The pandemic has placed unparalleled stress on many people’s mental health. If self-care solutions aren’t doing the trick, it may be time to consider seeing a therapist to get professional advice on what you’re going through. It can take a few tries to find a therapist that works for you, but some strategies can help you narrow down one that best meets your needs.
Researching a therapist and testimonials is a great place to start. Then, when you first meet with your chosen therapist, ask these questions to gain insights into their style, and see if it’s a good fit for you.
What is your history in treating patients with what I am struggling with?
The good news is that whatever you’re struggling with won’t be new to most therapists, but taking stock of their experience level is valuable in assessing how helpful they will be.
How much does a session cost?
Therapy is invaluable, but unfortunately, for many people, it’s financially out of reach. Ask if they offer sliding scale payment rates or a fixed price and whether they accept your insurance. For a frame of reference, most 45-minute therapy sessions run somewhere between $150 and $300.
Is this a good fit or am I just being polite?
This is a question for you. It can be awkward to meet with a therapist and then decide it’s not a good fit, but if you’re paying for the service, you want to get the best advice possible. Therapists understand that they cannot serve everyone, so they won’t be offended if you decide to go elsewhere.
Like any other doctor, it might take a couple of tries to find a therapist that works for you. Fully explore your options before settling with a choice. Especially if this is your first time seeing a therapist, have consultations with several different professionals to get a feel for what you’re looking for, and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions!
From the archive: This popular healthy living story was originally published on The Optimist Daily December 15, 2020.