Starting Therapy: Where To Begin

Starting Therapy

Thursday, December 17, 2020 | By Cooper Samp

So, have you been thinking about beginning therapy? Well, that’s awesome! However, for so many individuals, the uncertainty on how therapy works and the process involved can sometimes be a barrier to entry. One of the reasons for this stems from the history of therapy. It was seen as taboo, almost an admittance to psychosis. Now, while still taboo to some, most people see therapy just as normal as a doctor’s visit. Today, it might even be weirder to find our someone isn’t in therapy. We believe it is a good idea for everyone to have a buffer between their inner dialogue and reality. This offers us a way to reason with how we view the world. For individuals who have gone through their entire life with perhaps confused or unrealistic thoughts might become delusional – which can take time to unravel. 

However, while we might only think about therapy for individuals who may have paranoid or confused thoughts, therapy is beneficial for everyone. Therapy is a great tool to help deal with any thoughts that might be weighing you down; but it can sometimes people find starting difficult.

For all that, beginning the journey into therapy is not as easy as signing up for a gym or switching doctors. Discovering your appropriate therapist often involves hurdles like stigma, insurance coverage, finding ones who specialize in a particular field, and most importantly if you feel comfortable with them. If you aren’t, you often have to go back to the first step and repeat; over and over until you find one. While this sounds quite a tedious task, don’t fret just yet; with our help it won’t be as difficult as it sounds.

Once you break down the process into steps, finding the right therapist is a lot more manageable.

Stigma

Stigma is often the first barrier individuals meat when looking into therapy and is often the most difficult hurdle to tackle. For many people, they often wait until their anxiety or depression become so debilitating that the stigma of therapy is the lesser evil. People might feel as if they are mentally ill if they attend therapy; like they are weaker for not being able to “handle problems on their own.” This is so incredibly wrong. If these thinkers had a therapy session, they may realize how far off this thinking was. 

Thankfully, mental health is no longer a taboo subject and is talked about more freely, but not always in the right way. 

Red Tape

Getting past therapy is just the first step. After you are still not in the clear. The next dilemma is often dealing with insurance companies. Finding out what services are covered first, then which therapists accept the insurance. 

Some therapist may be a part of a list of practitioners. Others may provide their private practice on PsychologyToday. In either scenario, the process can be relatively time consuming. As you might guess, most people tend to throw in the towel at this stage. 

The process becomes more convoluted for individuals without insurance. However, no insurance doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t receive therapy. There are services like TalkSpace that provide access to therapists on your schedule without the requirement of insurance. 

We also offer online outpatient therapy options to individuals with and without insurance for an affordable rate. 

For individuals with immediate help, services like Trevor Project Helpline, Suicide Prevention Lifeline,  or National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), are great resources, too. You can even reach out to NAMI or 211 for additional resources including a list of free or affordable therapy options. 

Finding the Right Therapist

Once you’ve ordered your first few ducks, you are on the home stretch. However, the search isn’t over just yet. Now you must find the right therapist. This can often be the most time consuming period of the journey but know this is also the most important. Stay with me because I promise this journey will change your life. 

First of all, if you are looking for a therapist with specific skills are licenses, you can narrow them down quickly. For instance, if you believe you are struggling with depression, you want to find a therapist who specializes in depression or perhaps therapies for depression like CBT

For help finding specific therapist, PsychologyToday can help you filter out therapists within your area, their specialties, and accepted insurances. 

Remember that the first therapist you meet will most likely not be the therapist you stick with. Go into the initial meeting with an open mind, but know that just because you are meeting doesn’t mean you have to continue. 

Finding the right therapist is like speed dating; you spend a session – or a couple – until you find the one that clicks with you. It might sound like a daunting process but doing it the right way is worth it in the end.

Embrace the process. After a few sessions, you will begin to realize how much healthier your thinking, decisions, and behaviors are.

Mental health is just as important as your physical health. Whether you believe you have a mental illness or there’s just some things going on in your life where you need advice on how to tackle these situations and feelings; a well experienced therapist can help you through this. 

Therapist within Addiction Treatment

Of course, many of the therapists here at Coalition Recovery are specialized in addiction therapy. Nonetheless, because we are a dual-diagnosis facility, they specialize in a variety of therapies and mental health disorders.

We understand the strong correlation between poor mental health and addiction. Without correcting an individual’s way of thinking, we cannot fully treat substance use disorders. For this reason, we maintain a small census here at Coalition Recovery, allowing our therapist to allocate the appropriate amount of time and dedication to each of their patients. This direct attention allows individuals to be heard. Without this a person will not be able to gain from therapy. 

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