Articles about mental health and being an educated, savvy mental health care consumer!
Finding a Therapist: How to Be an Informed Consumer for Mental Health Care
by Colleen Crary, M.A.
A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body, but we often forget that emotional and psychological problems seem “invisible” to others, and are often ignored. When it comes to a condition like post trauma (PTSD), the same guidelines apply for finding a good therapist as in any other psychological condition such as depression, OCD, ADHD, etc.
First, it is important to understand that “one size fits all” is not a great approach to therapy, just like in physical conditions. Would you seek treatment from a cardiologist for a broken leg? Of course not. Depending on your healthcare insurance (or absence thereof) start with a primary care physician, then get a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist.
To save money, ask if you can have a free initial interview with the therapist to ask questions and evaluate if this therapist is someone you can work with. What is your initial impression of this person? Trust your gut feeling. Are they actively listening to you? Or do they seem distracted. Do they look closely at you as you speak to evaluate your body language and facial expressions? Or are they busy taking notes or checking their phone? Can they prescribe medication, or will you have to rack up more co-pay or out-of-pocket expenses seeing additional clinicians?
Finding an effective therapist and being a savvy mental healthcare consumer for other conditions require the same rules.
You are the author of YOUR health, mental and physical, so be an educated consumer to find the right help for YOU!