Imagine talking with a friend who complained of recurrent migraines. You encourage your friend to go to the doctor. Now imagine talking with that same friend who instead complains of anxiety and depression–what do you suggest?
Accessing mental health care is hard. Seeking help is hard—whether due to internal stigma, ambivalence, motivation, and resources. We all experience challenges and need support, validation, and encouragement to make sense of life, and to feel connected. And mental health symptoms are far more common than people realize. Many people experience anxiety, depression, and trauma. Finding a qualified mental health provider who understands you, and whom you trust can be a daunting task.
Here are some tips for finding a provider who works for you.
- Ask around–personal referrals are often the best way to find a therapist.
- Review the provider’s website and profiles.
- Know their qualifications. Are your needs and goals compatible with their knowledge, skills, and abilities?
- Schedule a consultation to gauge the goodness of fit.
- Be vulnerable. Share what’s really going on. The more information you share, the more relief you’ll find.
- Ask about their style. Is their style compatible with yours?
- Set realistic goals. Understand that finding a therapist who is a good fit may take time, and require flexibility and compromise (e.g., location of services, fees, hours).
- If your provider isn’t a good fit for you, ask for a referral to another colleague.