There comes a point in one’s life when one contemplates going to a psychologist or a psychiatrist. This can either be because you are dealing with grief, recovering from trauma, or trying to adjust to a new job. However, once the decision to get help is made, the next step is to look for a good mental health clinic near you.
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Finding a mental health clinic
In this article, I will discuss how to look for the best mental health care provider near your location. You can opt for a clinic away from your location. However, going to a clinic that is far can be tough especially if you have had a long day at work and are tired. Opting for a clinic closer to your home is a better option. it will also allow you to keep your commitments and attend all the sessions as well.
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Mental health clinic: why you need a good one?
The speed of your recovery will depend on the bond between you and your therapist. The quicker you establish a rapport, the faster the recovery can start. The bond will determine how easily you can share your experiences with your therapist which in turn has a direct impact on recovery. Thus, you must find a therapist whom you feel comfortable with. This is why you must conduct proper research when looking for a mental health clinic. Even if you find a good clinic, you must talk to the therapist, ask questions and then determine if the therapist is a good fit for your needs.
Steps to find a good mental health clinic
Ask your insurance service provider
If you have an insurance plan that you are thinking to use for therapy purposes, it might be a good idea to check in with your insurance providers. They may have a list of psychologists or psychiatrists available in your area. Asking your insurance providers also makes sure that the bill of the therapist will be covered as part of your insurance. If you don’t check in with your insurance, you may have to pay out of your pocket which is not a feasible option.
Alternatively, you can ask your primary doctor for help. Doctors usually have the contact details of psychiatrists and psychologists since they may have to recommend their patients for therapy. When your primary care provider recommends a mental health practitioner, it is easier to establish rapport since you already trust your physician.
Check online databases for mental health clinic
Nowadays, the internet has everything. There is no information that is not available on the internet. All you have to do is conduct a Google search and you will find the details of many mental health practitioners. You can also directly type in which type of mental health practitioner you are looking for like: a marriage counselor, grief therapist, behavioral psychologist, etc. You can also enter your area pin code to narrow down the field of search.
However, the information you find online must be double-checked. Do not put blind faith in them. Once you have a list of psychologists or psychiatrists, a good idea is to find further details. Check patient reviews to better understand the caregiving process of the therapist. If you notice that the patients are happy with the treatment they are receiving it will boost your confidence in the capabilities of the therapist.
Enquire with people you trust
Along with doctors, you can also ask your colleagues, friends, family, or relatives for their suggestions. If they have previously met a mental health practitioner, they will have a fairly good idea of the options available – they may even share their own experiences with the therapist. This will put you in a comfort zone even before you visit the therapist.
When relying on word-of-mouth recommendations, make sure that your goals align as well. Suppose you ask your friend for a recommendation but that friend needed the services of a counselor to help with her marriage while you need the help of a counselor to deal with depression. In such a circumstance, the goals do not align. Thus, asking your friend for help with finding a counselor will most likely not yield the kind of results you need. When you ask your loved ones, relatives, or friends, for a recommendation, make sure that you state the problem as well and ask them what purpose they had for visiting a psychologist.
Check local resources to find a close by mental health clinic
Local resources can be an excellent source of information when looking for a psychologist. If you are in school, you can reach out to your school counselor for help. If you are a part of a company, you can ask the HR team. They may have recommendations from a few psychologists who work in the area.
In case you are looking for assistance with domestic, sexual abuse, or grief processing, you may find individual or group therapy sessions in the church of your area. If you belong to another religion, you can reach out to the authorities at the worship center to get a recommendation. You can also reach out to local help centers for suggestions.
Check with organizations that work in your concerned area
If you are suffering from a specific mental health issue, you should look for local therapists who have experience in your field of work. Under such circumstances, it will be helpful if you look for therapists via a mental health network, national association, or an online database.
Examples of organizations where you can look for a specialized therapist:
- Anxiety and depression association of America
- National Center for PTSD
- National eating disorders association
These organizations have specific trade unions whose primary responsibility is to help you find the right mental health professionals for your needs. If you are suffering from an eating disorder, you can check out the national eating diet orders association; if you need help with depression, anxiety and depression association would be a good place to start.
Focus on the goals you are looking to achieve
What do you want the result of the therapy to be? The therapy will only work if you are completely invested in it, mentally and otherwise. If you go to the therapist but don’t follow through with the work, then you are not going to feel or get better. Therapy is not a one-person job. It needs work from both you and your therapist. Both of you have one single mission in mind, to get you better. The more in sync the two of you are in terms of healing, the faster the healing will occur.
If you are looking to get EMDR or CBT therapy, a good idea would be to go to a psychologist who has done specialized courses about the specific therapy modality. Check into their certification before you decide to approach them.
Your goals may change or take a turn once you enter into therapy. it is all right. You don’t have to feel bad about it. You should talk to your therapist about the same and your therapist can guide you through it. If a treatment change is needed, your therapist will discuss it with you before inducing the changes in the therapy.
Use an online app to find a good mental health clinic
There are many online apps available that can help you with therapy. You can also use these apps to find a therapist. These apps can also be used to find online therapists. You can schedule an appointment with your therapist on the app and have the meeting online or via phone.
The digital platform of therapy is much more convenient if going out or traveling is difficult for you. Furthermore, you may have a hectic schedule, and taking the time out for therapy may not be an option for you. If this is your case then you should look into getting an online appointment. Online appointments are also much more affordable. The weekly sessions usually range from $40 to $80 for therapy.
Ask the psychologist
Never be afraid to ask the counselor questions when you go in for the first session. It’s not only the job of the psychologist to judge you and your condition, it is also your responsibility to judge if the psychologist is a good fit for you. Do not be afraid of asking questions. Asking questions and clearing up the air is always better than making assumptions and being wrong later on. Thus, ask your psychologist questions to know if the association will work out for you or not.
Here are some questions that you can ask the psychologist:
- How long have you been in the field?
- What do you think my problem is?
- How many patients have you treated with my condition?
- What are the treatment modalities available?
- How many sessions will I need approximately?
- What will happen if I miss attending a particular session?
- How will the payment be made?
- Do you accept insurance?
Focus on your responses
You must pay attention to your responses to being in the room, responding to the questions, etc. No matter how comfortable you are with your psychologist, there will be times when discussing the past will be difficult. You may have to discuss issues that induce panic attacks, and anxiety or bring up images of traumatic memories.
However, if there is any other reason behind your discomfort, you should look into getting another therapist. For this, you must know which red flags to look out for. Here are certain things you can focus on when you are at the mental health clinic
- Is the room making you feel uncomfortable
- Are the lights or the ambiance bothering you?
- Does your therapist listen carefully or keep interrupting you while you are speaking
- Is the therapist prompt in keeping appointments?
- Do you feel heard and respected?
- Does the therapist dismiss your worries?
Therapy is not something that should be taken lightly. If you have decided to go to a therapist, it is a sign that you are struggling with your mental health. Only finding a mental health clinic is not enough. Your comfort is a crucial part of therapy. If you are not feeling comfortable, you should change your therapist as soon as possible. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.
There are many ways to look for a mental health clinic. You can check online, and ask your friends, colleagues, relatives, etc. However, conducting your research into whether the therapist is right for you or not is a good option. Trust your instinct when looking for a mental health care provider.
Share your experiences
If possible please share your experiences with therapy in the comment section below. If you think I have missed out on any advice, let me know in the comment section. Your experiences and anecdotes can provide courage to someone else. It may empower them to go and get the help they need. Let’s destigmatize mental health for everyone. Good mental health is a fundamental right of every person.
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