If you’re thinking about going to therapy in the Chicagoland area, making sure you have the right therapist is incredibly important. You might be wondering “how to find a good therapist near me?” Although researching and vetting as good therapist can be time consuming, it is worth every minute to find a therapist that makes you feel comfortable. Think of it like dating. It takes a lot of work to find “the one”, but it’s so worth the effort. Doing a little more work now and conducting a thorough search can prevent a lot of issues down the road. You don’t want to end up hopping from therapist to therapist in search of someone who can actually help you.
There are a ton of resources out there to help you. Here’s a little information you can use to narrow down your search and find the therapist you’ve been looking for. The process is split into three steps: searching, narrowing down, and vetting.
Searching For The Right Therapist
Online Therapy & Counseling Databases
There are a million and one databases to find a local therapist near you. Online databases can be a great place to start since they cast a wide net. Generally, you’ll just have to plug in your zip code and the website shows you a whole list of options. This is a great way to get your search started. Here are a few of the most commonly used therapy databases:
- Psychology Today
- Psych Central
You don’t have to stick to online resources, either. Generally, health insurance companies will have lists or databases of their own that you can search through. This is especially useful since most of these providers will be covered by your insurance. Finding someone outside your insurance network can sometimes be a good idea, but be aware of the cost. If you have questions about the types of therapy that are covered, you can call a Stenzel clinical specialist and they can guide you in the right direction.
Finally, there’s nothing wrong with using a good old Google search. A quick search for “counseling near me” or “therapists in my area” can bring up all kinds of results, so don’t be afraid to do some searching of your own.
Ask For Recommendations
If you’re hoping to skip all the searching, you can always just ask for recommendations or read reviews online. Go around to your friends and family and see if any of them know any good therapists. If someone you trust has a therapist they like, you can avoid all the hassle of a full search. A recommendation from a patient is also a great way to help you secure an appointment. It’s worth keeping in mind that therapy can be a sensitive subject for some people, however. Try to be thoughtful while asking around, and respect that some people may not want to discuss their therapy experiences.
Besides online databases and insurance companies, you can find resources in other places. If you’re in college, ask the mental health center for your school if they have a list of recommended therapists. Chances are they’ll have a shortlist for you. If you’re an adult, your employer might have a similar list. This is especially helpful if you get your health insurance through your employer, as the names on the list are likely to be covered. Don’t be afraid to ask around in other communities you’re part of either. If you’re religious, your local church, mosque, or other faith organization might be a good place to ask. This can be helpful if you’d like your faith to inform your treatment and you’d prefer someone with knowledge of your religion.
Narrowing Down Your Search
Consider What You’re Looking For
Nobody is expecting you to come into therapy with your own diagnosis. However, it can be a good idea to figure out what you’re hoping to get out of therapy. Not only will this make the process easier, but it can help you find the right therapist too. Different therapists might specialize in different concerns or ailments. If you think you might be depressed, a therapist who specializes in depression might be a good idea. If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, then find someone who specializes in that.
You should also consider the different types of therapy. There are a ton of different methods of treating someone, so you should figure out which one would work best for you. For instance, Stenzel Clinical specializes in therapy such as EMDR therapy, play therapy, online therapy, spiritual direction, and eating disorders. It’s a great idea to also find a therapist that also specializes in your current issues. Here are a few of the most common methods used to treat patients with mental health issues.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: CBT is designed to help you uncover negative thought processes that are affecting your life. Replacing those thoughts or processes with more positive ones is a great way to improve your thinking.
- Interpersonal Therapy: IPT focuses on the relationships in your life and helps treat depression by building positive communication patterns.
- Internal Family Systems Therapy: IFS therapy works to help you identify parts of your subconscious that are negatively affecting your life so you can treat the underlying issues.
Finding Something Affordable
Of course, the cost is always going to be a factor when finding a therapist. Generally, the best option is finding someone covered by your insurance. However, that’s not always possible, and sometimes the best therapist for you is someone who isn’t covered. Try having a price range in mind when you’re starting your search, but keep a very open mind as finding the “right” counselr for you is most importaqnt.
Vetting Your Therapist
Once you’ve found someone you think might be the right therapist for you, the next step is to set up a conversation or interview. Think of it like a first date. This is your chance to get to know a potential therapist a little better. Here are a few questions you might want to ask, recommended by the American Psychological Association:
- How many years have you been practicing?
- How much experience do you have working with people who have this issue?
- What do you consider your area of expertise to be?
- What kind of treatment do you think would be effective for this issue?
How Are You Feeling?
After meeting with a therapist, the last step is to think about how it felt. Ask yourself if you felt heard. Did your therapist listen to you in the way you were hoping they would? Do you feel comfortable being open with this person? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you might want to try finding someone new.
We know that finding a local therapist near you is tough. If you have any queations at all about finding a good counselor or a therapist that specializs in your mental health issues, please give Stenzel Clinical a call for a no pressure conversation.
Stenzel Clinical Services