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Therapy 101: Answers to the Most Common Questions
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Summary: Looking for a therapist for yourself, a family member, or friend? Find out how to find one, how to select one, and how much it might cost in this article.

In recent years, the idea of seeking help for mental health has become considerably more acceptable than in the past. Working with a psychiatrist, therapist or counselor is no longer reserved for extreme cases or people with life-threatening issues, but is now normal for anyone going through a difficult time in their lives or who is struggling with anxiety, relationship issues, negative self-talk, or mild depression.

If you’ve thought about seeking the help of a therapist, it can be somewhat overwhelming to know where to start. You probably have a lot of questions.


How do I find a therapist?

Other than asking for a recommendation from a friend or from your general practitioner, there are two main ways to go about finding a therapist: 1) go through your insurance provider’s website or 2) search online.

If your insurance offers mental health coverage, they likely have a doctor search page on their website. Using this list will ensure that you find someone within your insurance network. If you choose to search on other websites, just be sure to verify what insurance policies that therapist takes. Some great websites are Psychology Today, Network Therapy, and Good Therapy.

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How do I choose from a list of therapists?

Once you get a list of therapists in your area, it can be overwhelming to actually make a choice. The most important thing to remember is that you can “try out” more than one therapist if your first choice doesn’t feel like a good fit. It’s important to find someone who understands you and what you’re going through, as well as someone you feel like you can trust. Many are willing to talk with you on the phone to get an initial idea if you might work well together. Some key factors to consider when choosing a therapist are:

  • Nearness to your home or work
  • Hours offered
  • Specialties most relevant to you
  • Type of therapy most beneficial to you
  • Whether or not they are faith-based
  • Gender

How much does it cost?

Most therapists charge anywhere from $75 to $150 per session. However, this number can increase based on the city you live in. There are also many therapists and clinics who offer sliding scale fees based on your income or what you can pay, so be sure to do your research so that cost is not a barrier to seeking help. Additionally, some insurance plans offer coverage for mental health. Be sure to reach out to your insurance provider to ask these questions.

What if I don’t have the time or resources to see a therapist in person?

With how technology is advancing these days, you may not be surprised to hear that you can actually find therapists to work with online. Many online therapists use tools such as video conferencing, texting, email or voice messaging. Since they don’t meet with you in person, their prices are considerably less. Some sites to check out are Talkspace and Better Help, or check out E-Counseling for more resources.

When considering whether to meet with someone online or in person, be sure to pick what’s right for you. Therapy may feel like a major investment of time and money, but your mental health is well worth it.



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