Finding your perfect mental health match isn’t always easy. It takes time, a willingness to open up to a complete stranger, and a commitment to being your most honest, vulnerable self.
The good news? Most mental health professionals offer a free trial so that you don’t have to commit before you’re ready. Because if we’re about to bare our souls, we need to know we’ve clicked with the person on the couch across from us. (Ammirite?) But after a few bad first dates sessions, you start to wonder if it’s worth it.
I mean, until you find the one, the process can feel pretty unrewarding… to say the least.
Remind you of anything? Dating, you say?
Yup. Seeking out the right therapist or counselor shares many similarities with the dating scene. Not only are you reading through profiles, setting up meetings, and sharing your life story again and again (and again!), you’re also awkwardly making up excuses to end things — until you finally find the one you’re ready to start this journey with.
Not to fear! Finding your mental health match doesn’t have to be as daunting as dating, especially with our help.
What type of professional should I see?
Let’s break down the most common types of mental health professionals available to you.
You can start by speaking with your family doctor. They don’t always recommend medications as a first line of treatment and will be able to point you in the right direction based on any symptoms you’ve described or what you hope to achieve.
If you’re looking for a form of talk therapy versus medications, you might consider seeing a psychotherapist, social worker or counselor – talk therapy can also be used in conjunction with medications and might be used as a bridge to help wean off when/if needed. All of these professionals will hold a master’s degree in a relevant field and will have received specialized training. In most cases, however, they cannot diagnose mental illness. Instead, they can help alleviate symptoms or work on changing perspective through various forms of therapy, including art therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), mindfulness-based CBT, and dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)(among others). *for US members, check with your insurance provider to see what services are covered in-network*
If you or your doctor feels you need to supplement your therapy with medication, you may be given a referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist (in some states). Psychiatrists are licensed doctors with psychiatric training, while psychologists typically possess a PhD and focus on evaluating, testing and diagnosis.
Did you know? If you aren’t comfortable meeting face-to-face, or if you simply can’t find the time in your schedule, virtual therapy or text support may be the ideal match for you.
PRO TIP! If you ever need help quickly, you can call a crisis hotline. visit a walk-in clinic or the ER to request a referral ASAP.
What sort of questions should I ask during the trial session?
From discovering their specialities to learning when you might expect to feel better again, these 10 must-ask questions should save you time, money and (possibly) heartache. Finding your mental health match depends on the answers to these questions, so don’t be shy!
What else can I do to make this a less painful process?
- Not sure what you’re getting into? Find out more about how you are feeling, your symptoms, and different types of therapy on the Psychology Today website.
- What do your friends say? If you have a trusted friend or family member who has done counseling, ask them for therapist recommendations and tips on how to make the most of your sessions.
- Have a last minute issue but no time for an in-person appointment? Call and ask if they offer free consultation calls. If they don’t, they may offer video or phone counseling in lieu of a trek across town. Just ask!
- Still feeling lost? Reach out to Health Concierge for more tools and tips on finding your mental health match. We can also direct you to community health centers or other services that provide free counseling, virtual therapy options and so much more!