Therapy is not a one size fits all model and the right match is extremely important in order to get on a path towards healing and happiness. We all have varying degrees of issues. Sometimes it’s from something that happened during childhood, a traumatic experience in adulthood, or stress and anxiety from other factors. And sometimes talking with an unbiased professional can help, even if it’s just a little. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 30 million Americans need help dealing with feelings and problems that seem beyond their control. There are therapists for a wide range of things like school counselors, addiction counselors, geriatric counselors, divorce counselors, existential crises counselors, and family therapists to name a few.
SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
- Use your intuition
- Make sure you shop around. Sites like Psychology Today Therapy Directory can help.
- Ask friends and family for referrals
- Take notice of how they keep their office. Is it clean and organized and does the environment feel relaxing?
- Make sure you feel comfortable around the person
QUESTIONS TO ASK
According to The American Psychological Association here are some questions you could ask:
· Are you a licensed psychologist? How many years have you been practicing psychology?
· I have been feeling (anxious, tense, depressed, etc.) and I’m having problems (with my job, my marriage, eating, sleeping, etc.). What experience do you have helping people with these types of problems?
· What are your areas of expertise — for example, working with children and families?
· What kinds of treatments do you use, and have they been proven effective for dealing with my kind of problem or issue?
· What are your fees? (Fees are usually based on a 45-minute to 50-minute session.) Do you have a sliding-scale fee policy?
· What types of insurance do you accept? Will you accept direct billing to or payment from my insurance company? Are you affiliated with any managed care organizations? Do you accept Medicare or Medicaid insurance?
THE FEE STRUCTURE
The cost of therapy is sometimes one of the things that hold many back from even attempting to look into it. Although it can range anywhere from $60 to $300 an hour, there are also some affordable and even free options. The cost depends on many things like the therapists training, what they specialize in, the location, and the length of each session. It’s good to ask about what fee structures are offered when you are calling around. That way, you won’t waste your time.
The Fee Options…
-Full fee means the therapist is paid his or her full amount when the bill is due.
-Sliding scale allows clients to pay what they can afford. This is a great option if you are on a budget and is usually based on your income (and sometimes expenses).
-No fee is not always easy to find however there are government agencies and non-profits that provide free therapy sessions.
-If you have private insurance they will usually cover a portion and will require a co-pay. However, if you can’t afford private healthcare, you can see if you qualify for Medicaid for free or low cost health services. State Medicaid programs provide some mental health services.