How To Find The Right Counselor

August 16, 2023

There's some old saying I've heard before that speaks to the quandary most adults find themselves in. There's time, money, and energy: you get to pick two.

If you spend some time with this dilemma you can see how it works out. Spend a significant amount of your resources pouring into your job and working out and you will make a lot of money and have some good energy. But you'll be strapped for time. Let up on your job and you might see your finances go down to have a bit more time for friends and family and maintaining that energy.

I think that finding the right therapist puts in a similar quandary. The question is what three things are we choosing between and how do we go about making the decision. Well, that's what I am going to break down for you. I believe they are finances/insurance, specialty, and convenience.

Finances/Insurance - One of the first questions that we hear from people is "Do you take my insurance?" This is an important piece for a lot of people and for some it is a deal breaker. Of course using our insurance allows us a more flexible payment structure, but it's important to note that we might give way to specialty. I believe that at some point therapy can become too expensive for people and charging upwards of $225 for therapy without the therapist spending a significant more amount of time on the case can be silly.

Speciality - Ask most therapists and they are going to say that finding somebody who specializes in what you are wanting to work on is of the utmost importance. I tend to agree when it comes to certain circumstances. If you have OCD, an eating disorder, need trauma work, or couples work, you are absolutely going to need to find somebody who specializes in one of these. If you are trying to just hammer out a few questions about who you are, you may not need to be quite as picky.

Convenience - When looking at the convenience factor of therapy most people are looking at location and time. You might want to be able to do sessions from your home or office, but not every therapist offers teletherapy. Similarly you might want to come in person but the therapist you've found who takes your insurance and specializes in what you need is 25 miles away. You might also need to come in after 5pm on weekdays or just after dropping the kids off at school.

Is it possible to find a therapist who checks all three boxes? Yes, of course! I am an OCD therapist who takes Blue Cross and works in the 85028 zip code. And there are plenty of people that that is exactly what they are looking for. But I don't know any OCD therapists who take UHC, personally.

When finding the right therapist it is important to assess each of these three factors and for the most part, pick the two that are the most important to you. If you can find all three, great! But if you are coming up short you might need to make a concession.

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