Whenever I talk to people about starting therapy, I hear the same thing: I have no idea where to start even finding a therapist. I remember that feeling very well, but now I always refer people to the same place I’ve found all my favorite therapists!
Right on the first page you put in your city and then you get a list of therapists near you – it’s that easy! But here’s why I really like it and why it’s worked for me, you can get selective. Narrow down your choices by insurance, price, issues, age and a whole lot more. For me, insurance was the biggest filter and from there I wanted a woman who specialized in anxiety.
I remember feeling completely lost when I went to look for a therapist in Minneapolis for the first time. I tried through my primary care doctor, getting assigned a random therapist and I didn’t find her helpful at all. Her style was handing me sheets of paper with tips to try and be mindful. It’s not that she wasn’t competent, but it didn’t really work for me and I’d leave feeling like I’d just wasted my time.
Thankfully I gave it another try after talking to a few different people about their experiences. At the time I was hosting WCCO’s MidMorning and we had the most wonderful therapists on every week and one of them told me about PsychologyToday.com to find a therapist.
I went on that night and started reading the bios of the different therapists and I found someone who seemed like a good fit. We clicked immediately and our sessions felt more like confiding in a friend but what I didn’t realize at the time was those conversations, which felt so easy, were a part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She was helping reframe the way I was thinking and I didn’t even realize it. I like to talk things out (just ask any one of my friends or ex-boyfriends) and working through my thoughts and feelings is what I need out of a therapist.
While that works really well for me, it doesn’t for everyone. Finding the right therapist is kind of like dating and sometimes you’re going to have a few misses before you find the right one. If you don’t like the first therapist you try, don’t be afraid to break things off and find someone who does work for you. Most of the time you can figure this out during the initial intake call or session, but if not don’t feel bad about trying to get that right fit. It’s your mental health, your time and your money.
Therapy has been life changing for me. There have been times when I’ve needed to go once a week and then times when I can go a few months. I think I’ll always be in therapy for at least a few times a year. My anxiety isn’t something that’s going away, but it’s manageable and now I see therapy as part of that treatment. Even when I’m having a good stretch of low anxiety, I still show up to that appointment and just check in. I treat my mental health just like I do my physical health, and for me therapy is the same as going to the doctor.
Also, finding a good therapist can take time, but if you’re struggling right now please know you’re not alone and don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
Have any questions about therapy? Feel free to ask! I know mental health can be uncomfortable to talk about, but I’m happy to answer any questions.