Have you been thinking about seeking mental health treatment, but unsure about where to begin? The process can be extremely overwhelming, but absolutely worthwhile. Here are some questions to consider:
- Have you identified your issues? Do you know if you may have depression, anxiety or a combination of the two? Are you grieving or dealing with a specific incident you need support for? Do you have an eating disorder, want to stop drinking or are you dealing with another type of addiction? You may want to seek out a therapist who specializes in certain areas of treatment if you know what you need.
- What type of treatment do you want? Start by researching the options. Do you want to go to generic talk therapy or an outpatient facility, or do you think you need to be admitted into a facility? What style of practitioner are you looking for? Some options include behavioral, educational, spiritual or a combination. Jungian therapy with an emphasis on connecting to intuition and the belief that we all have the answers within ourselves, was particularly effective for me. It is important to take your needs and preferences, as well as your level of commitment, into account.
- How to find treatment? The internet is a fantastic resource for finding clinicians in your area. You can look up what treatment centers or practices are nearby, and find reviews. Also, if you have friends or family members who are currently going to therapy or have gone in the past, it may be worth asking them where they went as well. If there is a conflict of interest, you could always ask their therapist who else they recommend.
- Where is treatment located? Accessibility of your treatment is an important consideration. If they are located somewhere far away, you may find that you are less likely to pursue consistent treatment or make excuses. Would you prefer to see someone close to your house at night after work or on a Saturday morning? Or, would it better to choose a place close to work, and make an appointment for 6:00 PM?
- Can I afford it? Unfortunately, the cost of therapy is another crucial thing to consider. Hopefully, your insurance reasonably covers mental health treatment, and you can simply find a therapist who accepts your insurance and you would just pay a copay every visit. Otherwise, you would have to inquire about prices, and ensure that it fits within your budget. Although it is important to prioritize your health, it is not always economically feasible for everyone. It may be worth looking into online therapy, which can be conducted over video chat, phone calls, or even texting, as it is often a much cheaper option.
- What other aspects of my lifestyle may need to change? Sadly, mental health treatment isn’t as simple as just seeing a therapist or getting put on psychiatric medication. A number of other aspects of your life and lifestyle may need to shift in order for true recovery to take place. For example, it may be fruitful to think about aspects such as your sleeping habits, your food and activity level, relationships, and sexuality. Furthermore, would you like to go to treatment by yourself, or do you think you may benefit further from couples therapy or family therapy?