Finding a therapist can be a long and difficult process. Everybody learns this the first time they have to do it. Often people will just pick names from lists provided by their insurance company without really doing a lot of research. This saves you a little time upfront but can end up making you bounce from therapist to therapist until you finally settle on one that works for you. Doing a thorough search before you start going to therapy is a bit more of a hassle. Still, it’s well worth the effort and especially if you are looking for local online therapist.
Since you may be looking for an online therapist near Wheaton or the Chicago suburbs, distance isn’t the biggest issue as the options available to you are a lot more open. You can really find someone who fits perfectly with what you’re looking for. Many therapists such as Strenzel Clinical will continue to offer online therapy sessions after the COVID-19 pandemic starts to wind down. That means now is a great time to get started on your search for an online therapist. Here are a few tips you can use to make your search a little less difficult.
Know What You Want Going In
This is the first step you should be considering when you begin your search. Every person is different, and it’s important to know what you’re looking for before you start looking. Think about what you’re hoping to get out of therapy and consider the specific issues you’re hoping to address. Here are a few things you should be considering before you start looking through some lists.
- Know What You Want to Address
Nobody is expecting you to have a diagnosis in mind when you go into your first session. However, it can be helpful to have an idea of the problems you’re hoping to address and a timneline of the events that led to the phone call. If you think you’re depressed, then a therapist who specializes in depression might be the right one for you. If you’re having trouble with your family, then a family therapist might be the way to go. There are also therapists who specialize in helping people deal with major life events like divorce, addiction, or a death in the family. Knowing what you want to work on is a great first step when you’re searching for a therapist. Stenzel clinical has over 40+ therapists to help with any issue. If you need a counselor now, call today.
- Consider the Cost
Different therapists will naturally charge different amounts for therapy, and having a number in mind is a good idea when you start looking. As a general rule, therapy can cost anywhere from $100 to $250 a session, although that can vary. Here at Stenzel Clinical, we charge $160 for the initial session and then $135 after that. Each local therapist near you is different. This is before insurance, of course. Whether or not therapy is covered by your plan is going to be very relevant. You might also decide on a therapist who isn’t covered by your health insurance, so the cost will be especially important in that instance.
- Gender Preferences
You might have a preference for a therapist of a certain gender. That’s perfectly normal, and most websites or therapy networks allow you to narrow your search by gender. Many people feel more comfortable opening up to someone of the same gender or might have a preference for men or women. Think about whether or not the gender of your therapist makes a difference for you and take that into account when searching.
- What Kinds of Sessions Do You Want?
Consider how often you’d like to speak to your therapist, and for how long. The average therapy session runs for about an hour, but that can vary depending on who you see. You should also consider whether you want to use video conference software like Zoom or Skype, or other options like texting or voice only. Online therapy comes with a lot of flexibility, so think about the most ideal set-up for you.
Finding the Right Online Therapist
Once you have a clearer picture of what you’re looking for, then it’s time to actually find some online therapists. There are a few ways to do this, and each comes with its own advantages. Here are a few options you might consider to track down the therapist you’re looking for.
- Ask Your Friends and Family
This is sort of the most traditional way of finding a doctor or therapist, and it’s a great place to start. Try asking the people around you if they have any recommendations. If someone you trust knows of a great therapist in your area, that can save you a ton of time and effort! A recommendation from a patient is also a great way to secure the first appointment with a therapist. This can sometimes be a little tricky otherwise. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that therapy is a sensitive subject for some people. Always try to be thoughtful when asking around.
- Search Therapy Databases
There are a ton of databases out there you can use to narrow down your search. Psychology Today, Psych Central, and GoodTherapy are some of the best ones out there but don’t be afraid to do a little Googling and find some for yourself. Many insurance companies also keep their own databases of therapists in their network, so that can be a great resource as well. If you’re a college student, try asking the mental health center at your school if they have lists of therapists in the area – they almost always do.
Once you’ve found an online therapist you’re interested in, then you can start a vetting process. Think of it like online dating. The first thing you should do is a quick Google search to make sure there aren’t any skeletons out there. Check out your chosen therapist’s website as well to get an idea of how they operate. Many have telehealth and virtual environments already set up. You can also set up a quick call or text conversation before hand to see how things go before scheduling a full appointment. It’s important to have a good long-term relationship with a therapist you feel you can trust, so having a conversation is a great idea. Think about how he or she makes you feel. Does this person feel trustworthy? If it doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to start the whole process over again. Finding the perfect therapist is worth a little extra time and effort.
Please call Stenzel Clinical at 630.588.1201 or visit https://stenzelclinical.com/contact-us/ to schedule an appointment.