Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting Therapy or Treatment

Have you been thinking about seeking mental health treatment, but unsure about where to begin?  Having been a Licensed Counselor as well as an intuitive practitioner for over 30 years, I know that the process can be overwhelming, but absolutely worthwhile.  Therapy has been invaluable to me during multiple points in my own life. Here are some questions to consider:

  1. Have you identified your issues?  Do you know if you might 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?  Would you benefit from couples or family therapy? If you are creative, you might consider art, music or movement therapy. You may want to seek out a therapist who specializes in specific treatment types or topics.
  2. What type of treatment do you want?  Start by researching the options.  Do you want to use generic weekly talk therapy, receive daily treatment in 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.
  3. 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.  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 for a recommendation. 
  4. Where is treatment located?  Accessibility is an important consideration.  If it is 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 be better to choose a place close to work, and make an appointment for 6:00 PM? Online consultations are another option.
  5. Can I afford it?  Unfortunately, the cost of therapy is another crucial factor. Hopefully, your insurance reasonably covers mental health treatment, and you can find a therapist who accepts your insurance.  You may be able to find a therapist who offers reduced or scaled fees. Although it is important to prioritize your health, therapy is not always economically feasible for everyone.  Group therapy might be a more affordable option.
  6. What other aspects of my lifestyle may need to change? 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. Sleeping habits, the quality of your diet, activity level, support system, stress intensity and reduction, relationships, and sexuality are just a few factors that help determine our emotional and physical health.
  7. Perhaps a workshop format is a good match. They are offered online or in person, for a few hours, a week or in parts, several weeks at a time. Check out my new one on Transforming your Life with Medical Intuition starting Feb 1. The link is on the homepage of my website.

Finding a good therapeutic match can take effort and may involve more trial and error than you anticipated. Keep working at it until you find a person or program that works for you.

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