Finding a local therapist or psychiatrist can feel daunting. Here are three steps to help make this process more manageable.
*Please note that during the current time (COVID-19 outbreak), most therapists and psychiatrists may be switching to online therapy (teletherapy). This is important to clarify before your first appointment.
Step 1: Identify some providers to try
Start your search openly and explore their online profiles according to your interests or specific needs.
Consider identifying several different therapists to try in order to find one who is a good match.
Cross-reference identified providers with the list of providers from your insurance company.
Option 2: Contact your insurance company for a list of providers
Option 3: Talk to your Primary Care Physician
Option 4: Ask the Counseling Service to assist
Step 2: Contact the provider via phone or email to set up an initial appointment
Contact the providers via phone or email to set up an initial appointment. Though it is not necessary to share all the details of the reasons why you are reaching out, it is important for the provider to know some basic information, such as your name, your contact information, and what you are looking for, as well as, your insurance carrier and coverage for behavioral health.
Prepare a Script: If you call, it may be helpful to have a template in case you are asked to leave a voicemail. The template can look something like this:
"Hi! My name is ________. I am calling to see whether you are accepting new clients. If so, I’d like to set up an initial consultation. I am looking for weekly therapy (or bi-weekly etc. depending on your need). I’d really appreciate it if you called me back at (your phone number)."
Step 3: Talk to the therapist on your phone or over video conferencing to find out whether it is a good match
Talking to each provider by phone or video chat will help you decide if it is a good match. If you feel like something is missing, it is recommended to first discuss this with the therapist and see if it can be addressed. If you have tried that and feel there has been no change, it might be helpful to consider trying other therapists.
It could be helpful to prepare loosely for this conversation by thinking about:
- key things you want your new therapist know about you
- questions you would like to ask your new therapist to get a better sense of whether this is a good match