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How To Find The Right Therapist
July 8th 2021
Written by, Cassie Cipolla – Synergy eTherapy Intern
I graduated from the University of Kansas in 2020 with a Bachelor’s of General Studies in Psychology and a minor in Applied Behavioral Sciences. I plan to pursue a doctoral degree (PsyD) in Clinical Psychology and am specifically interested in a neuropsychology concentration. I have previously worked as a Permanency Family Support Worker for KVC Health Systems in Kansas where I worked alongside case managers, therapists, and other mental health professionals to provide direct services to children and families within the child welfare system.
If you are looking to start your therapy journey you may find yourself overwhelmed, confused, and wondering "Where do I even begin????"
(Good news! You’ve come to the right place and you actually have already begun just by being here!)
This can be challenging, but it’s important.
You want to find a therapist that you are comfortable sharing things with – even some things you may have never said aloud before.
The right therapist will make you feel supported and acknowledged without judgement and will have the skills, training, and experience necessary to treat whatever you may be struggling with.
Let’s get started. Below I discuss 6 steps to finding a therapist that’s right for you!
1. Insurance or Private Pay?
This first thing you’ll want to consider is how you plan to pay for therapy.
If you plan to use insurance you will want to find a therapist that is covered by your provider. A good place to start is by visiting your health care providers website or giving them a call to get a list of providers that are “in-network” near you.
If you plan to use a therapist or psychologist that is out of network you can call your insurance provider and ask what your “out-of-network outpatient mental health coverage” is to determine what your out of pocket cost is, and then use this gauge options that are affordable for you.
2. Ask people you trust for therapist referrals or recommendations.
Another great way to find a therapist is through a referral or recommendation from someone you know and trust.
Keep in mind, however, that your needs and goals are likely different from theirs, so while this is a good place to start it will still require effort on your part to make sure a candidate could be as beneficial for you as they may have been for someone else you know!
3. Determine your needs, goals and expectations ahead of time.
What are you hoping to get out of therapy? Do you have requirements in terms of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion that will allow you to be most comfortable? Are you looking for a certain treatment approach or plan? Do you wish to participate in therapy individually or in a group setting? Do you want to participate in therapy online or in-person? Do you want your therapist to be an active participant in your sessions or let you do most of the talking?
These are all important questions to ask yourself ahead of time so you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for in a therapist and what you’re looking to get out of therapy. Write them down!
4. Make a list of questions.
Before consulting with potential candidates, make a list of questions you have for them. Having a list ready prior to speaking with a therapist will help ensure that all your questions get answered so you can further narrow down your options.
A few questions to consider asking your therapist:
- Are you licensed in this state?
- What is your availability?
- What insurance do you accept?
- How many years have you been practicing?
- What experience do you have working with ______?
- What is your specialty or area of expertise?
- What kind of treatment approaches do you utilize?
- What is your general approach to therapy?
- Are you typically an active participant in your therapy sessions?
5. Set up an initial consult.
Based on the information gained from the previous steps, make a list of the therapists you are interested in speaking with and set up a quick phone call consultation. Initial consults are typically very brief and focus on insurance/payment options, availability, and a general introduction to what a client is struggling with.
6. Set up an intake session.
After your initial consults, determine the therapists you feel could be the best fit and schedule a session.
The first therapy session is typically referred to as an “intake session” or an “initial intake”. This is a good time to provide the therapist with some background and ask any questions you may have! Bring out your list of questions from step 4 and ask away!
Are you looking to start therapy?
Synergy eTherapy offers a variety of online therapy services, allowing you to attend therapy from the comfort of your own home, or wherever you may be!
Our therapists are trained to provide a wide variety of mental health services including anxiety treatment, counseling for depression, trauma counseling, couples therapy, counseling for women and mothers, teen counseling, counseling for college students, substance abuse counseling and chronic illness counseling.
For more information or to set up a CONSULTATION, please feel free to choose your state, choose a therapist (read their bio and watch their video to get to know them more!) and fill out the consultation form. Their calendar will pop up so you can schedule easily.
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As an online mental health counseling practice, our mission is to offer a variety of online therapy services to help you focus on your wellbeing. We take the stress out of getting the treatment you deserve. Synergy eTherapists provide flexible, convenient, and easy to use mental health services.
We offer online therapy in several states including Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Kansas, California, Florida, Colorado, and many other states. We add new states to this list regularly.
Our therapists help teens, college students, adults, couples, and people with health conditions and chronic pain during online therapy. Additionally, we can offer psychiatric medication management in certain states.