Are you thinking of starting therapy for the first time? Or perhaps you’ve taken a break from therapy and are thinking it’s time to return? Or you’re just curious about what it is and if it could work for you. No matter where you are in your journey, we’re glad you’re here.
You don’t need a “good enough” reason or to live in fear of judgment, therapy is simply intended to meet you where you are at in this moment – with kindness and curiosity in an effort to get to know yourself deeper. And truthfully, you may be surprised by what you find. Before going further, I do want to recognize the immense privilege that comes with being able to access and afford therapy. Barriers to therapy are a disheartening reminder of our society’s prioritization of physical health over mental health and underlying stigmas against mental illness.
Slowly, over time this stigma is lessening, yet still we are so much more comfortable with going to a physician to treat a sore knee than we are with going to a therapist to treat a sore mind. You don’t need to suffer in silence. Seeking therapy to work through hard things (and truthfully, just everyday life in general) doesn’t make you “weak” or a “failure” but means you’re strong enough to not just want to “deal with it” but to grow from it, and build up your “toolbox” of mechanisms to help get you there. In short, sometimes therapy is one of the kindest gifts you can give to yourself.
If you’re ready to start or get back into therapy, I offer the following tips and reminders to keep in mind as you start your journey:
- Look online for therapists in your area and ask friends/family for any referrals.
Due to licensing laws, therapists can typically only practice in states they’re licensed in, so before you go searching the globe for a virtual therapist, try looking for providers in your area. The Psychology Today website’s Find Counseling tab allows you to input your zip code and find practices in your area that meet your criteria. It may also be helpful to ask loved ones for a recommendation based on their own experiences. You may be the first of your family or friends to go to therapy – and if that’s the case I’m so proud of you for taking the brave, beautiful first step to end intergenerational trauma and pain.
- Inquire about a consultation, pricing structure and sliding scales
Most practices offer 30 minute – 1 hour free consultations as a time for you to get to know the therapist, ask any questions and determine if you feel it would be a good fit before you commit your time and money. This is also a good opportunity to ask about what, if any, insurance the practice covers, superbills they offer for you to submit to insurance for potential reimbursement and any sliding scale options to decrease the price per session based on your financial need.
- Try a couple of therapists!
Every therapist has different approaches, philosophies and styles – so you’ll need to find one that works for you specifically! Just because you don’t click with a therapist doesn’t make you “wrong” or “broken” it just means that there’s someone else out there better suited to you. Don’t be afraid to try out a couple sessions with different therapists before deciding on one that best fits your needs.
- Be patient
Like most things in life, starting therapy and seeing changes in yourself and how you view the world is a process. It takes time, and certainly doesn’t happen overnight. Therapy involves trust that your therapist understands you and is operating in your best interest and patience and grace for yourself. It’s hard work, no doubt. But it’s the right kind of work. It may take a bit to see, but one day you look back and see all the little things that slotted into place to get you where you landed.
Our practice has a few spaces available and would be honored to support you in your mental health journey – if you’re interested in booking a free consultation, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, therapy is for everyone, yes, even you.
By: Maddy Weingast, Assistant for Wildflower Therapy LLC