Finding the correct fit is an essential part of a positive therapeutic experience.
o Ask questions – be open and honest with the therapist.
o Consider what is important for you.
o People choose to pursue therapy for multiple reasons such as: particular event, recommendation from a provider, or a desire to address something occurring internally.
o It is important to give it more than one session because the first sessions can be uncomfortable, and this does not have to be the nature of the relationship.
o It's ok to try a few sessions with your therapist to decide if they are the right fit for you. It's appropriate to address this with them and switch therapists if needed.
Typically, in an office setting or telebehavioral health, decide what is best for you. The first session is goal setting and information gathering. This is a session where both parties are seeing if they are a good fit for each other. In general, it is up to you to guide the session. This is your time. You are the captain of the ship.
There is a chance that you will feel worse before you feel better throughout the process of therapy. Topics might be difficult to discuss and after one might feel emotionally drained or exhausted. This is normal. However, if the therapist says something triggering or inappropriate, that might be an indication to look for a new provider.
One way to find a therapist is to request referrals through your primary care physician or school counselor. Ask friends/family for any recommendations. Utilize whichever referral source feels right for you. If you have a close relationship with your physician, ask them for input, same goes for friends, family, or school counselors.
You can utilize websites like Psychology Today which is one of the largest and most popular resources for finding a therapist. Their website is easy to use, and you can utilize many filters to find a therapist that fits your needs. Another site is NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness) provides numerous supports including a helpline, peer lead education and support programs, and information for special populations.
You can call your insurance company to get information about your insurance benefits and in network therapist options
Remember, Student Relations and Counseling Services can assist you in finding outpatient providers.
Some considerations can include: age, cultural background, sexual orientation, location, religion. The characteristics of a therapist do not necessarily need to match the characteristics of a client for there to be a positive relationship.
Mental Health Professionals come from various points of training including:
Finances can be a barrier for accessing therapy, but there are several options to make services be lower costs and more accessible. Often people access therapy through private insurance, public insurance such as Medicaid or Medicare, self-pay (out of pocket), or sliding scale (the ability to establish an agreed upon rate with your therapist.) It is important to ask about potential costs prior to scheduling your initial appointment. Please refer our Undersanding Your Health Insurance Page for additional support.