How to Find the Right Therapist for Your Mental Health Needs
(BPT) – As mental health becomes a top priority for all of us, finding the right therapist can feel like searching for a perfect match. It’s overwhelming to find someone who shares your values, meets your needs, and with whom you feel comfortable and connected. However, finding a knowledgeable and attentive therapist can significantly impact your mental well-being.
Dr. Shakira Espada-Campos, associate chief of behavioral health at virtual care provider MDLIVE, notes that working with a provider with whom you have a strong and trusting relationship can improve the success of mental health treatment. To help you find the right match, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Determine Your Needs
Understand your needs first when searching for a therapist. Determine whether you need a psychiatrist or a licensed therapist. Research a potential provider’s experience, specialty areas, and availability for appointments.
2. Location Doesn’t Have to Be a Dealbreaker
Virtual care has become an increasingly popular option for mental health services. It provides private and convenient access to quality care in a timely manner, expanding the “dating” pool and making it easier to find a provider that fits your needs, even if they’re in a different location. Building an ongoing relationship with a virtual therapist or psychiatrist is just as meaningful as it would be with an in-person provider.
3. Ask Questions on the First Visit
Ask a ton of questions during your first visit to determine compatibility with your therapist, both on and off paper. Some questions that may help gauge your compatibility include: What is your training and background? Do you have experience with the issues I am facing? How can we work together to achieve my goals? What does a typical session look like?
4. Recognize When It’s Time to Move On
As with any relationship, if you find that sessions aren’t making you feel better generally, you’re not making progress with the goals you established together, or you feel they are not making adequate space for you, it might be time to find a different provider.
5. Breaking Up Isn’t Hard to Do
There are many mental health providers available, so don’t feel pressured to stay with one if it doesn’t feel quite right. MDLIVE’s platform makes it easy to choose from an extensive list of licensed therapists and board-certified psychiatrists, schedule an appointment, and change your provider at any time if it isn’t quite working out. When ending treatment, explain to your provider that you plan to end your treatment with them in your next session, which may also help you reflect on what you might need in a future provider.
Recognizing your wants and priorities in a mental healthcare provider can help make the process of finding the right therapist a bit more seamless. As mental health continues to be a top priority for many, it’s essential to prioritize your well-being and find the right mental health provider to support you.