New to therapy? Not sure where to begin? Let’s cut to the FAQ’s.
Remember: you do not have to remain with the first therapist you meet. Finding the right fit is important, and various therapists have different styles and approaches. One size does not fit all. Many people experience relief in a few sessions, i.e. short-term therapy, yet many find that longer treatment is indicated. Generally, your therapist will create a treatment plan that best meets your needs within the first two sessions.
Where To Search
Psychology Today maintains a large directory of verified therapists. You can use filters to search by location, accepted insurance plans, presenting issue, and more.
What to Say
When you call or email a therapist for the first time, provide your name, number, health insurance plan, your general availability for sessions, and what you’re seeking help for (anxiety, depression, trauma, addiction). Ask any questions you have, and pay attention to both how the therapist answers, and whether you are comfortable with their answers. Unfortunately, some providers do not call back if they are not taking new clients, so you may want to call more than one.
What You’ll Pay
Many therapists accept health insurance, but most do not accept all insurance plans. You will likely owe a copayment, as you would with other medical appointments. Every plan is different, and you can call your insurance company in advance to ask what your behavioral health outpatient benefits are. If a therapist does not accept insurance, ask your insurance plan if you have “out of network benefits.” They may reimburse you for a portion of the cost of the session once you’ve met your OON deductible. You can also ask the therapist if they offer a sliding scale, meaning they may reduce their fee if you are unable to pay the full amount.
Types of Support
The official names of license types vary by state, but in Massachusetts, you will likely be seeking a LICSW, LMHC, LMFT, PsyD or Phd.
Remember, it can be a process of trial and error, and the best thing you can do for yourself is just get started! Be assertive in asking questions, and begin the journey with an open mind. Whether virtual or in-person, you should expect to share goals for therapy in your first appointment, and what you share may surprise you! Discovering more about yourself and your ability to heal is a worthy endeavor. What better time than now?