Venting to friends may help when we’re feeling overwhelmed, but getting support from a therapist can be especially beneficial. Therapists can help you work on setting boundaries, dealing with stress, coping with a loss and establishing a better work-life balance. They’re also there to help you manage your thoughts and mood. However, finding a therapist can take a lot of time for some. 

How to find and choose the right therapist

Finding the right therapist for you can make a big difference, so it’s vital that you take the time to prepare before your search. Below are some tips for finding a therapist who works for you.

Figure out your preferences

Take a moment to think about who you would feel comfortable opening up to. 

  • Do you prefer talking to someone who’s similar in age or gender? 
  • Do you prefer a specific approach to therapy? 
  • Would you like someone who comes from a specific academic or cultural background? 
  • Do they need to accept your insurance? 

Ask yourself these questions before beginning your search. 

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Ask a loved one

A trusted friend or family member may be willing to recommend a therapist they’ve worked with. While they may refer you to someone they know, make sure that they specialize in what you need and are what you’re looking for.  Remember that everyone has different needs, so it’s OK if you don’t connect with a therapist who your friend or family member loves.

“If you connect with somebody, you realize that they’re going to be a great help to you,” said Jody N., a Teladoc Mental Health user. “The two parties have to come together, and it has to work.” 

Check out your benefits 

If you plan to use your insurance, your provider directory is a great place to start. While this can be time-consuming, virtual therapy options like Teladoc often do the heavy lifting for you. Karla R., another Teladoc Mental Health user, states, “I reached out to my health insurance, and they gave me information on Teladoc. I went through the list of providers that was sent to me. I was looking for a specific person who could help with trauma and found my therapist.”

Manage your expectations

It can take some time to find the right therapist for you but remember not to get discouraged. There are a great number of therapists to choose from, so don’t be afraid to meet a couple before committing to one. Your first visit is a great time to learn more about the therapist. Feel free to ask them:

  • How long they’ve been practicing
  • If they have experience working with the challenges you’re facing
  • What treatments do they find effective when working with the challenges you’re hoping to solve

How to prepare for your first therapy visit

Remember that the relationship you have with your therapist can affect your therapy results. It’s OK to look for a new therapist if you don’t feel satisfied with your current one. It’s natural to feel uncomfortable opening up to someone you barely know, and it may take a few visits before you feel at ease. 

Still, if you feel any of the following, you may want to consider meeting with a different therapist:

  • You feel disconnected from your therapist
  • You feel confused or discouraged after every visit
  • You don’t notice any progress or positive changes over time

Find your therapist with Teladoc today

Ready to meet with a licensed therapist or psychiatrist? Teladoc offers online therapy services on your schedule. Talk with experts by phone or video at a time that works best for you. Our therapists can help support you with a wide range of mental health needs like anxiety, stress, depression or when you’re just not feeling like yourself. Learn more about finding a therapist with Teladoc:

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Still wondering if therapy is right for you? Take our short quiz to find out

 

Published on 9/21/22 

APA: https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/patients-and-families/finding-good-therapist# 

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