Yes, there probably is a couch. But, no, you don’t have to lie down on it. But you do have to take care of yourself. You need to talk to someone before you explode! So how do you actually do this therapy thing?
1. If you’re comfortable enough to talk about it, ask your primary-care physician, friends, or family if there is a therapist they recommend. You'll be surprised how many people are seeing a therapist once you start asking around.
2. Call your insurance company or poke around online to find a therapist in your area. You can sort your search and decide whether you are more comfortable with a male or female, how far you are willing to drive, or about other factors you feel are important.
3. Call your insurance company and/or check with it online to confirm what doctors are considered "in-network" for your insurance company. You can definitely see a therapist who is not in your carrier’s network. It may cost more ... but it may not. More on this another week.
4. Once you have a list of therapists who fit your criteria, start researching each one. Look for his or her website, or for information on PsychologyToday.com. You may also find some reviews or articles online. Try to get the list down to your top three to five choices.
5. Call each person's office, in order of preference, to confirm if they are taking new clients. If so, schedule an appointment!
The first person you see may not be the one, and that's okay. It is really important to find the right person whom you can trust, and understand. If the first person isn't a perfect fit, go back to your list and try again.
The Well-Being Project will be dedicating our Thursday blog posts to the topic of finding, keeping, and communicating with a therapist. Because we truly believe a good therapist might just change your life, or at least your outlook!