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Six Step Guide to Beginning Your Therapeutic Journey

You’ve been googling stress, trauma, anxiety, and depression for hours. You’re coming to the realization that it wouldn’t hurt to talk to a professional. Dismissive messages of be strong, give it to God, and it isn’t that bad can be exhausting and hurtful. Maybe you’ve asked yourself “do I even need therapy?” I’m here to tell you WHY NOT?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (2017), 1 in 5 people within the United States have a diagnosable mental health condition. Unfortunately, not everyone decides, or even know how, to get help. All that to say, you’re not alone and you’ve come to the right place. I’ve created a 6-step guide to help you with your journey into therapy. Also, If you are looking to connect with a therapist at A Will to Thrive Counseling Services, connect with us HERE.

1. Figure out your why

Everyone’s why is different. Be real with yourself and think of what is causing you to seek a therapist. It’s okay if you don’t know at this exact moment. Talking to a therapist, during a consultation, can help point you towards your why.

2. How are you going to pay for therapy services?

Decide how you would like to pay for therapy services.

Different methods include:

  • Self-pay, in which you pay directly for services.

  • Using Insurance, in which you may have to pay a copay. (For more information on navigating insurance, you may find this article helpful. )

  • Sliding Scale, in which if available the provider is able to offer a discounted rate based off of your income/ability to pay.

3. Choose a therapist directory centered around your needs.

Did you know there are therapist directories? Even better…did you know there are directories specifically for people within the black and brown community? Therapy for Black Girls, Therapy for Black Men, Clinicians of Color, Black Female Therapist, or Melanin and Mental Health are all great places to find your therapist. If you still can`t find a therapist, reach out to a therapist on your local directories and ask them if they have any recommendations for therapists accepting clients.

4. Search through therapist directories.

So, this part is important. Therapists are licensed in specific states. For example, I am only licensed in the state of North Carolina, therefore I can only practice therapy in North Carolina. This means when choosing a therapist you must ensure they are licensed to practice in the state you live in. Next, consider your why and how you’re going to pay for therapy, when looking through the directories. As you look through the directory choose a therapist that speaks to your why.

Helpful Hint: Typically, therapists will list on the directory if they accept insurance and what kind.

5. Call/Email for a therapy consultation

Now you’re ready to take the next step. It’s time to email or call the therapist of your choosing. Think of some important questions that you have. This is a chance for you to get to know the therapist. Don’t be bummed if the consultation was bad. That may not be the therapist for you, and that is okay. Remember, therapists are humans too! If you want to pay out of pocket for your sessions, ask the therapist what the cost of sessions are as a self-pay client. If you want to use insurance, verify the therapist accepts your insurance. If you’re financially strapped, be honest and ask if they have a sliding scale fee.

6. Decide on your therapist and set your therapy appointment.

Congratulations, you have made it to the end of the guide, but the starting point to a new healing journey! Therapy is a phenomenal place to:

  • Develop self-insight

  • Discover tools that assist when things get tough

  • Heal

  • Explore generational behaviors and trauma,

Looking for a therapist does not have to be difficult. Taking the above 6 steps can help you start your journey towards healing.

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