Seeking Help from a Psychologist – Where to Start

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There are times in everyone’s lives when things feel out of control. Whether there has been a specific event has occurred or you simply are shouldering the burden of several independent problems, therapy can offer a way to help you deal with these issues and begin to learn new ways to view your life in a positive way. However, finding a psychologist can bring a whole new set of worries for a patient, so to make things easier, here are some ways to find a therapist that will help you begin to feel better.

Start with Your General Practitioner

If you think you need help with handling your mental heath, you may want to speak with your primary care doctor. A doctor can refer you to therapists that have been recommended to them or perhaps therapists that they themselves have visited. In many cases, you will get a long list of therapists that you can contact to set up an appointment or, if they need a referral for your insurance, your doctor’s office can initiate contact. Even if your physician cannot give you a recommendation, you may want to check with the office to see if any nurses or clerks can offer you assistance.

Look to Your Insurance

Contacting your health insurance provider for qualified therapists is another option. In most cases, a list will be provided to you of names in your general area that meets the insurance company’s standards. You will also be able to get the names of different kinds of mental health professionals – psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, etc.

Set Up an Appointment

Determining whether or not a specific therapist will be right for you is a very important step in this process. By arranging a trial appointment with the therapist, you may be able to see if the therapist is best for you. If you do not feel comfortable with this specific person, you may want to try someone else until you do.

Set Your Goals

Have a clear goal in mind for your therapy in order to get the most out your available sessions. For example, you may want to focus on reducing the severity of your panic attacks. Or, perhaps focus on interacting with people in an assertive manner. Whatever you feel the issue is, be sure to focus on working toward achieving that goal. This will help both you and your therapist measure how well your treatments are going and whether you need additional care.

As you progress in therapy, you might need to adjust your goals, but this is all a part of the healing and growing process.

Making the Most of Therapy

In many cases, it is recommended than an individual meet with a psychologist at least once a week as well as attending group sessions, if possible. This will help you continuously apply therapy lessons to your life as well as help to make your mental health a priority. Be sure to arrive at your appointments ready to talk and discuss whichever problems you may be having. If you have been given an assignment, be sure to have completed the work ahead of time.

Also, you may want to keep a journal of your therapy experience in order to see where you have come from and how well you are doing in reaching your goals. Your journal entries will record the topics you have discussed. You can learn from the past and begin to heal yourself.

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