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Some Therapy related questions; specifically getting one

never dienever die Registered User regular
I kind of don't feel like, at the moment, getting into why I need a therapist other than to say it is anxiety and depression related, but I've started searching for one the last couple of days and have some questions I'm hoping people might have some insight on:

1. How long does it normally take to be able to have your first visit with a therapist (United States, Mid-West if this is needed)? One of my closest friends recommended the place she goes to, but I called them to set an initial assessment (they apparently, unless you know for sure who you want to see in their specialty group, do an assessment with you to help you identify the issues and people that could work for you) and was told that July was the earliest they could see me (and August could be a possibility as well). Partially this was apparently insurance related, but it was also apparently they have a waiting list for people to be accepted. They seem to be very well reviewed from what I've seen so I get it. But is this common? They are the only one I've actually reached out to so far.
2. Related to that; and I've read shit tons of articles about it, but seriously, how do you pick out a therapist? Besides the one I got recommended by my friend, my wife kind of recommended her old therapist in the city. Except I remember her, and my wife complained about both the cost and the quality of therapy she got from her, so I'm not really jonesing for that one. Other than that, I've lately just been looking at listings, feeling like I'm doing the weirdest dating app dance.

I'm past the stage of "I need this immediately" so urgent call/chat websites haven't really looked appealing, but maybe I'm missing something with online therapy options?

Posts

  • EnigmedicEnigmedic Registered User regular
    Well i work for oklahoma DHS and make referrals to counseling/therapists all the time. The waitlists can be anywhere from a couple weeks to a few months, so that part sounds pretty normal.

    Ive never searched for therapists myself, but I know if people call DHS here they can usually point you to a few places. Also help lines can usually point you in the right direction. COPES is the big one here as they do crisis intervention. You dont sound like youre at that point but i know the people who work the hotline would love to help someone before they get to that point.

    Also DHS in this case is department of human services. Each state calls it different things but didnt want that confused with the other dhs lol.

    3ds FC: 0645 - 7166 - 9801
    never diezepherinArmoroc
  • never dienever die Registered User regular
    Enigmedic wrote: »
    Well i work for oklahoma DHS and make referrals to counseling/therapists all the time. The waitlists can be anywhere from a couple weeks to a few months, so that part sounds pretty normal.

    Ive never searched for therapists myself, but I know if people call DHS here they can usually point you to a few places. Also help lines can usually point you in the right direction. COPES is the big one here as they do crisis intervention. You dont sound like youre at that point but i know the people who work the hotline would love to help someone before they get to that point.

    Also DHS in this case is department of human services. Each state calls it different things but didnt want that confused with the other dhs lol.

    Thank you.

    And yeah, I'm not there now. I was like three days ago, but I'm past that now.

    I'll look into my State's equivalent, Indiana, and see what I find there as well.

  • 3lwap03lwap0 Registered User regular
    never die wrote: »
    2. Related to that; and I've read shit tons of articles about it, but seriously, how do you pick out a therapist? Besides the one I got recommended by my friend, my wife kind of recommended her old therapist in the city. Except I remember her, and my wife complained about both the cost and the quality of therapy she got from her, so I'm not really jonesing for that one. Other than that, I've lately just been looking at listings, feeling like I'm doing the weirdest dating app dance.

    I'm past the stage of "I need this immediately" so urgent call/chat websites haven't really looked appealing, but maybe I'm missing something with online therapy options?

    As someone who went through some of this not so long ago, I hope I can help you on this one. Finding a therapist you like can be a bit of a challenge, but once you have first appointment with them, think of it as a first date. You're feeling them out - both their observations of you, initial conclusions, and how you generally just jive with them. It can take a couple of visits to know for sure, and that's totally normal. Unfortunately, it's tough to get an initial feel for a therapist prior to actually sitting down with them. After an amount of time, you'll know if you want to continue treatment with them - and if not, it'll be no hard feelings either way. It's important you find a therapist that'll help you deal with what you're going through - and sometimes it's a process at first, but if you think progress is happening, stick with it.

    I think Pringles original intention was to make tennis balls... but on the day the rubber was supposed to show up a truckload of potatoes came. Pringles is a laid-back company, so they just said, "Fuck it, cut em up!".
    ceres
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Also don't be like me and stick with a therapist you can clearly see isn't very useful because you worry you might make them feel bad, since part of the point of therapy for me is getting over stuff like that. :P

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    CelestialBadgerDaenrisZilla360zepherin
  • JusticeJustice Registered User regular
    edited June 19
    You probably can't see a therapist that saw your wife, they may find it a conflict of interest. If you do think about seeing that one, call ahead so you don't waste the co-pay.

    Also, a therapist may or may not be helpful, for the short term or long term. I've usually found it helpful to sort things out for a month or two and then just have diminishing returns. Don't feel bad saying "I think we've taken this as far as we can" and moving on, then picking up another one (or the same one) if things get muddled again.

    Edit: In response to your actual question, I advise asking your psychiatrist. They often keep a list of references. Otherwise, go down your insurance list and just pick someone who seems about the right sex/age/background, because it's really a roll of the dice unless they throw up a flag like "Christian therapy" or "holistic care" or something unusual. I prefer old men because I feel like they viscerally understand certain pressures and goals of masculinity (breadwinner stuff, etc.) that others might not, and I doubt I myself could take life advice from someone in their 20s or 30s very seriously.

    Edit edit: Ask to be put on the cancellation list, if they have one! Then they'll call you if someone else cancels.

    Justice on
  • never dienever die Registered User regular
    Awesome, thank you all!

  • GnizmoGnizmo Registered User regular
    So there are a number of ways. At least here a waiting list of even a couple weeks seems odd, but I am not in the Midwest so maybe it is there. I will say that insurance always complicates matters. Your insurance company should have a list of providers you can choose from. There is also stuff like Psychology Today to see who is in the area. Occasionally you can get someone with a solid sliding scale that works better than insurance for a variety of reasons.

    In terms of what to look for I don't know what to offer. Without previous therapy experience and what works for you being a known there isn't a lot I can say. Try someone out and see if it is working. If it isn't talk to them as they might have a recommendation for someone who can work with you better. Anyone who is worth seeing will have no issues with finding a therapist that is a better fit.

    I can try to give more specific advice if you can give me a better idea of what does or doesn't work for you.

  • never dienever die Registered User regular
    Unfortunately, having never done therapy before, I’m not sure what would or wouldn’t work well for me.

  • GnizmoGnizmo Registered User regular
    I am trying to think how to explain the various models of therapy and I am coming up short to be honest. Whenever I have tried in the past people have just looked at me confused. What I would suggest is you ask the therapists you meet with how they think change happens. If it is an explanation that makes sense to you then it will probably be a really good fit. If it doesn't then it might not. This isn't a guarantee of course, but isn't a bad guideline either.

    NightDragon
  • never dienever die Registered User regular
    Thank you, that is very good advice!

  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    edited June 25
    ceres wrote: »
    Also don't be like me and stick with a therapist you can clearly see isn't very useful because you worry you might make them feel bad, since part of the point of therapy for me is getting over stuff like that. :P

    I can't agree more.

    After my little brother killed himself I saw a therapist and I think it was actively harmful. It was a guy who flat out told me he was just doing his required rotation for another degree and I just assumed it was just part of the therapy or something and a way to force me to open up. But I did 3 40 minute sessions with him and he spent almost the entire time browsing the web or checking email.

    It ended up making me feel like the fact that I wasn't feeling anything and had basically just gone emotionally dead was just how it was supposed to be.

    If you think your therapist isn't helping please look into alternatives.

    HappylilElf on
  • never dienever die Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    Also don't be like me and stick with a therapist you can clearly see isn't very useful because you worry you might make them feel bad, since part of the point of therapy for me is getting over stuff like that. :P

    I can't agree more.

    After my little brother killed himself I saw a therapist and I think it was actively harmful. It was a guy who flat out told me he was just doing his required rotation for another degree and I just assumed it was just part of the therapy or something and a way to force me to open up. But I did 3 40 minute sessions with him and he spent almost the entire time browsing the web or checking email.

    It ended up making me feel like the fact that I wasn't feeling anything and had basically just gone emotionally dead was just how it was supposed to be.

    If you think your therapist isn't helping please look into alternatives.

    will do. And I’m so sorry you went through that!

    IrukazepherinHappylilElfCalicaNightDragonZilla360
  • HeartlashHeartlash Registered User regular
    I needed a therapist badly about 5 years ago and it took me about 4 months and 3 tries to find the right one. I would definitely recommend a simple "how do I feel" test after the first session. My first two tries were very clinical and impersonal. My third try I felt a sort of immediate positivity afterwards and knew it was a good fit.

    I would also consider what type of atmosphere you are comfortable in for this type of experience. My first two attempts were both at larger orgs/facilities that again felt very clinical. The one I went with was a home practice and the area just felt very relaxed by comparison, which was what I needed.

    Good luck!

    My indie mobile gaming studio: Elder Aeons
    Our first game is now available for free on Google Play: Frontier: Isle of the Seven Gods
    never dieNightDragonIruka
  • never dienever die Registered User regular
    So update: I have my initial assessment set up for July 30th, and my insurance will cover more of it than I thought, so it will be affordable.

    Now to actually have the assessment and all that. I’m excited, nervous, and terrified.

    ceresGnizmoIrukaFryDrovekspool32BouwsTCalica
  • never dienever die Registered User regular
    Hmm... not the main point of this thread I created, but I filled out the questionnaire for the therapist ahead of my first visit and it almost makes me silly that I’m asking for therapy. I’m married, I’m happy with my wife, I have some close friends who I can rely on, I have hobbies, I exercise 3 times a week at a gym, and feel like I come off as sociable. Just reading through it mad me feel...like maybe I shouldn’t be doing this? Like I’m taking up some time of someone who is much worse off than me, who “really” needs this, and that if I just fucking stop being so dramatic that I’ll be fine.

    But I also remember that the above logic is what lead to me not going in the past, and locking away my emotions for years, and bottling everything up, and that some of the positives listed above (like the gym) was me trying to handle this anxiety and depression on my own and it wasn’t fixing anything so I dunno. I guess I just wanted to vent. Or work through this in a public way I couldn’t but in my own mind? Or something.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited July 18
    You're paying a therapist to help you, its their job and you aren't preventing someone else from doing the same. If you are working with depression and anxiety, therapy is a powerful tool to helping you figure out how to work that out for yourself.

    There's no such thing as a "List of positive life attributes" that disqualifies you from benefiting. Taking care of your mental state, even when everything is fine on paper, is totally valid and more people should do it. You might gain better long term life skills for managing emotions and mental states, and that is a huge benefit for not just you, but everyone around you. Its extremely personal and therapy can get you really pointed help.

    Iruka on
    tynicGnizmoCalicaKamirodispatch.oceresHappylilElf
  • GnizmoGnizmo Registered User regular
    never die wrote: »
    Hmm... not the main point of this thread I created, but I filled out the questionnaire for the therapist ahead of my first visit and it almost makes me silly that I’m asking for therapy. I’m married, I’m happy with my wife, I have some close friends who I can rely on, I have hobbies, I exercise 3 times a week at a gym, and feel like I come off as sociable. Just reading through it mad me feel...like maybe I shouldn’t be doing this? Like I’m taking up some time of someone who is much worse off than me, who “really” needs this, and that if I just fucking stop being so dramatic that I’ll be fine.

    But I also remember that the above logic is what lead to me not going in the past, and locking away my emotions for years, and bottling everything up, and that some of the positives listed above (like the gym) was me trying to handle this anxiety and depression on my own and it wasn’t fixing anything so I dunno. I guess I just wanted to vent. Or work through this in a public way I couldn’t but in my own mind? Or something.

    Sounds about like the majority of clients I have seen. Therapy is about what you need to feel better. There are far more time slots to see a therapist than there are people seeking therapy. It would be basically impossible to eat up a spot someone else needed more unless you are going somewhere with a bed.

    Zilla360dispatch.o
  • CalicaCalica Registered User regular
    never die wrote: »
    Hmm... not the main point of this thread I created, but I filled out the questionnaire for the therapist ahead of my first visit and it almost makes me silly that I’m asking for therapy. I’m married, I’m happy with my wife, I have some close friends who I can rely on, I have hobbies, I exercise 3 times a week at a gym, and feel like I come off as sociable. Just reading through it mad me feel...like maybe I shouldn’t be doing this? Like I’m taking up some time of someone who is much worse off than me, who “really” needs this, and that if I just fucking stop being so dramatic that I’ll be fine.

    But I also remember that the above logic is what lead to me not going in the past, and locking away my emotions for years, and bottling everything up, and that some of the positives listed above (like the gym) was me trying to handle this anxiety and depression on my own and it wasn’t fixing anything so I dunno. I guess I just wanted to vent. Or work through this in a public way I couldn’t but in my own mind? Or something.

    My life looks amazing on paper, and I'm damn lucky in a lot of ways; but I still have anxiety and depression. It is what it is. *shrug*

    Jedoc wrote: »
    The GOP cares about babies until they're born, soldiers until they're in need of care, and families until they interfere with stockholder dividends.
  • never dienever die Registered User regular
    Thank you all for the support and information.

    Zilla360Iruka
  • never dienever die Registered User regular
    Had my assessment yesterday, and I think it went well? The lady was very friendly and insightful, really good at making me feel at ease. It was mostly going over history and the like, got an assignment at the end of some stuff to try and the like. Have another session planned later in August, so looks like this is just a thing I’m gonna do now.

    Thanks everyone for the support and info!

    IrukaCalicaGnizmoHeartlashceresHappylilElfCello
  • CalicaCalica Registered User regular
    That's great! I hope it continues to work out well!

    Jedoc wrote: »
    The GOP cares about babies until they're born, soldiers until they're in need of care, and families until they interfere with stockholder dividends.
    never die
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