How to Choose a Mental Health Provider
It is important to find a mental health provider who understands your unique needs and problems. If you have never sought out a mental healthcare professional, this can be a daunting task.
Tips to help find the therapist you need
- Figure out what sort of mental health provider you need – Do you need – a therapist, a psychiatrist, a psychiatric nurse, a physician or a professional counselor. It is easier to ask for help when you know where to go to ask for help. How do you pick? If you have health insurance, you will want to pick someone from within your plan. If you are not sure of the type of mental health professional you need, your primary care physician can usually guide you in this decision.
- Ask for referrals – Ask your general physician for recommendations. Ask your friends and family if they have anybody they can refer. Search internet and phonebook listings. You may even contact up local mental health awareness and care organizations. Websites such as Psychology Today offer referral services. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists
- Check their qualifications – Before choosing a therapist, verify that they have the educational and professional qualifications required for the job. Are they experienced in the field or are they fresh out of school? Do they have a specialty area? All of this can have great bearing on how effective your treatment turns out to be.
- Try to understand their approach – All mental health providers have separate approaches that they use to tackle the problems of their patients. One size does not fit all; seek a clinician who will use a personalized approach to address your concerns. Talk to them and find out what their philosophies are and which area is their specialty.
- Find out the length of their sessions and fees – Many talk therapy sessions are an hour long; some psychiatry maintenance visits are 15- 20 minutes long. Verify, prior to your appointment, the session length and what the fees will be. If you have insurance, request confirmation that the practice accepts your plan.
What if the mental health provider you chose turns out to be wrong for you?
Sometimes, we choose a provider who is experienced and well-versed with the treatment plan you require for your mental health only to find that their approach is not working for you. It happens all the time. Do not lose heart! It is okay to change providers if you find your current therapist is not a good fit. In time, you are sure to find a mental health professional you will be able to trust and build a relationship with. It is very important to have a level of comfort with your mental health provider as you will not be able to communicate with them honestly and to your benefit otherwise!
Need more help?
The therapists at Agor Behavioral Health Services are available to help individuals and families cope with mental health issues. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment by calling 630-621-5824.