Emotional Wellbeing


Mandy Kloppers

How To Choose a Mental Health Professional

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. In fact, research shows that people who are anxious or depressed can’t even fall physically ill more often. If you’ve been struggling with anxiety, depression, or other mental health ailments, it’s important to seek the help of a therapist or a psychiatrist. The key is to find the right person to meet your needs.

  1. Look at Google Reviews

Before you even start a serious search for a mental health professional, check out Google reviews for doctors. These reviews provide star ratings as well as reviews from real people who have met with local mental health professionals in the past. You’ll be able to see which professionals have high ratings and good reviews and which ones don’t seem to have a good reputation within the community. Consider, too, whether the doctors responded to any negative reviews and, if so, whether they were professional in their response and tried to clear up any issues.

  1. Consider the Type of Person You’re Looking For

Are you looking for a therapist, a psychiatrist, or both? Typically, people who are dealing with mental health ailments have both. A therapist is a professional who uses specific therapy techniques to help you talk through trauma or other problems that you have or had in your life. However, most people who see a therapist also need medication for depression, anxiety, or other mental health diagnoses. Therapists usually cannot prescribe medication, which is why you’ll probably need a psychiatrist as well. Keep your personality and core values in mind, too. It often ends up being important when finding a therapist. For example, if you are not religious, you probably won’t want a therapist who often talks about religion and prayer as a healing method. Additionally, if you are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, you’ll want a therapist and psychiatrist who are allies at a minimum.

  1. Find Someone in Your Network

Consider your insurance provider when choosing a therapist or psychiatrist to see. If you choose someone out of network, you’ll likely have to pay at least $100 per session out of pocket. When you find someone in your network, you are more likely to pay considerably less than that. Remember, sometimes your insurance network will require you to have a referral for mental health professionals, so always check the specifics for booking your first appointment. This way, you won’t find yourself with unexpected expenses. If you do need a referral, you can often ask your doctor to provide one for the therapist or psychiatrist that you’re interested in seeing.

  1. Ask the Right Questions

Remember, your therapist and psychiatrist work for you, which means that when you’re choosing them, you need to interview them. Asking plenty of questions is essential for getting a feel of how your professionals conduct their work and whether you think it will be a good fit for you. There are plenty of questions to ask, including what education they have, how much experience they have, and whether they have specific experience in trauma, mental health disorders, or anything else that is relevant to your situation. You can also ask what to expect and bring up any concerns that you have. At the end of the interviews, ask yourself how comfortable you felt with the person and whether you felt that they answered your questions thoroughly.

  1. Know Where To Look

Finally, it’s important to understand your options when it comes to searching for mental health professionals. Google only provides so much information if you aren’t sure what it is that you need. There are plenty of organizations and websites dedicated to helping people find the right professional to meet their needs. You can look through your insurance provider’s list, ask for recommendations from friends or family members, and see if your employer provides assistance or referrals. Other options include seeking help from the National Alliance on Mental Illness or asking your doctor for recommendations.

Don’t let your mental health fall by the wayside while you deal with the rest of your busy life. Make treating your anxiety, depression, or other mental health ailments a priority. With the right therapist and psychiatrist, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

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