How Do I Find A Psychologist
If you plan to use your insurance or employee assistance program to pay for psychotherapy, you may need to select a psychologist who is part of your insurance plan or employee assistance program. But if youre free to choose, there are many ways to find a psychologist:
- Ask trusted family members and friends.
- Ask your primary care physician, obstetrician/gynecologist, pediatrician, or another health professional. If youre involved in a divorce or other legal matters, your attorney may also be able to provide referrals.
- Search online for psychologists websites.
- Contact your area community mental health center.
- Consult a local university or college department of psychology.
- Call your , which may have a list of practicing psychologists organized by geographic area or specialty.
Or use a trusted online directory, such as APAs Psychologist Locator service. This service makes it easy for you to find practicing psychologists in your area.
Psychologists may work in their own private practice or with a group of other psychologists or health care professionals. Practicing psychologists also work in schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, health systems and health management organizations, veterans medical centers, community health and mental health clinics, businesses and industry, and rehabilitation and long-term care centers.
Common Types Of Therapy
Therapy can be done one on one, as a couple or a family, or in group settings where there is a common goalfor example, group therapy can be facilitated for a group of people who are working through an issue such as post-traumatic stress disorder or grief.
There are many different types of therapy, and many of them have different purposesfor example, healing from trauma, changing behaviors, or recovering from addiction. Here are some of the most common types of therapy and what they are typically used to treat:
Ethical And Legal Concerns
Online therapy eliminates geographic restraints, making the enforcement of legal and ethical codes difficult. Therapists can treat clients from anywhere in the world, and many states have different licensing requirements and treatment guidelines. It is important to confirm your therapist’s qualifications and experience before you begin the treatment process.
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Its Perfectly Acceptable To Ask Your Therapist What Progress Might Look Like For You
Given how challenging and broad it is to define and measure success in therapy, its a good idea to discuss your specific treatment goals with your therapist upfront, and ask lots of questions moving forward. This is particularly true now with the ever-changing landscape of COVID-19.
First, youll of course discuss with your therapist what brings you there, and what your specific goals might be.
Then, ideally at the outset of therapy, the individual and provider also mutually agree upon a definition of progress that both parties can evaluate over time. I suggest going as far asking your therapist directly: How will I know if this is working or if I am improving?
As a provider, there are many times where I use measures of different symptoms to gauge how the patient is doing or if they are improving, but I also aim to check in with the patient directly and have a conversation about whether the treatment is helpful or if there are aspects that are working for them and others that are not, Dr. Cropper says.
And if, as your time in therapy goes on, you’re unsure about what your therapist is talking about when they say things like, “This was great progress today,” it doesnt hurt to ask them straight up what they mean by that.
What If Psychotherapy Doesnt Seem To Be Working
When you began psychotherapy, your psychologist probably worked with you to develop goals and a rough timeline for treatment. As you go along, you should be asking yourself whether the psychologist seems to understand you, whether the treatment plan makes sense, and whether you feel like youre making progress.
Some people begin to feel better in about six to 12 sessions. If you dont start seeing signs of progress, discuss it with your psychologist. Your psychologist may initiate a conversation about what to do. If he or she doesnt, bring it up yourself. You could ask your psychologist about additional or alternative treatment methods, for example. Sometimes speaking up to your psychologist can be very empowering, especially since your psychologist will be understanding and nonjudgmental instead of offended.
Keep in mind that as psychotherapy progresses, you may feel overwhelmed. You may feel more angry, sad, or confused than you did at the beginning of the process. That doesnt mean psychotherapy isnt working. Instead, it can be a sign that your psychologist is pushing you to confront difficult truths or do the hard work of making changes. In such cases, these strong emotions are a sign of growth rather than evidence of a standstill. Remember, sometimes things may feel worse before they get better.
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What Do We Know About Psychotherapy
You play a role in the therapy yourself
Psychotherapy helps you to understand why you feel, think and act in ways which are distressing and affect your life, and to work towards changing these. This can be challenging but it means you play an important part in your own therapy, and this in itself is empowering.
Real change takes time to happen
Psychotherapy does not work quickly, but over a period of months will help you to learn new ways of thinking, behaving and even feeling. You may notice, for example, that you are better prepared to handle things that used to worry you or get you down. Eventually you may find the whole way you think of yourself and the way you perceive and respond to the world changes for the better.
Psychotherapy often combines with other treatments
Psychotherapy is often effective on its own for people with depression and anxiety disorders. Sometimes it is also useful to combine therapy with other treatments. For people with illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, for example, medication, ongoing rehabilitation, accommodation and employment support are often needed.
Having A Male Or Female Therapist Doesnt Make A Difference
Its OK to have a gender preference for your therapist, but dont think picking a therapist of the same gender will significantly improve the quality of your sessions. Gender is also not likely to change the way a therapist treats you.
When I was looking for a therapist, I had trepidations about picking a woman. I thought any female therapist would be equally qualified and efficient, but I worried she would judge me if I talked about sleeping with women or used politically incorrect language.
Now that Ive had several female therapists, I know my anxieties were unfounded. Male or female, therapists do not judge you. They want you to feel free to be yourself and say whats on your mind without mincing words.
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You Want To Invest In Your Mental Health
To be clear, individuals do not NEED to have anything wrong with them to attend them. Insurance companies require a diagnosis for reimbursement, but I also see plenty of individuals who cover the cost of couples counseling out of pocket because mental health is something that is important to them and something they want to invest their time, energy, and money into. Dr. Nicole Lacherza-Drew, Psy.D.
This Is Not A Tv Show
TV therapists are bohemian-chic nodding machines that start all of their sentences with, So who I hear you saying is… As a counseling professor, I can assure you that we scrub those cliches out of our students minds before we let them graduate. Ive never seen a TV therapist worth imitating, unless you count Tracey Ullman singing karaoke to Ally McBeal. Thats more my jam.
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What To Expect In Therapy Or Counseling
Every therapist is different, but there are usually some similarities in how therapy is structured. Normally, sessions will last about an hour, and take place around once a week. Although for more intensive therapy, they may be scheduled more often. Therapy is normally conducted in the therapists office, but therapists also work in hospitals and nursing homes, and in some cases will conduct home visits.
Expect a good fit between you and your therapist. Dont settle for bad fit. You may need to see one or more therapists until you feel understood and accepted.
Therapy is a partnership. Both you and your therapist contribute to the healing process. Youre not expected to do the work of recovery all by yourself, but your therapist cant do it for you either. Therapy should feel like a collaboration.
Therapy will not always feel pleasant. Painful memories, frustrations or feelings might surface. This is a normal part of therapy and your therapist will guide you through this process. Be sure to communicate with your therapist about how you are feeling.
Therapy should be a safe place. While at times youll feel challenged or face unpleasant feelings, you should always feel safe. If youre starting to feel overwhelmed or youre dreading your therapy sessions, talk to your therapist.
Does Therapy Help What Can Therapy Do For You
Are you struggling with a problem and wondering whether therapy really helps?
Ask yourself, are you content with the way things are now? If you are grappling with issues like anxiety, depression, PTSD, or even a spiritual crisis, participating in therapy could help you find the answers that you are looking for.
Why Should I Go to Therapy?
Good question! Going to therapy is a personal choice for each individual. However, for whatever reason, you may have come to a point in your life where things just arent working. These could include:
- The way you handle your emotions.
- How you relate to other people.
- How you connect with people who are close in your life.
- Feeling like you dont have control over your thoughts or feelings.
Whatever it may be, the result is that you may be finding it difficult to work or stay employed. Maybe you are struggling to express yourself to others. Or perhaps issues like as anxiety have taken such a toll, that you dont feel like you can function normally.
Does Therapy Help Me Be Happy?
What Happens During a Therapy Session?
What Kinds of Strategies Are Used in Therapy?
There are different kinds of methodologies that a therapist can use to help you achieve your goals. Some of these include:
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy : A cognitive technique that emphasizes mindfulness, change, and acceptance. Grounded in Eastern traditions.
- Transpersonal Psychology: Incorporates traditional psychology with spirituality.
Does Therapy Help?
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Cryotherapy And Autoimmune Disease
If cryotherapy has positive effects on your immune system and can reduce inflammation, it makes sense that it can be used to treat autoimmune diseases. In fact, whole body cryotherapy was originally developed in 1978 in Japan by Toshima Yamauchi, a Japanese medical doctor who was seeking a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
One study confirmed his work and found cryotherapy reduced pain and inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.18 In fact, there are several studies that showed improvements in pain reduction and inflammation among patients with autoimmune disease.
Our bodys react to the cold by sending messages to the brain, which releases chemicals and hormones to stimulate blood flow, lymphatic system drainage, and an immune system response. Our immune system increases production of white blood cells, which reduces inflammation. Increased circulation allows blood to move oxygen to skin and muscles more efficiently, and your brain releases endorphins and adrenaline, which reduces cortisol.
Is Group Therapy Ever Helpful
Although depression is a very individualized disorder, with each patient exhibiting a distinctive patterns of symptoms, group therapy can sometimes be helpful. One area of special value may be group education in coping skills, problem-solving skills, and techniques for managing difficult emotions, as deficits in those areas are known to underlie most expressions of depression. Such treatment is often labeled psychoeducation and it may be especially appealing to people who cannot afford an individual course of therapy or who feel stigmatized by it. Whatever the format of depression group therapy, it can offer some advantages over individual therapy. Most obviously, it counters the social isolation that is a major precipitant of depression. Groups also allow for working though the dysfunctional relationship patterns that contribute to depression. Further, group interaction provides a forum for credible challenges to the negative evaluations depressed people make about themselves.
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How Is Therapy Coordinated With Medication Use
Combination psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy for major depression is very common, both for acute and chronic forms of the disorder. Treatment with both modalities may begin simultaneously or be sequenced. Sometimes reduction in agitation or cloudiness of thinking or the abatement of psychic pain by medication is necessary before patients can be responsive to psychotherapy. Other times, medication can boost the effects of psychotherapy.
Typically, a psychiatrist or other medical doctor prescribes medication, monitors the response, and makes adjustments to the dosage or changes the type of medication as needed, while the psychotherapy is carried out separately by a psychologist or other mental health professional. Because the interaction between therapist and patient provides a prime window into a patients thoughts and feelings, the psychotherapist is also ideally positioned to observe the response to antidepressant drugs and deliver invaluable feedback to the prescribing physician. Patients do best when the two professionals are in regular contact coordinating their respective treatments rather than delivering them independently..
People Share How Therapy Helped Them
“I used to have anger issues before I went to therapy, and it’s really helped me have a more calm demeanor.”
“Therapy helped me see how a combination of abusive experiences from my past all came together in the perfect storm, causing me to make a really unhealthy relationship decisions in adulthood. I was able to understand that what happened to me really was abuse and wasnt just normal, like I was raised to believe in my family, I got perspective on what normal, healthy behavior really does look like, and Ive had a lot of support from my therapist to practice and establish healthy boundaries.”
“It’s been helpful to have someone objectively listen to me and not tell me that I’m wrong or whatever for feeling whatever it is that I feel. It also helps give me tools that will in turn help myself in the long run. It’s good to be able to get some of those emotions out and not have them boil over and learn how to ultimately understand myself a little better.”
“I have been talking to the same counselor for almost 6 years now. I had some really bad experiences with therapy in the past so reaching out to this one took a lot of courage. It’s helped me to regulate my mood and understand why I have the reactions I do. It’s taught me to be mindful and name my emotions. It’s not an easy road, but believe it’s well worth it if you find a good one.”
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What Exactly Does Therapy Accomplish
Therapy can be a wonderful tool to help people live happy, fulfilling lives. Therapy addresses a wide range of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and grief, but therapy can also be used for purposes other than immediate mental health concerns. For example, if you are struggling with the stress of a new career, a therapist can help you develop strategies for managing the stress to get the most out of your new job. Read the answers below from therapists who explain what therapy can accomplish:
: There are possibly as many answers to this question as there are people seeking therapy and therapists providing it. The goals of therapy will vary based on the individual and his or her presenting issues and objectives.
In early sessions, psychotherapy will provide a non-judgmental environment in which you can feel connected, supported, and understood. You will quickly learn that, despite your concerns, you are not alone and you will have a partner in your efforts to overcome whatever situation or condition may have brought you into treatment.
If you are experiencing distressing symptoms related to depression or anxiety, therapy will educate you about your condition and teach you methods to cope with and/or relieve your sad moods, nervous feelings, stress, and other symptoms.
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How Is Progress Evaluated In Therapy
While unstructured interactions with patients under their care can provide a window into patient functioning, therapists providing good care make regular assessments of a patients clinical status using criteria that have been validated in many studies. To know whether and how much depression is improving, they regularly monitor treatment progress by measuring the severity of multiple symptoms of depression on standardized scales. The most widely used assessment instrument is the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, or Ham-D, which gauges progress in 21 constellations of symptoms, from level of sadness to degree of guilty feelings to lack of energy to sleep problems. Severity is rated for each cluster of symptoms. Comparison of results over several sessions provides an accurate picture of treatment effectiveness and indicates areas where more intensive work may be needed.
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Talking Is Not The Only Work That You Need To Do
Ninety-nine percent of your outcome is dependent on what you do after you get up and walk out of the room. Are you taking better care of your mind and body? Putting yourself in difficult situations to grow and learn? Reacting maturely when your family annoys you for the millionth time? Therapy is like learning football plays. At some point, you have to run them and see what happens.