How to find the best therapist
How to Find a Therapist That's Right for You: 9 Key Tips
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If you’re considering therapy — whether it’s to restore a relationship, recover from a trauma, adjust to a new life phase, or improve your mental health — finding the right therapist is the first hurdle to cross.
Researchers have found that the bond between you and your therapist is likely to have a big impact on your growth. That’s why it’s important to do your research, ask questions, and pay attention to your own responses in your search for the therapist that’s right for you.
Here are some tried-and-true methods for finding a therapist to help you reach your therapeutic goals.
If you plan to pay for therapy through your insurance plan, your first step might be to look through your plan’s provider network.
It’s also a good idea to find out whether your plan limits the number of sessions you can attend each year and whether using an out-of-network therapist will affect your out-of-pocket costs.
Looking for ways to support your mental health and well-being? Try Healthline’s FindCare tool to connect with mental health professionals nearby or virtually so you can get the care you need.
A referral from a friend, colleague, or doctor you trust is another way to find a therapist who might be a good fit for you.
While a referral is a good place to start, it’s important to recognize that you may have different needs and goals with your therapy than the person giving you the recommendation.
So, a good match for one of you might not be as beneficial to the other.
A number of mental health organizations maintain up-to-date, searchable databases of licensed therapists.
Your search could start as simply as typing in your ZIP code to generate a list of counselors in your area. You may also be able to search for specialists, like marriage and family counselors or therapists who focus on drug and alcohol use.
Some of the most commonly used online search tools include:
- American Psychological Association
- American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
- Association of LGBTQ+ Psychiatrists
Your community may also have resources to help you. If you’re a student, your school might provide access to a counseling center.
If you’re employed, your human resources team might offer a list of therapists available through a workplace wellness or employee assistance program.
If you need counseling related to domestic or sexual abuse, you might be able to find group or individual therapy through a local advocacy organization.
If you want your faith to inform your treatment, you might consider reaching out to your church, synagogue, mosque, or other worship center for a list of licensed therapists affiliated with your faith.
If you’re looking for a therapist to help with a specific mental health condition, you might find local therapists through a national association, network, or helpline.
Here are a few examples of organizations that offer search tools to help you find a specialized therapist near you:
- National Eating Disorders Association
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America
- National Center for PTSD
If your job is a source of stress and anxiety, you might find local therapists through a professional organization.
Many of these organizations and trade unions have resources to help you identify professionals who can assist with mental health needs. For example, the International Association of Firefighters offers help with mental health, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance use.Resources for People of Color
Access to culture-conscious therapists is important for your well-being. Here are some resources to consider when looking for a therapist:
- The Yellow Couch Collective, an online support group for Black women
- Therapy for Black Girls
- Black Mental Health Alliance
- The National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association, a nonprofit dedicated to the mental health and well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.
- WeRNative, which provides Native American youth with tools for holistic health and growth, including mental health resources.
- Therapy for Latinx
What do you want to accomplish in therapy? Studies have found that when you and your therapist both work together toward the same goals, your outlook will be better.
If you think some type of medication may help with your symptoms, you’ll want to find a psychiatrist or practitioner who can prescribe medications.
If you’ve heard that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy have been effective for others with your condition, you’ll want to look for a therapist with certifications or specialized training in those treatment approaches.
If you want to be part of a supportive network of people who understand your experiences, you may want to consider looking for a therapist who’s involved with support groups or group therapy sessions.
Your goals may change as you work with a therapist. It’s OK to talk with your therapist about changing the direction of your treatment plan as your needs evolve.
Talkspace and Betterhelp both offer tools to help you explore the kind of therapy you want. They can also match you with a licensed, accredited therapist you can work with online or via phone.
Some people find a digital therapy platform to be more convenient and more affordable than in-person therapy. Weekly sessions range from $35 to $80 for online therapy.
At least one study found that people with depression felt that their symptoms improved after online sessions. It’s worth noting, however, that two of the researchers involved with this study were consultants or employees of the digital therapy provider used.
When you meet your therapist, whether it’s online, on the phone, or in person, it’s not uncommon to completely forget every question you wanted to ask.
To make sure you have the information you need to make a good decision, keep paper and a pen, or a notes app, handy for a few days before your meeting. Jot down questions as they come to you.
The American Psychological Association suggests a few questions for you to consider asking your therapist during your first session:
- Are you a licensed psychologist in this state?
- How many years have you been in practice?
- How much experience do you have working with people who are dealing with [the issue you’d like to resolve]?
- What do you consider to be your specialty or area of expertise?
- What kinds of treatments have you found effective in resolving [the issue you’d like to resolve]?
- What insurance do you accept?
- Will I need to pay you directly and then seek reimbursement from my insurance company, or do you bill the insurance company?
- Are you part of my insurance network?
- Do you accept Medicare or Medicaid?
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America adds questions like these:
- If I need medication, can you prescribe it or recommend someone who does?
- Do you provide access to telehealth services?
- How soon can I expect to start feeling better?
- What do we do if our treatment plan isn’t working?
Note: If you’ve ever been abused by someone in authority or affected by historic trauma or racism, you may want to ask questions that help you find out whether a potential therapist is culturally informed and sensitive to your experiences.
Pay attention to red flags
Regardless of whether you see a therapist in-person or virtually for the first time, you’ll want to pay attention to any factors that make you feel uncomfortable. Therapy is meant to be a welcoming and accepting space for any and all feelings that come up.
Some red flags to potentially look out for include:
- Does the room make you feel physically uncomfortable? Does it feel private and secure?
- Are you experiencing overwhelming feelings of anxiety or panic? Some anxiety or nervousness is understandable, but you’ll want to communicate to your therapist if you’re experiencing symptoms of an anxiety or panic attack.
- Do you feel comfortable telling your therapist anything? Are they making you feel judged or uneasy in any way?
- Is your therapist completely present with you throughout your session?
No matter how many professional accreditations your therapist has, your own feelings of trust and comfort should be your top priority. Will therapy be uncomfortable from time to time? Possibly. After all, you’ll likely be discussing difficult, personal topics.
But if you feel uncomfortable with your therapist for any other reason, it’s all right to look for someone else.
You don’t need a reason to switch therapists. It’s enough that you don’t feel comfortable.
Here are a few things to notice as you talk with your therapist:
- Does the therapist interrupt you, or do they listen carefully to what you’re saying?
- Does the therapist respect your time by being prompt to appointments?
- Does the therapist brush off or invalidate your concerns?
- Do you feel seen, heard, and respected during your session?
Teletherapy, which is therapy done remotely over the phone or via videoconferencing, makes it easy to explore therapy and its options. It’s convenient, and studies have shown that therapy conducted over video chat can be just as effective as in-person therapy.
Here are some options.
This option has over 12,000 licensed professionals in its network, including psychologists, clinical social workers, and marriage and family therapists. BetterHelp therapists can help people with anxiety, depression, addiction, grief, and other issues.
Read our full review of BetterHelp here.
Get 20% off your first month
Get started with BetterHelp
With over 3,000 licensed therapists, Talkspace offers options for people with a wide range of needs, from depression to PTSD. They offer counseling for individuals, couples, and teens.
Read our full review of Talkspace here.
Get $100 off using code SPACE
Get started with Talkspace
If you’re looking for physical and psychological health services, with doctor or therapist visits available 24/7, Amwell is a great user-friendly platform. Couple and individual therapy sessions are available for trauma, depression, life transitions, and more.
Read our full review of Amwell here.
Get started with Amwell
This is a great resource for teens ages 13 to 19 and caregivers. The therapists in Teen Counseling specialize in issues affecting teens, such as stress and eating disorders. The platform offers live chats, phone calls, videoconferencing, and messaging with licensed therapists.
Read our full review of Teen Counseling here.
Get started with Teen CounselingPride Counseling
This option offers safe and supportive mental health services for LGBTQ+ people. Pride Counseling matches you with a counselor who fits your therapy objectives and needs.
Read our full review of Pride Counseling here.
Get started with Pride Counseling
|What it’s best for
|Cost ranges from $60 to $90 a week depending on your plan and how often you see your therapist. You’ll be billed monthly.
|– You can talk to your therapist via text, live chat, phone call, and video
– It’s easy to change therapists
– There’s financial aid available
|Quick and easy access to licensed professionals
|$276 to $396 per month depending on which plan you choose.
|Some insurance plans may cover Talkspace costs
|– No contracts, so you can cancel at any time
– Couples therapy and psychiatry services are also available
|Comprehensive mental health care
|Therapy visits start at $99 per session.
|Accepted by some insurance networks
|– Appointments are available 24/7
– You can choose your therapist
|Low cost counseling
|Ranges from $60 to $90 per week.
|– Messages remain private with some exceptions
– A great option for teens who are hesitant about beginning counseling
|Teenagers who are interested in starting counseling
|$60 to $90 per week.
|– All counselors have a minimum of 3 years and 1,000 hours of experience providing therapy
– You can switch therapists at any point
|Members of the LGBTQIA+ community
In the event that you meet with a therapist for the first time and decide that they’re not a good match for you, know that that’s completely fine. It’s totally normal and happens to many people who are looking for the right therapist for them. It can take some time to find someone that you feel completely comfortable with.
At the end of your first session, your therapist may want to schedule another appointment. If you know that you do not want to meet with them again, you can let them know that while you appreciate their time, you don’t think that it’s a good match at this time.
If you feel uncomfortable communicating this to them face-to-face, you can also text, call, or even email them to let them know you’re no longer interested in seeing them.
Regardless of how you choose to tell them, it’s important that you do inform them, instead of not showing up to your next appointment without an explanation. Many therapists have cancellation policies, so make sure you cancel at least 24 hours before your appointment to avoid a fee.
Therapists and psychiatrists aim to treat mental health conditions and improve emotional well-being. But there are key differences between the two professions.
Therapists are licensed mental health professionals, including psychologists, social workers, and counselors. They aim to help people manage their emotions, build healthier relationships, and understand themselves better.
Therapists use talk therapy and behavior modification techniques to help people make positive life changes. During therapy, they can assess, diagnose, and treat mental health conditions.
Therapy typically suits people who want to learn more about themselves and make long-lasting changes in their lives. It may also help people with mild mental health conditions.
Most therapists have a master’s degree and may have a doctorate. All licensed therapists have to have at least a master’s degree.
Generally, therapists can’t prescribe medications. But in some states, psychologists with specialist pharmacology training can prescribe certain medications.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions. Because they hold medical degrees, psychiatrists can prescribe medication.
Psychiatrists use a combination of talk therapy and medication to treat mental health conditions. A psychiatrist may be the better option for people who experience more severe symptoms and who need medication to help treat them.
How much does therapy cost?
The cost of therapy can depend on the type of therapy, the therapist’s experience, and whether you’re talking with a therapist in person or through teletherapy.
Therapists may charge between $100 and $200 per session for in-person appointments. But in bigger cities, therapy can cost more. Some therapists may offer sliding scale rates. If you have insurance, you may pay a portion of the fee depending on your coverage.
Teletherapy is generally less costly. The price per session starts at around $50. Some platforms offer unlimited therapy with a weekly or monthly subscription.
What types of therapy are there?
There are many different types of therapy, and the type you choose will depend on your needs and preferences. Some common types include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT helps you identify and change negative thinking patterns and behaviors.
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT): DBT combines elements of CBT with structured skill-building in mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.
- Psychodynamic therapy: This type of therapy focuses on your unconscious thoughts and emotions.
- Interpersonal therapy: The focus of interpersonal therapy is on your relationships with other people.
- Family therapy: This type of therapy helps families resolve conflict and improve communication.
- Group therapy: In this type of therapy, you meet with a group of people who share similar experiences.
- Art therapy: This type of therapy uses art to express emotions and help process trauma.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy: EMDR is an interactive form of psychotherapy used to relieve psychological and trauma-based stress.
What are the benefits of therapy?
Therapy has several benefits, including improving mental health, resolving personal issues, and increasing self-awareness. Therapy can also help people learn new coping skills and manage stress.
Some people see therapy as a way to prevent mental health issues or as a way to address underlying causes of mental health conditions. Others use therapy to work through traumas or difficult life events.
Therapy is an effective treatment for many mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and eating disorders.
Whether you’re coping with grief, trauma, or relationship issues, or want treatment for a mental health condition, finding a helpful therapist can make a big difference in your journey.
To find a therapist who’s a good fit, start by considering practical matters like licensure, insurance coverage, location, and specialties.
You may find that friends, colleagues, and healthcare professionals are a good source of referrals. You may also find options by using search tools provided by organizations that address your specific concerns.
When you’ve narrowed down your choices, you may find it helpful to think about your goals and questions. This way you can be sure you and your therapist are well matched and aligned on your treatment plan.
Ultimately, finding the right therapist is a personal matter. Human connection is at the heart of effective therapy, and you can build that sense of connection whether you talk with your therapist in person, on the phone, or online.
10 Tips and What to Avoid
If you’re interested in therapy, finding a therapist that’s right for you is an important first step.
For many people, finding a good therapist can be challenging. There may not be many options in your area, or you might feel like you’re not connecting with therapists you meet.
However, a good therapist can help you develop skills and confidence to deal with mental health matters for the rest of your life — so finding someone who’s right for you is worth the effort.
Psychotherapy can be a great tool for improving your mental health. Learning how to pick a good therapist can help you get started with treatment that could help you for life.
Therapy can have very different costs, depending on where you get it.
Some therapy is available for free. Online therapy can be a relatively lower-cost option. Other therapists can have a higher cost.
Before you start booking appointments with individual therapists, ask your insurance provider what they cover, and decide how much you’d be willing to pay for therapy per month. Knowing this amount will help you prioritize therapists that work for your budget.
Need some more information?
- What to Do When You Can’t Afford Therapy
- How to Know If Your Insurance Covers Therapy (in the United States)
- The Best Free Online Therapy Options
A medical doctor can be a helpful resource when you’re looking for a therapist, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).
Your doctor can connect you with someone who’s able to help you address your specific concerns. They can also help you find someone who accepts your insurance plan, if you have one.
Referrals are a great way to find a therapist.
If you’re comfortable, ask your friends and family if they can recommend one. Your loved ones might give you better insights about a good therapist versus only searching online.
It’s worth mentioning that even if a therapist works with your loved one, they may not be the best fit for you. The right therapist still depends on your personal needs and therapy goals.
Other people or organizations in your network may have helpful suggestions, too:
- Your school. If you go to college or university, your school’s student health department or psychology department will likely be well-connected with a network of qualified therapists.
- Your insurance company. Your insurance provider will have connections with (and usually a list of) psychotherapists they work with, whose services they cover.
- Other professionals you know. These people may also be good resources in your search, even if they don’t work in the healthcare field. Consider asking doctors, lawyers, and other professionals you already know and trust if they can recommend someone from their trusted professional network.
- Your place of worship. If you’re part of a religious community, people there may be able to offer recommendations.
As you’re assessing your potential therapist, it’s important to check their credentials to make sure they’re qualified.
According to the APA, a potential therapist should be licensed to practice in the state or area where they’re located.
Therapists might also have credentials for a specific type of therapy they practice, like exposure therapy.
However, remember that a therapist’s title may not matter as long as they’re qualified in the type of therapy you’re interested in receiving. You might consider getting therapy from counselors, social workers, psychologists, or psychotherapists, for example.
While all therapists are trained in compassion and understanding, having a therapist who is part of your community, or who has experience working with people from your community, can make a difference.
Many folks find it easier to open up with people who “get” their experiences, especially people from oppressed or marginalized groups.
For example, if you’re part of the LGBTQIA+ community, you might find it easier to open up with an LGBTQIA+ therapist, or a therapist who states up-front that they’re LGBTQIA+ friendly.
Here are a few factors you might consider:
- gender identity
- racial or cultural background, such as a therapist who is themselves or explicitly welcomes clients who are from Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) communities
- specialization in LGBTQIA+ issues
- religious affiliations
You can check out this article on how it can make a difference for some people.
Ultimately, finding a good fit comes down to your relationship with the particular therapist. Consider keeping an open mind and making decisions based on the person, rather than relying on assumptions about their background.
The most important thing is to think about who you feel most comfortable working with.
Figuring out what you want from therapy can help you find the right therapist.
If you’re interested in therapy to address a particular issue, that might help narrow your options. Here are a few things you might want to focus on:
- dealing with stress
- trauma you experienced
- interpersonal relationships
- a mental health condition you have or think you might have
- an emotional issue in your life you would like help with
Once you know what you want from therapy, communicate your goals up front to whomever you work with.
Keep in mind that some issues, like relationships and stress, may not require your therapist to have as much specialized training, whereas specific health conditions like depression may benefit from it.
If you aren’t sure what to focus on, but you know you want to talk with someone, that’s OK. A good therapist will help you identify goals and work toward them with therapy.
Over time, they’ll help you gain skills and confidence to deal with emotional challenges and cope on your own.
You can read more about what to expect in your first therapy session here.
Consider asking a potential therapist questions about their credentials and experience. Getting information can help you figure out if this therapist is right for you.
Here are some questions you can ask:
- What are your areas of expertise?
- What kind of therapy do you practice?
- Do you have experience working with people in similar situations?
- Tell me more about your approach.
- How many years have you been practicing as a therapist?
The APA also suggests inquiring about a therapist’s fees and whether they accept insurance.
Finding a match can take some trial and error. Trying out several therapists is a normal part of the process for many people.
However, once you have a therapist you click with, that working relationship can be incredibly beneficial for you over the long term.
In other words, it’s often a long journey to find the right therapist, but it’s worth holding out for.
For many people, online therapy can be a great, accessible resource. Online therapy can be especially helpful if there aren’t therapists in your area.
You can access online therapy via several different apps.
With online therapy, it’s still important to find a therapist who’s licensed and specialized to meet your needs. Make sure to choose an app that only provides licensed therapists.
Some online therapy apps allow you to easily leave a therapist you’re not happy with and will match you with a new therapist quickly.
This is a major plus because it can allow you to quickly and easily try out as many people as you need to find the right fit.
There are many online resources to help you find the right therapist. The databases listed below are from reputable mental health resources. They include trained, accredited professionals who can help you.
- American Psychiatric Association’s Find a Psychiatrist tool
- American Psychological Association’s Find a Psychologist tool
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helplines and Support Tools
- National Institute of Mental Health’s Helpline Directory
- Therapy in Color — helps connect people of color with therapists
- Therapy for Black Girls — a resource guide for Black women looking for therapy
- The National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association — resources for Asian American and Pacific Islander people looking for mental health help
- Therapy for Latinx — helping Latinx people connect with a therapist
- Psych Central also offers a Find Help tool
Here are a few warning signs that a therapist may not be right for you:
Therapists who “specialize” in everything
With therapy, you will have specific needs and things you want to work on.
A good therapist should have specialized expertise so they can address these needs well. As the expression goes, a jack-of-all-trades is a master of none.
Therapists who say they can “cure” you
No matter the issue or mental health condition, therapy is not a quick fix. Therapy can be challenging and your progress can sometimes be slow and nonlinear.
Therapy is often more about managing a mental health condition or symptoms than finding a “cure.”
For this reason, a therapist who claims they can “cure” you is probably overpromising, and they may have unrealistic ideas of what their therapeutic services can do for you.
Therapists with inappropriate boundaries
A therapist is a mental health professional, and that’s just how they should behave — professionally.
While therapy can be “comforting,” a therapist should have boundaries in place that keep the relationship professional.
For example, they should not try and be your best friend. It’s also inappropriate for a therapist to try and meet you in informal places outside of the office.
You don’t feel good around them
You should feel respected and understood with a good therapist. They should be very good at listening and should never judge or bring their personal opinions into the conversation.
A good therapist may challenge you to confront truths and process difficult emotions, but you should always feel comfortable and supported.
If you have a bad “gut feeling” about someone and you don’t feel comfortable around them, that’s reason enough to stop seeing them and try someone else.
Finding the right therapist for you can take some time, but it’s worth the effort.
You may meet therapists who aren’t the right match for your needs. While these experiences can be discouraging, don’t give up.
Therapy can be an important investment in your mental health. Finding the right therapist will benefit you immeasurably for life.
How to find a good psychotherapist, when and who needs his help
When a bright thought “isn’t it time to go to a psychotherapist” visits us, we are faced with two main problems: we know little about how to choose a specialist in this area, and at the same time it is not customary to discuss mental problems and their treatment in Russia. We are already in doubt whether there really is some kind of ailment or is it all far-fetched, but we still need to start talking about it with friends or calling doctors. Difficulties and frightening uncertainty quickly become strong arguments in favor of "kill and wait what happens." We will not lie that choosing a psychotherapist is a quick and easy process, but we will help make it less scary and confusing. nine0003
Psychologist, psychiatrist and psychotherapist - what's the difference?
Psychologist is not considered a doctor. He does not diagnose or prescribe medications. A psychologist will help you understand yourself: better understand your own desires and character, set goals and prioritize, identify what worries or annoys you, and simply make life better, easier and more enjoyable. Mentally healthy people who are temporarily in a difficult situation or are experiencing some kind of crisis get to such specialists. nine0003
Psychotherapist is a doctor with a specialization in psychiatry and a certificate in psychotherapy that a regular psychologist cannot obtain. You need to go to this specialist if you notice that your health has worsened and your behavior has changed. For example, you become angry more often or get tired more quickly, sleep poorly or cannot eat at all. You also need to go to a psychotherapist if a serious shock has happened in your life that you cannot cope with - the death or illness of a loved one, you have severely parted with a friend or partner, have become a victim of some kind of accident. Such situations, as a rule, seriously affect the psyche and health, so it is very important to stop the consequences. A psychotherapist can use psychological methods (just talk to you, give you various exercises, ask you to keep a diary of dreams and states) and prescribe medicines if you cannot cope with a problem without medication. nine0003
Psychiatrist is a doctor who deals with mental disorders and pathologies. His patients suffer from serious illnesses that can only be dealt with through long medication and therapy, and possibly even hospitalization. You are unlikely to get immediately to a psychiatrist, usually a psychotherapist refers him to him, believing that the patient has a more serious problem than he thought. If you think that you are experiencing psychosis, schizophrenia, epilepsy, or a powerful phobia, you can go to a psychiatrist. In case of suicidal thoughts, you can contact both him and a psychotherapist. After a suicide attempt, patients are sent, as a rule, only to psychiatrists. nine0003
When is a psychotherapist needed?
You feel like you're not okay, but you don't see the situation as a stalemate. If you suspect that you are experiencing depression, bipolar disorder, burnout, apathy, or bulimia, for example, then go to a therapist.
How to find a good doctor?
Globally - by trial and error. You will not find a universal description of a good psychotherapist, because the degree of your comfort and trust in the doctor depends primarily on your character, life experience and habits. nine0003
7 tips for choosing a psychotherapist
Do not listen to your friends
It is believed that you should start your search for a psychotherapist with the recommendations of friends. Ask who went to which doctor and how much he helped to cope with the problem. In fact, this is not the best idea, because the therapist does not have to work with several people he knows. If your friend has already told the doctor something about you, this may affect the doctor's attitude towards your problems (it works the same way vice versa). nine0003
Choose proven clinics
But you can listen to your friends when choosing a clinic. If they were satisfied with one doctor, most likely there are other good specialists in the institution. Explore the clinic's website, read reviews, check how long the hospital has been operating. Keep in mind that almost all private institutions guarantee anonymity, unlike public ones.
Pay attention to education and profession
When you choose a doctor on the clinic's website or call a candidate for your psychotherapist, pay attention to his education. The doctor must have a certificate in psychotherapy and a diploma in the specialty "psychiatry" (at least one). Having a degree and title is also a great sign of experience. Psychotherapists often participate in conferences and symposiums (they always mention this everywhere and hang diplomas), write books and scientific articles. You can find all this information about the doctor on the Internet. And be sure to ask how long the specialist has been practicing and therapy in order to know for sure that he not only writes books, but also works with clients. nine0003
Run if you are prescribed pills right away
Yes, the therapist can prescribe pills, but should not do so at the first meeting. Most antidepressants, neuroleptics and psycholeptics are very strong drugs that can even make you feel worse for a while (almost all drugs have a cumulative effect and a lot of side effects and can be addictive). Mental illness, unlike influenza, tonsillitis, and even venereal disease, cannot be recognized on examination and on the basis of test results. You need to attend several sessions so that the therapist understands exactly what problem you are facing and how serious treatment you need. From the very first minutes, even the most experienced doctor will not be able to accurately determine the ideal antidepressant and dosage for you. nine0003
Take a closer look at the office
The setting and atmosphere is very important. You don't want to be frank in a gray and white office with metal furniture and thick layers of dust. You should feel comfortable during the session. That is why many psychotherapists come to clients at home or host, and not in the clinic. Some doctors suggest talking face to face - then you should be comfortable sitting in a chair. Other therapists suggest lying down on an ottoman or sofa and avoiding eye contact if it is confusing. Then, of course, you should be comfortable and pleasant to lie with a stranger (not everyone is capable of this). nine0003
Don't quit after the first session
If you haven't been jammed with powerful doses of antidepressants and neuroleptics right from the door, do not rush to quit the doctor immediately after the first session. Several meetings, in order to accurately diagnose, are needed not only for him, but also for you. Of course, at first it is difficult to relax and trust the therapist. Both you and he carefully probe the ground and look for the boundaries of trust. To see if the doctor is right for you or if you need to go looking for another specialist, give each other at least one more chance. Moreover, this way you can more accurately understand what exactly you did not like. nine0003
Stay away from the doctor
The therapist should suit you: you feel comfortable and at ease with him, you can trust him, he does not cause you rejection or other negative emotions. But in no case should he be your friend. And even more so, you can’t start an affair or an affair with a doctor. If the therapist allows himself excessive attempts to get close in any sense of the word, immediately stop therapy, otherwise you will have to treat it three times harder later.
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where to look for a specialist, how much does an appointment cost, how to understand that you have a professional in front of you
This text was written by a reader in the T—Zh Community. Carefully edited and formatted according to editorial standards.
wants to stabilize his condition
In 2017, I apparently had a depressive episode.
Nobody diagnosed me, because I didn't realize that I needed to go to a specialist, but the symptoms were quite typical. Skin problems, lack of appetite, insomnia, fatigue, increased tearfulness, irritability - everything would be fine, but at one moment I caught myself thinking that I had been lying in bed for a week and literally staring at the ceiling. I interrupted only a couple of times a day for trips to the restroom and snacks. But I had to persuade myself for a very long time to get up and start doing at least something. nine0003
When I felt better, I went to the gynecologist, as these symptoms occur not only with depression, but also with hormonal failure. And so it turned out: one of the active androgens was increased by almost four times. I was prescribed hormonal contraceptives and released in peace. As a result, the condition really improved, or at least it began to worry me less. But when I re-passed the tests, the hormone level was still high, although there were no previous symptoms.
At some point, I calmed down and decided that I had coped with my illness. But after another stressful period that the pandemic provoked, I realized that it was not only about hormones. Despite the stability that COC seemed to give me when things got too tense, so did I. Over time, I began to notice that the truth is that I do not always behave adequately: I had outbreaks of aggression or, on the contrary, some trifle brought me to tears. nine0003
In general, I felt very unstable.
At first I went to a psychotherapist and even began to notice a little progress. But thoughts began to torment me that I still had some kind of disorder, and the psychologist would not make a diagnosis, since this was not in his competence.