You have been considering therapy for a while, on and off. It is something that you think could help you, but you just aren’t sure what to expect.
Getting started on a mental health journey is a really big deal and we recognize how important this step is.
Here are 5 things to know before starting therapy:
- You can use sites like Psychology Today and Good Therapy to search for therapists based on their location or specialty. These sites give you the opportunity to filter your search. You can search for a therapist who specializes in addiction, anxiety, or boundaries in your city and state. You can search for a therapist who uses certain techniques such as EMDR or the Gottman Couples method. You can search for therapists who offer virtual therapy for convenience. You can also search according to who takes your insurance or who offers a sliding scale.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before you dive into the research:
What specialty area am I looking for?
Am I looking for a directive therapist or a non-directive therapist?
Do I want the convenience of virtual therapy, or do I want in person therapy?
What do I hope to gain from therapy?
What would I like to work on?
2. I encourage folks to ask potential therapists for a ten-minute phone consultation before scheduling. This gives you an opportunity to ask questions that you may have about therapy and to determine that it’s a good match. A phone consult is essentially hopping on the phone with a therapist for 10 to 15 minutes to ask them questions and get a vibe for their style. Click here to read about questions to ask your potential therapist.
3. The match matters
Research shows that a good therapeutic match is integral to treatment success. When we feel comfortable and we trust someone, we are more likely to get the most out of therapy.
The American Psychological Association did a study on the therapeutic relationship.
“The therapeutic relationship is as powerful, if not more powerful, than the particular treatment method that a therapist is using.” says University of Scranton professor Johm C. Norcross, PhD.
“A good relationship, this research finds, is essential to helping the client connect with, remain in and get the most from therapy” says Simon Fraser, PhD
4. It is important to communicate with your therapist. The relationship is collaborative. Therapy works best when you communicate your goals, what you want to get out of therapy, how your therapist can most help, what is working in therapy, what is not working in therapy. Therapists are not mind readers. They can shift and adjust their techniques or areas of focus in the session based on what you are needing. For instance, you may have decided that you want to do less processing and work more on a skill, such as setting a boundary with someone or learning how to soothe your nervous system. When you communicate those needs, it enhances your therapy experience.
5. Therapy can be whatever you want or need it to be
Some people seek therapy due to a crisis. Others seek therapy to be proactive and to take good care of their mental health. Some seek therapy for support and a place to process life changes, grief, stressors, and relationship issues. It is important that you remember that this is a neutral, safe space for you. You get to decide what you want and need out of this experience.
Below are reasons why people seek therapy:
Chronic health condition
To pursue emotional growth
To explore feelings
To work through an old trauma / grief
To cope with life changes or transitions (college, weddings, family changes)
To cope with your own or a family members addiction
To work on your relationship with yourself or others
To have a safe space to process
To heal from a breakup or divorce
To change patterns in your life
To learn how to set better boundaries
Modern Therapy and Wellness is a therapy practice in Louisiana. We provide in person and virtual sessions to residents of Louisiana. We specialize in anxiety, relationships, couples therapy, addiction, grief, life adjustments and chronic illness. Call us for a free phone consultation 504-452-1483.