Tips from a therapy user of how to find quality care.
Disclaimer: This is based on our personal experiences and what worked for us. We are not medical providers or healthcare practitioners. Please consult your support team for information regarding your healthcare.
We have been in therapy for more years than we can count. Since the age of 5, we have seen therapists and psychiatrists. To manage our OCD, our anxiety, and our dissociation due to trauma. Our therapy has not been effective until now.
Therapy is not just about the patient, but the skills of the practitioner. Sadly, not all therapists are built alike which means not every person will benefit from sessions.
Finding a good therapist…
The first thing we did wrong was assuming that the therapist we have is the only option. Often, the authority is imbalanced with mental healthcare. Instead of making educated choices as a patient, we rely on the knowledge and credentials of the counselor. For us, autism impacted our mental health functions and we could not find a practitioner that had experience dealing with comorbid disorders. For years, we just let our insurance determine the therapist.
Then we decided to take control. We researched options and even researched the therapists before meeting them.
We used The Psychology Today Directory to find counselors in our area. Then we called to confirm they accepted our insurance. This directory is useful since it tells you some of their specialties. You can see if they have experience with children or adults if they have experience with mental and developmental health, and so on. It is a tool to vet your therapist before scheduling the first appointment.
Healthcare is a service and you are the customer…
Once we didn’t feel stuck, we began to pre-draft questions for the therapist. At the first meeting, we would grade them on their answers.
We asked, “Do you have experience with autism? Have you worked with trauma disorders? What is your method of therapy? What do you believe about healing?”
Any question that works for you, you should ask. Remember this is your time and you are the one that needs to find…