By Selena Bush, LCSW
When you have decided you want to start therapy, you may know what topics you’d like to cover and the kinds of services that would be most useful and effective. However, you may also feel uncertain and a little bogged down by all the options. The fact that you’ve decided to start therapy is a big first step.
The next step is finding the right therapist for you — someone you’re comfortable with and who can help support your needs. Follow these suggestions to navigate the search and ultimately find the best fit.
If you already know the issues you want to discuss with your therapist, you might ask yourself some of the following questions:
- Am I looking for someone with availability that might be outside of typical working hours?
- Do I know what type of treatment modality I’m looking for in a provider? For example, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) or something else? It’s okay if you aren’t sure. Once you choose a therapist, they can help guide you.
- Am I looking for someone who offers just telehealth services? If so, you can research telehealth providers on LiveHealth Online. If you’re looking for a therapist who can provide both in-office and telehealth visits, reach out providers in your area who are covered under your health plan.
Your answers to some of these questions will likely help you start narrowing down which providers might be a good fit. If you’re open to a therapist online, you can start the search by going to the “Psychology” practice on LiveHealth Online. Make sure to visit the providers’ profiles to learn more about them and their specialties. Try looking for someone who you feel is relatable and has experience working with the concerns you are hoping to discuss. It’s also worth looking at your insurance provider’s pricing for therapy visits on LiveHealth Online.
In addition to the online research, it can be very useful to ask friends and family for recommendations. You can also speak with your primary care physician or other providers and look out for pamphlets in your providers’ office that may help you identify counselors in your area.
As you’re working to find the right therapist for you, try to remember that it may take time to find a good fit. Online providers may be available that day, while scheduling an in-person visit could take a few weeks. Either way, it can sometimes take a few sessions to feel comfortable.
I usually recommend that clients stick with a provider for at least three sessions before deciding to find someone else. Also, it’s okay if you need to tell a provider they aren’t the right fit for you — their feelings will not be hurt. In fact, many providers may be willing to help you find someone who does seem like a good match. Keep in mind, the therapeutic relationship is just like any other relationship, and often requires a little bit of patience. Ultimately, it’s best to choose someone who makes you feel comfortable and supported.
Ready find a provider using LiveHealth Online?