How to Find a Therapist for the First Time - Deepstash
Seeking Therapy

Finding the right therapist for one's psychological problems can be a daunting task. It takes time and effort but can be done if one is equipped with the right information.

It is common to seek therapy during an emergency or a catastrophe in one's life (like a breakup or divorce), but therapy is more appropriate when life isn't complicated. Major life-changing events like moving to a big city, starting a new job or becoming a parent can be a great time for therapy.

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Most therapists are equipped with multiple approaches and can tailor them based on one's specific needs. The two common types of therapy are:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy(CBT): Identifies and monitors and corrects unhealthy behavioral patterns. It is effective in treating general anxiety.
  • Psychodynamic Therapy: Goes deep into one's past, family, and relationships. It is considered effective in treating certain disorders and depression.

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  • In looking for the right therapist, it is best to locate one through a referral, if your friends are comfortable providing one.
  • You can also search the internet, looking for licensed practitioners in your area. 
  • Take a look at your insurance plans database and see if you find a good one that can also be covered by insurance.
  • A good therapist may not have a big online footprint. Shortlist about five therapists and get in touch with them personally.

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Most Therapists are not directly affiliated with Insurance companies, but can still provide you with a receipt so that you can contact the insurance company to get reimbursed. The process has some hoops and jumps which can be easily figured out.

Insurance claims only work with a specific clinical diagnosis, which the therapist can spell out after a few sessions. This will also go on your record if you are claiming insurance.

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Once you are in the market for a therapist out of your shortlist, you need to keep the following points in mind:

  • Suitability of the location of the clinic.
  • Appointment times and scheduling in yours and the therapist's calendar.
  • The therapist's cultural background and outlook, through a short telephonic chat.
  • Being patient, open, and flexible.

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Keep in mind that therapy is a serious investment, and has benefits that make it worthwhile. 

Most therapists start charging from the first session and it is a good idea to not commit to someone whom you cannot pay. A supervised, licensed intern usually charges less.

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Certain things to observe and red flags to look out for once you are in the clinic:

  • The vibe and the temperature of the room.
  • Uncomfortable furniture.
  • Not getting the full attention of the therapist (multitasking while listening to you).
  • Not feeling private and safe.
  • A weak connection with the therapist.
  • A nonprofessional and cold behavior of the therapist.

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One gets to know if therapy is working within four to five meetings and if not, you can observe your own progress or switch therapists if required. If you are comfortable and communicative with the therapist there is a greater chance of progress and eventual success.

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