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How to select a therapist?

PacificstarPacificstar Registered User regular
My insurance covers a certain number of visits/ sessions, but I have no idea at all how to select a therapist. The insurance webpage gives me almost no information. Also, the potential service providers could be psychologists, therapists, social workers, etc etc. I don't really know what the difference is between the first two, and I don't want to go to the third.

Can anyone give me some insight on how to select a therapist/ where to go for reviews? Any buzzwords I should look for or avoid?

Posts

  • DisruptedCapitalistDisruptedCapitalist rugged, weathered Registered User regular
    Do you have a primary care physician? Check to see if their office is affiliated with a network of doctors and can get you in with one of theirs. At the very least it helps your primary care decide your own treatment that's compatible with whatever the therapists are doing.

  • RayzeRayze Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Well, when my husband and I were looking for a marriage therapist, I used this site (https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/?tr=Hdr_Brand). I typed in my city name, looked for therapists near me, and then looked at their About descriptions. You can sort of tell who you're interested in or not based on what their blurb is and if they have their own personal website, it's good to get a better sense of who they are. Coincidentally, our marriage therapist is a social worker so don't count them out completely.

    When you do select someone, make sure you ask them what methods they employ during a session. My marriage therapist (whom I like) recommended my personal therapist (who is literally steps down the hall). I didn't ask her what type of therapy she employed and for a couple of sessions, I was doing a lot of talking but not getting what I wanted back from her (which in this case, was help in trying to motivate myself to do certain things I was currently having trouble doing). It turns out her method is drawing all the emotions out of clients and using that to incite revelations. For me right now, it's not exactly what I need and though we've talked about it and are adjusting our sessions a little bit, I'm not too confident in the outcome and might need to find someone new.

    Finding the right therapist is hard. Sometimes it's a crap shoot and you won't get lucky your first time around but you'll eventually find someone that clicks.

    Rayze on
    NightDragon
  • PacificstarPacificstar Registered User regular
    I guess my problem is when I read about these "methods" people write on in their bios it all seems like Mumbo jumbo gobbledygook. I don't currently have a primary care physician either

  • MorblitzMorblitz Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    It can be confusing, but a simple google search of their methods will hopefully give you some explanation into what they do, and more importantly, what they use it for. It may help you then see which person (their previous experience in certain areas may also inform you as to how well they will understand your situation) and technique is right for you.

    If possible, I would see a Psychologist over a 'therapist'. This is because a Psychologist is trained to use effective therapeutic techniques based on scientific evidence, whereas you don't have that guarantee with a non-Psychologist therapist.

    Morblitz on
    3DS Pokemon Y Friend Code: 0645 5780 8920
    Please shoot me a PM if you add me so I know to add you back.
    Pacificstar
  • NoquarNoquar Registered User regular
    Don't limit yourself to a psychologist, or just a LMHC, or just a LICSW. They all approach things differently for a reason - because people are different. Getting a good therapist requires work from you as well. You find someone through word of mouth or specializing in an area you are looking to work on - then you meet them and see if they are a fit. It might very well take a few appointments to get a feel for how you and the therapist will work together - and it will take work from you, they can't do the heavy lifting for you.

    PSN & STEAM: Noquar
  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    What are you looking for therapy for?

  • ForceVoidForceVoid Registered User regular
    I don't currently have a primary care physician either

    I would highly recommend getting one and then, after a visit (you should get on a regular physical schedule), ask for recommendations for therapy. Be specific about what you need to address, anxiety, depression, etc.

    They can direct you to a place.

    DisruptedCapitalistNoquar
  • PacificstarPacificstar Registered User regular
    ForceVoid wrote: »
    I don't currently have a primary care physician either

    I would highly recommend getting one and then, after a visit (you should get on a regular physical schedule), ask for recommendations for therapy. Be specific about what you need to address, anxiety, depression, etc.

    They can direct you to a place.

    I have a lot of physicians in my extended family and friends network. im not interested in a GP referral because any GP I get through my insurance will have zero history with me. So I would not be at all confident that they would refer me to someone who would be a good match for me. I'd much rather just select someone myself.

    Unless you all think it's necessary I would rather not talk about why I want some kind of therapy.

    Rayze
  • ForceVoidForceVoid Registered User regular
    Well, can one of your extended family and or friend physicians give you some advice?

  • NoquarNoquar Registered User regular
    ForceVoid wrote: »
    I don't currently have a primary care physician either

    I would highly recommend getting one and then, after a visit (you should get on a regular physical schedule), ask for recommendations for therapy. Be specific about what you need to address, anxiety, depression, etc.

    They can direct you to a place.

    I have a lot of physicians in my extended family and friends network. im not interested in a GP referral because any GP I get through my insurance will have zero history with me. So I would not be at all confident that they would refer me to someone who would be a good match for me. I'd much rather just select someone myself.

    Unless you all think it's necessary I would rather not talk about why I want some kind of therapy.

    You don't need to be specific with us - but even a GP new to you can get a rundown of your history and what your needs are in a confidential environment and make some recommendations that come with a lot of experience and knowledge behind it.

    PSN & STEAM: Noquar
    ForceVoidJulius
  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    ForceVoid wrote: »
    I don't currently have a primary care physician either

    I would highly recommend getting one and then, after a visit (you should get on a regular physical schedule), ask for recommendations for therapy. Be specific about what you need to address, anxiety, depression, etc.

    They can direct you to a place.

    I have a lot of physicians in my extended family and friends network. im not interested in a GP referral because any GP I get through my insurance will have zero history with me. So I would not be at all confident that they would refer me to someone who would be a good match for me. I'd much rather just select someone myself.

    Unless you all think it's necessary I would rather not talk about why I want some kind of therapy.

    My wife is a physician and I have a bunch of friends who are also MDs etc. I would never go to them because it is a conflict of interest and you want someone who isn't biased by knowing you personally. Also an official referral from your GP tends to speeds things up in regards to seeing a specialist or therapist. I see a sports therapist for hip issues for example, if I tried to get in without talking to my GP first I would have been waiting for awhile.

    of course depending on what type of therapist you are looking for wait times could be long or non existant.

    IrukaForceVoidJulius
  • PacificstarPacificstar Registered User regular
    darkmayo wrote: »
    ForceVoid wrote: »
    I don't currently have a primary care physician either

    I would highly recommend getting one and then, after a visit (you should get on a regular physical schedule), ask for recommendations for therapy. Be specific about what you need to address, anxiety, depression, etc.

    They can direct you to a place.

    I have a lot of physicians in my extended family and friends network. im not interested in a GP referral because any GP I get through my insurance will have zero history with me. So I would not be at all confident that they would refer me to someone who would be a good match for me. I'd much rather just select someone myself.

    Unless you all think it's necessary I would rather not talk about why I want some kind of therapy.

    My wife is a physician and I have a bunch of friends who are also MDs etc. I would never go to them because it is a conflict of interest and you want someone who isn't biased by knowing you personally. Also an official referral from your GP tends to speeds things up in regards to seeing a specialist or therapist. I see a sports therapist for hip issues for example, if I tried to get in without talking to my GP first I would have been waiting for awhile.

    of course depending on what type of therapist you are looking for wait times could be long or non existant.

    Look, I'm not interested in debating the value of having a GP or not. I'm not really looking for help with that. I'm also not looking for help with HOW to get in to an appointment. I'm more looking understand how other people have found help. I guess some portion of people were referred by their GP.

    Has anyone else had different experiences?

  • NoquarNoquar Registered User regular
    Several posts above have talked about getting appointments - some by friend referrals, some by GP, some by websites. Those methods just about cover the spectrum.

    It really boils down to making an appointment and seeing how it goes. There is no magic bullet or keyword that is going to make it work for you.

    You really push down the value of a GP in this process - they have access to a huge amount of resources. So - fine, don't do that. You said you have a extended network of physicians? Then go to them. They should be professionals and understand this process and should have some great resources beyond what we can provide.

    And for the love of all don't parse out social workers - LMHC(grad level psych majors), LICSW,MSW's, and Psychologists - all of them are great and they will often refer clients to one another depending on specialties. Social workers make up a LOT of the therapist pool and you will do yourself a disservice by being cutting them out.

    PSN & STEAM: Noquar
    Julius
  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    darkmayo wrote: »
    ForceVoid wrote: »
    I don't currently have a primary care physician either

    I would highly recommend getting one and then, after a visit (you should get on a regular physical schedule), ask for recommendations for therapy. Be specific about what you need to address, anxiety, depression, etc.

    They can direct you to a place.

    I have a lot of physicians in my extended family and friends network. im not interested in a GP referral because any GP I get through my insurance will have zero history with me. So I would not be at all confident that they would refer me to someone who would be a good match for me. I'd much rather just select someone myself.

    Unless you all think it's necessary I would rather not talk about why I want some kind of therapy.

    My wife is a physician and I have a bunch of friends who are also MDs etc. I would never go to them because it is a conflict of interest and you want someone who isn't biased by knowing you personally. Also an official referral from your GP tends to speeds things up in regards to seeing a specialist or therapist. I see a sports therapist for hip issues for example, if I tried to get in without talking to my GP first I would have been waiting for awhile.

    of course depending on what type of therapist you are looking for wait times could be long or non existant.

    Look, I'm not interested in debating the value of having a GP or not. I'm not really looking for help with that. I'm also not looking for help with HOW to get in to an appointment. I'm more looking understand how other people have found help. I guess some portion of people were referred by their GP.

    Has anyone else had different experiences?

    Well at least here my insurance usually doesn't cover it unless I go through a GP, I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case for many. I did get a therapist through a family connection once, but that didn't amount to much.

    You can google reviews of psychologists in your area, but there are a few problems with that.

    Also without telling us why you want therapy or what you want from therapy it's kind of hard to help, because it's a huge and varied field. This is a guide to finding therapy from WebMD. It lists the different professions and tells you what to look out for and such. It's in the anxiety disorder category but applies to any therapy.

    Also, friends and family are only helpful up to a point, as are reviews. Therapy is very personal and what works for one person doesn't work for the next, and you need to find someone who you feel reasonably comfortable with. You are better at knowing what you want than others. Selecting someone yourself isn't a guarantee though, a lot of people meet several therapists before they find one they actually get results with. It's a matter of trying out until you find it.

    Noquar
  • PacificstarPacificstar Registered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    darkmayo wrote: »
    ForceVoid wrote: »
    I don't currently have a primary care physician either

    I would highly recommend getting one and then, after a visit (you should get on a regular physical schedule), ask for recommendations for therapy. Be specific about what you need to address, anxiety, depression, etc.

    They can direct you to a place.

    I have a lot of physicians in my extended family and friends network. im not interested in a GP referral because any GP I get through my insurance will have zero history with me. So I would not be at all confident that they would refer me to someone who would be a good match for me. I'd much rather just select someone myself.

    Unless you all think it's necessary I would rather not talk about why I want some kind of therapy.

    My wife is a physician and I have a bunch of friends who are also MDs etc. I would never go to them because it is a conflict of interest and you want someone who isn't biased by knowing you personally. Also an official referral from your GP tends to speeds things up in regards to seeing a specialist or therapist. I see a sports therapist for hip issues for example, if I tried to get in without talking to my GP first I would have been waiting for awhile.

    of course depending on what type of therapist you are looking for wait times could be long or non existant.

    Look, I'm not interested in debating the value of having a GP or not. I'm not really looking for help with that. I'm also not looking for help with HOW to get in to an appointment. I'm more looking understand how other people have found help. I guess some portion of people were referred by their GP.

    Has anyone else had different experiences?

    Well at least here my insurance usually doesn't cover it unless I go through a GP, I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case for many. I did get a therapist through a family connection once, but that didn't amount to much.

    You can google reviews of psychologists in your area, but there are a few problems with that.

    Also without telling us why you want therapy or what you want from therapy it's kind of hard to help, because it's a huge and varied field. This is a guide to finding therapy from WebMD. It lists the different professions and tells you what to look out for and such. It's in the anxiety disorder category but applies to any therapy.

    Also, friends and family are only helpful up to a point, as are reviews. Therapy is very personal and what works for one person doesn't work for the next, and you need to find someone who you feel reasonably comfortable with. You are better at knowing what you want than others. Selecting someone yourself isn't a guarantee though, a lot of people meet several therapists before they find one they actually get results with. It's a matter of trying out until you find it.

    That's not how my insurance works, I am not in an HMO or otherwise gated by a GP to be seen by other medical care providers.

    My issue is that lately I've been hairtrigger emotional, but only for negative emotions. I get angry much faster than I ever used to, and the ensuing fallout is pretty bad. In retrospect, the anger is justified but the way it comes out is way over the top. I also get sad easily and I am tending to brood over problems much more than I ever have before. I'm also a lot less motivated than usual, and have been procrastinating INSANELY outside of the office.

    Hope that's helpful.

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Honestly - just go somewhere and see if you feel comfortable with someone.
    Good therapists are two things:
    1. Approachable - If you don't have a level of comfort, you will never be honest with them. This is why some people can't see women/men as they naturally won't ever be able to take off one of their veneers.
    2. Dedicated to your improvement - someone who just listens and doesn't provide thoughtful or useful input and progress isn't a help.

    Other things to look at during the search:
    Are you working out? Sometimes you can self-regulate (to a degree) through endorphins etc. and it will help your emotional state.
    How's your mindset? Shoot me a PM if you want, but I recently had to go through a "de-jerking" process myself that's been pretty tough, as it can be hard to break apart your own internalization process and rebuild it with a more positive spin.

    JuliusPacificstar
  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Julius wrote: »
    darkmayo wrote: »
    ForceVoid wrote: »
    I don't currently have a primary care physician either

    I would highly recommend getting one and then, after a visit (you should get on a regular physical schedule), ask for recommendations for therapy. Be specific about what you need to address, anxiety, depression, etc.

    They can direct you to a place.

    I have a lot of physicians in my extended family and friends network. im not interested in a GP referral because any GP I get through my insurance will have zero history with me. So I would not be at all confident that they would refer me to someone who would be a good match for me. I'd much rather just select someone myself.

    Unless you all think it's necessary I would rather not talk about why I want some kind of therapy.

    My wife is a physician and I have a bunch of friends who are also MDs etc. I would never go to them because it is a conflict of interest and you want someone who isn't biased by knowing you personally. Also an official referral from your GP tends to speeds things up in regards to seeing a specialist or therapist. I see a sports therapist for hip issues for example, if I tried to get in without talking to my GP first I would have been waiting for awhile.

    of course depending on what type of therapist you are looking for wait times could be long or non existant.

    Look, I'm not interested in debating the value of having a GP or not. I'm not really looking for help with that. I'm also not looking for help with HOW to get in to an appointment. I'm more looking understand how other people have found help. I guess some portion of people were referred by their GP.

    Has anyone else had different experiences?

    Well at least here my insurance usually doesn't cover it unless I go through a GP, I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case for many. I did get a therapist through a family connection once, but that didn't amount to much.

    You can google reviews of psychologists in your area, but there are a few problems with that.

    Also without telling us why you want therapy or what you want from therapy it's kind of hard to help, because it's a huge and varied field. This is a guide to finding therapy from WebMD. It lists the different professions and tells you what to look out for and such. It's in the anxiety disorder category but applies to any therapy.

    Also, friends and family are only helpful up to a point, as are reviews. Therapy is very personal and what works for one person doesn't work for the next, and you need to find someone who you feel reasonably comfortable with. You are better at knowing what you want than others. Selecting someone yourself isn't a guarantee though, a lot of people meet several therapists before they find one they actually get results with. It's a matter of trying out until you find it.

    That's not how my insurance works, I am not in an HMO or otherwise gated by a GP to be seen by other medical care providers.

    My issue is that lately I've been hairtrigger emotional, but only for negative emotions. I get angry much faster than I ever used to, and the ensuing fallout is pretty bad. In retrospect, the anger is justified but the way it comes out is way over the top. I also get sad easily and I am tending to brood over problems much more than I ever have before. I'm also a lot less motivated than usual, and have been procrastinating INSANELY outside of the office.

    Hope that's helpful.

    I think a psychologist first is your best bet. They use cognitive behavioural therapy where you identify behaviours and thoughts that are hindering you and try to change how you deal with them. It's easy to reinforce your own negative behaviour, and a psychologist can help you find out why and how you're doing it and work with you to combat that behaviour. In addition they can refer you to psychiatrists and such if needed, so they're a handy starting point if you haven't had psychological care.

    Also most psychologists specialize in certain areas, and in your case I suggest looking for one who specializes in anger/depression issues. Edit: And in your age-group, which is useful because there might be certain age-issues they are experienced with.

    Julius on
    ForceVoidPacificstar
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