For a long time, I stopped going to therapy. I had moved to LA, and it felt like a big fat annoyance until I dipped down into another deep depression and couldn’t shake it. I was always exhausted, I could barely write anything, I was weepy, I was paranoid, I had crazy social anxiety, I had everything.
So yeah, time to find me a real live therapist!
Not gonna lie, trying to find a therapist is a pain in the ass. It’s been compared to dating, and it makes sense. It might take you a few dates to find the one, so you need to psych yourself up for some research. At least you can do this part from bed.
Ask your regular doctor and close friends if they know a therapist they can recommend.
CALL THEM FIRST
Ask the therapist’s for their rates, and if they take insurance. If they take your insurance, that’s great. Also, a lot of therapists do this thing called a Super Bill. They don’t personally take your insurance. Instead, they give you a bill every month, and you send it to your insurance company to get reimbursed. If they don’t take insurance at all, no superbill or nothing, and their rates are too high tell them you can’t afford it. Sometimes therapists work on a Sliding Scale. This means you pay what you can. If you can’t find anyone don’t freak out. There is always another way. There’s a place in LA called Open Path Psychotherapy Collective. They help find in-office affordable therapists. There is usually something like this where you live, so don’t quit. Google is your friend! But if one of these options works for you, YAY! Keep going.
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT
You may have to meet with a few to find the one.
My first appointment was with a woman. She was ok, but she talked about herself A LOT. By the end of the session I knew she didn’t get along with her sister because she’s a narcissist, her husband is from New Jersey, grew up in New York, but his accent is VERY Jersey, and she’s been trying to lose those last ten pounds all year.
That was a no.
I called another therapist, but they weren’t seeing new patients. I called another one, and they didn’t take insurance and charged $250 an hour.
I have never had a male therapist, but I’ve had a male gynecologist for 15 years, so I figured if I can let a male doctor in my vagina, I can let a male doctor in my head.
So I met with this male therapist. He had one of those day bed things you lay on while he takes notes. He did not say a word the whole time. He just took notes and nodded. At the end, he went over to his computer to print something up for me, and I saw that he had been looking at porn. C’MON!
Gotta weed them out.
I finally realized that I needed to ask questions. At your appointment, the therapist should give you a rundown of their style because there are different types of therapy. Make sure that their style is something that would work for you. You probably don’t want to be chanting naked while sacrificing a chicken or anything like that. Definitely go for it and ask questions because this is the person you might be telling all your crazy thoughts to!
So I went to another appointment. I liked her from the start. I asked questions. She listened and was super compassionate. She didn’t tell me to get over it and send me on my way. Since I felt so comfortable with her, I opened up more than I thought I would even though I was nervous, and guess what? She didn’t judge me! If she did, she hid it well. The most important thing for me was I felt comfortable with her.
You want to feel comfortable with your therapist! You’re going to be talking about really personal things, and if you don’t feel comfortable, you might hold back, and that defeats the whole purpose of therapy. If you don’t feel comfortable or it feels creepy, or they talk too much, or they keep canceling your appointment, they’re not for you.
I know it sucks even thinking about committing to someone you’re not having sex with, but going to therapy will make a massive difference in your depression. Having someone to talk your shit out with who doesn’t judge you is glorious. Someone who is on your side to remind you there’s nothing wrong with you even if you don’t believe them.