Greenwood, IN has so many therapists in private practice, it is difficult to choose which one is right for you. I know when you finally make the decision to find a therapist, you don’t want to wait because you’re anxious to get started. When life finally gets to the point where you’ve decided to get professional help, I’d like to help you navigate this terrain. Here are a few things you need to know to make the process a little easier.
When you do finally decide to get professional help, where do you start? Although you may not be familiar with all that professional counseling can help you with, getting some clarity on what you want or don’t want will be helpful in finding the right fit. Research shows that a good connection with your therapist is the most important factor in your healing. So finding a counselor whom you feel understands you and your needs is essential.
Here are some general decisions you should make before you start your search: Do you have a preference for a male or female counselor? Do you prefer someone who has the same or similar faith to yours? Is any specific type of training important to you (e.g., registered play therapist, trauma, EMDR, etc.)? Are you willing to self-pay or do you plan on using insurance? Do you need a sliding-scale? Are you willing or able to come during the day or do you have to have an evening or weekend appointment?
It is helpful to have a few goals already in mind for counseling. For example, “I’ve noticed my child becoming increasingly angry and we’re noticing some concerning behaviors in the home and at school and we think he needs some coping skills.” Or “My husband and I are at a crossroads and we need to figure out how to have a healthy relationship.”
I want to say a little more about insurance and evening appointments. I understand that you pay a lot of money each month to have insurance, which means you want to be able to use insurance if possible. However, there are many therapists in private practice who do not take insurance, or take one or two of the major ones in your area. Because therapists in private practice are usually doing all of the intakes, scheduling, billing, etc., it’s difficult for them to take insurance. I’ve heard of providers having to be on the phone up to 2 hours or more in order to be able to file claims for their clients. Often times, therapists who work independently don’t have time to dedicate to figuring out and filing insurance. Not to mention, they would much rather be in session helping clients!
Evening appointments can also be difficult to come by. Personally, I have one night a week I’m in the office late because I’m just not a night person! I do my best work during the day and I’d much rather be giving my clients my best self! Since I also see children and teens, many times their parents don’t want them to miss school. While I understand that it is difficult for your child to miss 2 hours or so of school for their appointment, often times it’s a short sacrifice for a long-term reward. Schools are usually willing to make accommodations for children to miss school for counseling because they know in the long run it will help them perform better in school both socially and academically.
So where do you start to find a therapist who will best fit your needs? One of the best places to start is to ask a trusted family or friend if they have ever gone to counseling. If they had a great experience, chances are that counselor will be a good fit for you, or at least be able to point you in the right direction for your specific needs. Another option for school-aged children is to ask the school counselor. Although they cannot give you specific recommendations, they usually have a list of several counselors in the area who have worked well with other students. Churches are a good resource as well, especially for adults and if faith-based counseling is part of your requirements. psychologytoday is an example of a website that allows you to search therapists’ by specialty, location, insurance, etc.
After doing an initial search, I would narrow your choices down to about 3-4 and start calling or emailing. Since many therapists are independent, and do all of their own intakes, return phone calls, etc., they may be in session when you call. Although it is frustrating to wait (because you want to get started right away!), I would give them at least 24 hours, or 1 business day to return your phone call. Don’t be afraid to use the “contact us” form or email the therapist directly, since I’ve found it’s sometimes quicker to return an email than a phone call.
Once you’re able to talk to a therapist, keep your description to a few brief concerns. Unless they are offering free phone consultations, this return phone call from a therapist doesn’t need to be a mini counseling session. I know you’ve waited awhile to finally talk to someone but this isn’t really the time or place. Because you’re not a client yet, they are not taking notes and are not able to do much with that information at that time until you do become a client. A brief description of the behaviors and what you’re hoping to get out of counseling should be enough to get things started.
I always encourage clients to look for the therapist that is the right fit for them. Even if you attend a session or two and don’t feel like you’ve “clicked” with the therapist, give yourself permission to try again. The first therapist may not be the right fit for you!
I hope this helps you find the right therapist in Greenwood, IN. If you’re still feeling uneasy about this process, please feel free to contact me at 317-496-0456 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to hear what is happening and help you find the right fit for you. If you are looking for help with depression, anxiety, trauma or behavioral concerns, you can read more about how I can help at my website peacefamilycounseling