The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Right Therapist for Your Anxiety
Living with anxiety can definitely be a challenge. Oftentimes, you might experience symptoms when you least expect them and having the tools to be able to cope with anxiety when it rears its ugly head will go a long way to helping you continue to live a healthy and balanced life. One of the best ways to develop such coping mechanisms and anxiety management tools is through speaking with either an in-person or online anxiety therapist.
Bringing on support to help explore your anxiety triggers and learn ways to deal with the resulting symptoms can be a big step, however, your health and wellbeing will benefit greatly in the long run. If you’re beginning your search for an anxiety therapist, we’ve compiled the below tips for ensuring that you’re finding the perfect support system to meet your needs.
Where to Start with Your Research
If you’re starting from square one in your search for a therapist to support you with anxiety, it can be overwhelming to know where to look. Luckily, there are several different routes you can take to gather information and suggestions for both in-person and online anxiety therapists.
The first route is of course through referrals. You can seek out recommendations from the medical professional you frequent as chances are they will likely have some great resources for you and might even know a therapist to recommend who would be a good fit for your needs. Don’t be afraid to also ask friends and family, especially if you know anyone who has also struggled with anxiety in the past.
If you have people close to you who have been open about seeking their own mental health support, chances are they would be more than willing to pass any resources or information on therapists that they have along.
If you’re a student in college or university, take a look at what types of resources are available to you at school through campus clinical services. Many schools provide access to counseling services through campus programs, often free of charge or through your student benefits packages. These sessions are a great way to connect with a licensed professional, potentially get an initial diagnosis, and work out a plan for continued mental health support.
Most people naturally turn to the internet for their research. Keep in mind if you’re searching online to use trusted websites such as the American Psychological Association to find certified mental health professionals in your area.
If you’re having trouble finding trained professionals who live locally and seem like they might be a good fit for you, then don’t forget virtual counseling might also be a great option. Services like we have at ACT Teletherapy match certified mental health practitioners with patients who have the freedom to connect from anywhere. If you need some additional support, but in-person therapy doesn’t seem like a good option, feel free to give us a call and ask whatever questions you might have about online therapy for your anxiety.
Finally, don’t forget when you’re doing your research to check in with your insurance provider. There is a high probability that they will have a list of local providers who are covered under your insurance plan that you can draw from to schedule your initial screening appointments. Many online counseling services aren’t covered by insurance. ACT Teletherapy is uniquely different in that regard. We work with many providers. Check with us to be sure you’re covered.
Narrowing Down Your Options
Once you have your list of potential providers, it’s time to narrow down your options with a bit more research. You can normally find some more in-depth information online, however, many therapists will also book a brief screening call with you to ask some questions and provide an opportunity for you to learn more as well. Make sure to explore what sort of experience they have in treating anxiety and what type of therapeutic approach they would normally take in working with anxiety patients (for example, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Exposure Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, etc).
Make sure to also speak about payment expectations as well as how often you’re interested in speaking with your therapist so that everyone has a good idea of the potential therapist-client agreement.
Make Your First Appointment
Seeing a potential therapist for the first time naturally brings on feelings of nervousness and vulnerability. Before you go to your first appointment, do some reflection upon your anxiety, the emotions tied into dealing with your anxiety, and what exactly you’re looking to gain from therapy. It’s always a good idea to enter therapy with some goals in mind that are a bit more detailed than “I want to feel better.”
For example, maybe “I want to leave the house without checking I locked the door 6 times,” or maybe “I want to go to a party without feeling nauseous the whole evening” are anxiety-related goals that you can bring to your therapy session. In your first session, be open and honest with your therapist about where you’re at with your anxiety and emotions, and what you’d like to accomplish.
As you’re putting yourself out there in this initial meeting, it’s so important to make sure you get a good feeling about your new therapist as well. You’re making yourself vulnerable during these sessions, and you need to speak with someone who you feel is listening, supporting, and providing valuable feedback and thought-provoking questions.
If there are any red flags at all, such as you feel the therapist is speaking over you, not actively listening, or trying to press you into therapeutic approaches that you’re uncomfortable with, then it’s time to go back to your list of potential candidates because they likely are not a good fit for the long run.
Online Anxiety Therapist Services from ACT Teletherapy
To learn more about our teletherapy services, including online anxiety therapy, contact our team today.