenes in movies with a distraught person on a leather sofa while a therapist takes notes and either nods or makes sounds of approval or disapproval while the person dramatically talks about their childhood. Add in the stigma attached to seeking assistance with one’s mental health, and it becomes that much more important to make sure that your therapist is the right for you.
Whether you’re seeking a counselor through your employer offered employee assistance program (EAP) or on your own, it’s important to seek out a provider who can best meet your needs. Here are 3 tips to help you find the therapist that’s right for you.
It is clinically important to choose someone you feel comfortable working with. Some people may want a man who reminds them of a faithful family friend, or a woman who reminds them of a trusted confidante from college. Others may have preferences when it comes to age, ethnicity, LGBTQ friendly, or military service. Keep this in mind while looking for a therapist.
From LMFT (Licensed Family & Marriage Therapist) to a LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) there are a lot of acronyms to think about when looking for a mental health professional. Be mindful of the credentials your potential counselor has and consider if they’d be a good fit for you. If you’re still not sure, give their office a call and as a few questions to gain clarity on their credentials and if they are appropriate for you.
Depending on the presenting issue, the experience of a counselor will guide them in providing the most appropriate treatment possible. If you’re 29 years old, you may not want to seek the help of a counselor who specializes in working with children and teens. While some therapists have experience in several areas, others may have extensive experience in a few.
Check with your insurance to see what type of mental health professional is covered. Some may require a licensed therapist while others may require a psychologist or psychiatrist. If you’re paying out of pocket, inquire about a sliding fee scale or payment plan to assist with the costs. Many communities have resources available to assist people seeking mental health services.
The referral process as a part of eni’s NexGen EAP includes seeking out mental health providers who are therapeutically appropriate as well as meet many of the preferences above. Prior to conducting a warm transfer between the caller and provider, eni’s Intake Specialists work with the caller to verify if the provider is covered by the caller’s insurance. NexGen’s Virtual Concierge services are available to assist with finding community resources to help when needed.
You don’t have to settle for a therapist you’re not happy or comfortable with. If you don’t feel heard by your therapist or he/she talks more than they listen, it’s okay to look for a replacement. Finding the right therapist can be a process. With the right help, the therapeutic process can be beneficial.