Making the decision to begin therapy is a brave first step toward a better life. For this treatment to be effective, it is important to choose the right therapist. The best way to do this is to interview various options. Consider starting with this simple set of questions to find the best mental health professional for your needs.
- What is your specialty? Finding a therapist with vast knowledge of your mental illness is important, as they will fully understand what you are going through. They will also be able to offer a highly specialized course of treatment. Be sure to be open about your condition when asking a therapist about their specialty. This will determine whether they are a good fit.
- How would you describe your treatment style? Listen to their response carefully and notice how you are feeling. Does their response make you feel comfortable or anxious? Their treatment style may vary depending on where they received their training, so remember that it’s okay to be selective.
- Do you often recommend medication? Prescribing medication is often the best course of treatment, as 60% of people prone to anxiety showed improvement within six to nine months of taking their first dosage. If they always prescribe medication, or don’t make any prescriptions at all, that could be a red flag. It is usually best to find a therapist who will personalize your treatment.
- Does your office accept my insurance plan? One of the more practical qualifications, it is important that you can afford to see a particular therapist. Ask their reception office if they accept your insurance. If not, it may be best to find another office.
- How will you track my progress? Each psychologist will likely track your progress in some way, but it is important to find a method that makes sense to you. Ask clarifying questions and for specific examples if you do not understand their reasoning. Again, trust your gut and pay attention to how their methodology makes you feel.
Finding the right therapist can be a gift, helping you work through your mental illness one day at a time. This is why it is worth it to be selective. If you need a second opinion, don’t hesitate to bring a friend, partner, or family member along to interview therapists. Remember that this is a brave decision, leading you to a life with controlled depression and anxiety.