There’s a lot of information about how to pick a therapist, when to ask for help, and what to look for. Do you want to use an app? Do you want to see a therapist in person? Would virtual therapy sessions fit your schedule better? What about your schedule? It can feel overwhelming to try and find a therapist you trust with your emotional well-being and recovery. Finding the right therapist is crucial to starting your mental health treatment journey.
Choosing The Right Therapist For You
Whether you’re new to finding a therapist or looking to go back, there are some things to consider when choosing the right mental health provider. Here are some things to keep in mind while looking:
Comfort Level: Would you feel more comfortable with a therapist your age or gender, or are you flexible working with someone older, younger, or a different gender? Think this through while you research; it’ll help you decide how you want to move forward in the therapy process.
Beliefs and Cultural Understanding: Does it matter if your therapist has a particular religious affiliation? If you’re struggling with spiritual trauma, questioning things you were taught growing up, or struggling with issues of faith, it’s okay to look for more secular treatment. Suppose you belong to a specific cultural, religious, or ethnic group. In that case, it’s essential to find a therapist who, if they don’t share your cultural background, has become culturally competent enough to understand the cultural factors that make up your experience and why they may impact your mental health.
Cost: Does the provider accept insurance? Some therapists may not take insurance, while others may be in your network. Some therapists have a sliding fee scale that may help alleviate the cost of therapy for their clients based on their income and financial situation.
Therapy Type: Nobody expects you to approach therapy like a pro. You may not know what you’re ready to discuss or what kind of treatment modality you need. If you’re struggling with worry or anxiety, look for therapists specializing in anxiety. Look for a trauma-informed therapist if you’ve experienced a traumatic event or have trauma in your past.
Ask For a Referral: Your primary care doctor should be able to refer you to a good therapist, especially if you see them for help treating depression, anxiety, or other mental health symptoms. Professionally speaking, your primary care provider can help you find a mental health practitioner that meets your needs. It’s great to get recommendations from trusted family and friends. Still, suppose you’d prefer your search for a therapist to stay private. In that case, your family doctor is in a unique position to help you as HIPAA and patient privacy laws bind them, and they also have an excellent professional knowledge of therapists in your area.
Schedule and Availability: How frequently you see your therapist depends on the severity of your mental health symptoms. If you’re experiencing symptoms that impact your daily life but are not in clinical crisis, your therapist may recommend you be seen once or twice a week at the beginning of your treatment. Did you find a therapist you’re very interested in working with, but they have a waitlist? Do they offer telehealth appointments, or are you interested only in being seen in the office? Committing to therapy is easier once you know how it fits into your schedule. Many therapists make it a point to work with their clients’ schedules and provide virtual or evening and weekend appointments.
Trust Your Gut: Some people just don’t “click,” and that’s okay. You’re not unfixable if you don’t click with the first therapist you see. Building trust and opening up with new people, especially a therapist, can take time. Most therapists offer a consultation visit to see if it’s an excellent therapeutic fit so you can start building the relationship safely.
Therapists in Los Gatos and San Jose
Finding the right therapist can change your life for the better. Even if you’ve tried therapy before and didn’t click with the right therapist, or if you’re looking to get started improving your mental health, it’s okay to do some internet sleuthing, ask around, or get a professional referral from a trusted provider so that you can make the best decision for you.
At Lumos Psychiatric Clinic, we offer help, guidance, and support to those looking to get started on their mental health journey or if you’re looking to continue therapy. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive mental health services. We have convenient locations in San Jose, CA, and Los Gatos, CA.