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  • Writer's pictureGenardra Pugh

You’ve Decided You’re Going to Therapy, Now What…4 Suggestions to Consider Before Attending Therapy!

Updated: Jul 18, 2021

The words ‘mental health’ and ‘therapy’ have become prominent terms in our culture over the last few years. People are opening up more about the state of their mental health and are beginning to be transparent with the fact that they see a therapist. Some of our favorite celebrities are sharing their experiences with mental health and the fact that they see a therapist. There are also many television shows that are centered around therapy and the therapeutic process. While this exposure and candidness about mental health and therapy is being normalized and is inspiring, the process of finding good mental health treatment and a good therapist can be overwhelming. There are so many types of therapists, that locating what you need may be a daunting task, especially if this is your first experience with this process. Below, are a few basic suggestions on things to consider when finding a therapist. Take a look.

Know the Alphabets in the Soup:

Credentials Matter: LCPC, LGPC, LPC, LCSW, LMSW , LCMFT, There are so many advertisements for therapists/counselors on many different platforms. The most important thing to recognize is the alphabet soup or the credentials of your therapist. Your therapist should be licensed by the board of the state in which you live. This is important because it indicates they have met the State’s requirements for them to be working with you on an individual and family basis. This typically means they have gone to college, completed a graduate program, have passed national and state exams, and have completed supervised clinical work. Trusted websites such as Psychology Today, Therapy for Black Girls, and your insurance company are helpful directories that verify a therapists’ credentials.

Your Have Choices:

We all live in the melting pot called the United States of America. Therapists come in all different shapes, sizes, You have the right to have your preference of certain characteristics and traits of your therapist such a man or woman, young or old, ethnicity, and even what they specialize in. You have the preference of choosing a therapist whom you feel you will be comfortable opening up, sharing and relating to. This will be important as it relates to building a strong relationship with your therapist.

Specialty is Important:

When choosing a therapist, specialty is important. It will be important to seek out a therapist that specializes in this area. Additionally, it could be helpful to look up the specialities as well as the treatment modalities/interventions that they use to help with your presenting problem(s).

Insurance Matters:

For years there has been a preconceived notion that therapy is for the rich and famous or well off. This simply is not the case now. Most insurance companies do pay a percentage for therapy. When looking for a therapist, know your insurance provider and seek a therapist who accepts this insurance. It is important to know that some therapists only accept clients who pay out of pocket (private pay clients). Additionally, there are therapists that have sliding scale fees, do pro Bono work, and even there are therapy groups available to subside the cost of therapy. Check with your insurance company to see which therapists are in network or even contact the therapist directly.


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