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How to Know if You Need Help and How to Find the Right Therapist for You

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s common to experience periods of stress, anxiety, and emotional turmoil. When these feelings persist, it may indicate the need for professional help. This article will guide you through the processes of recognizing when you need to seek professional help, finding a suitable therapist, and determining if they are the right fit for you.

How To Know If You Need Help

Not everybody’s mental wellness and challenges look the same so not everybody pursues therapy for the same reasons. However, there are some experiences that are commonly shared by individuals who decide they are in need of counseling. Feeling constantly stressed or overwhelmed is one of the bigger warning signs that you may benefit from therapy. Another reason someone might consider therapy is if they feel lost and are experiencing intense emotions with which they are struggling to cope. Going through a stressful event such as moving, a breakup, family issues, strained relationships, or grief can really take a toll on a person’s mental health. Therapy is often a useful tool to navigate these difficult situations. If you experience significant unintentional changes in your eating and sleeping patterns, it would be a good idea to seek therapy as these can be signs of underlying mental health issues. Finally, if anxiety or a persistent feeling of depression is affecting your daily life, relationships, or overall happiness, it may be time to seek professional help.

How to Find A Therapist

The first and easiest thing you can do to find a therapist is to start searching on your health insurance website to see which therapists take your insurance. If you do not have insurance, you can consult this official NYC website for resources in the city and state. Another option that would not necessarily require health insurance is referring to the website of your local Jewish Family Services to see what they have to offer. There are also more general online resources like Better Help which can help connect you to therapists directly through their platforms. Most therapists will have a website with some sort of biography so once you have a list of potential therapists, explore their websites to gain insight into their expertise and approach. Contact multiple therapists whose bios resonate with you to see who responds and to inquire about their availability.

How To Know If Your Therapist Is Right For You

So now you have an appointment with a therapist – great! How do you know if they are a good fit?

In your first session with your therapist, it is a very good idea to outline your goals for therapy and conceptualize what you hope to get out of it. Doing this with your therapist is a good idea because then together you can come up with a way of measuring progress and ensure you are moving towards those goals.

It is important to be patient and realistic in your expectations. It may take a few sessions to assess whether a therapist is the right fit for you; you probably won’t know after only one session unless they are REALLY not good for you. However, if the symptoms/issues that led you to seek therapy in the first place don’t subside at least a little or if you do not feel good talking and being honest with your therapist, then that might be a sign the therapist you currently have isn’t the best option and it might be a good idea to look for another one.

After each session, try to check in with yourself and ask yourself if you feel even the slightest bit better after talking to your therapist. Do you feel any degree of relief, increased clarity, or a reduction in symptoms or do you feel the same levels of depression/anxiety/hopelessness as before? If the answer to this question is that you do feel improvement, that is great and you should continue with your therapist. If you do not feel like your therapist has been that beneficial then it would likely be best to start from the beginning and seek a new one.

Hopefully, this article was able to act as a guide for you to navigate through the daunting path of finding a therapist. It is no easy feat and you should be proud of yourself for recognizing the need for help and for putting in the work to find the best therapist for yourself. You will be glad you did it because putting yourself and your mental health first is not always the easiest thing but it is so incredibly important. Congratulations on starting this new chapter in your life, I hope you are able to enjoy all the benefits of therapy and experience it to its greatest potential.

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