How to Find a Therapist that Meets Your Needs
I congratulate you on making the decision to seek therapy. Your mental health will thank you for taking the time to care for and nurture its needs. The next step now is to find a therapist. Most may think, “I don’t have much of a choice, it will be whoever my insurance provides me.”
This is not necessarily the case. If you will be seeking therapy through your insurance, you are still able to advocate for your needs. It is okay to ask them to help you find a therapist with a specific area of specialty, specific gender, cultural or religious background, language etc. For those who decide to seek an out of network therapist or be a cash pay client, you have a lot more freedom in selecting a therapist.
But why is finding a therapist that meets your needs so important? In therapy, we want you to feel safe, understood, and most importantly, not judged. We do not open up to just anyone. We open up to individuals who make us feel safe. The same concept applies for therapy.
We want you to find a therapist that will honor and understand your faith, culture, values, and family dynamics. A therapist that will respect and not undermine the struggles and difficulties that have made you resilient. Most importantly we want you to find a therapist that will help you find strength and support in the things that are of value to you. For example, your faith, your community, your culture, or your family.
Below you will find tips that will help you find a therapist that best fits your needs
1) Ask family and friends for recommendations: often times our best resource can be family or friends who have been to therapy for a similar situation as yours.
2)Provide information to your health plan about what you are looking for in a therapist: if you will be using your health insurance, let them know you are seeking a therapist who, for example, integrates faith into their sessions or a therapist who is bilingual.
3)Research providers on directories tailored to specific populations: If you are specifically seeking a Catholic therapist you can go to www.catholictherapists.com or if you are looking for a Latinx therapist, you can go to www.latinxtherapy.com. If you look under www.psychologytoday.com, you can also filter your search.
4)Contact at least 3 therapists and interview them: most therapist offer a free 15 minute initial consultation. Book the consultation and ask them questions such as
- How do you integrate faith/religion into therapy?
- What are your areas of expertise? (Some therapists have specific areas of expertise, trauma, postpartum depression, anxiety, attachment, grief/loss)
- What specific populations do you serve? (Some therapists specialize in helping specific populations, divorcee, single parents, women, men, children, elderly, first generation)
- How do you incorporate my cultural identity or family dynamics into treatment?
- What therapeutic models do you use?
- What experience do you have treating individuals with (state why you are seeking therapy)?
5) Be open to share the traditions, values, and beliefs that are of important to you: therapists are always looking to learn about their clients; what is important to them and what makes them special and unique.
Should you ever find yourself in a crisis, please call or text the national crisis/suicide hotline at 988 or call your local police department at 911.
Mireya Torres is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker practicing in the state of California. Mireya is the founder of Healing in Faith Therapy. She offers telehealth Catholic based mental health therapy to women who are ready to reclaim their self-worth, discover their purpose and fully realize the amazing gifts they have to offer. If you wish to contact Mireya, please do so at 760 998-9095 or firstname.lastname@example.org