Everyone needs therapy – if not during their whole life than at certain, traumatic points. And people are starting to realize that more and more.
Even just watching the news lately can be a traumatic experience. And sometimes crystals or a day on the slopes just won’t fix the slump you’re in.
That’s where Boston Therapists come in, but there are a lot of them. How do you know which one is the right fit for you?
How do you even know where to start looking? Get answers in our guide below.
1. Ask a Trusted Professional
One of our clients said this when asked how she found us: “I was seeing a therapist in high school and then went off to college. After I came back, she didn’t have any spots available, so I asked her for a recommendation. That’s how I found Naya Clinics. While my high school therapist was great for me at the time, I’ve found a much better match for my current situation here”.
But what if you’re new to therapy? As long as you have some sort of medical professional you trust, they probably have a recommendation for a new provider. The medical community is a small world and your doctor could recommend the same therapist they use.
With confidentiality, you’ll never know. Plus, any recommendations you get from professionals are bound to be better than what Sally says from down the block.
2. Ask Friends and Family
While it’s great to get a recommendation from a professional, maybe you don’t want to go through that hassle. That’s fine – you can ask friends and family for a recommendation.
You don’t have to go to the same therapist as your mom or dad, either. You could ask their therapist to refer you to someone they trust.
Just make sure you’re okay with the person you ask knowing that you’re seeking treatment. While the stigma of going to therapy is much less today, you don’t want to tell an abusive person that you’re going to therapy because of them.
Your instinct will let you know who’s safe to talk to and who isn’t.
Also – don’t give up if you strike out. Maybe the first person you ask doesn’t know someone, but they’re willing to ask a friend of theirs. Boston is a small city when it comes to the community, so let people help you.
Your mom’s best friend’s daughter might know the perfect therapist match – you don’t know until you try.
3. Check National Directories
Since therapists have to have licenses, there are databases of professionals online. That means you can search Psychology Today’s Therapist Directory for “depression therapists in Boston” and get a list of people to look at.
But you could easily get overwhelmed with the choices. If you’re going to use a database, make sure you par down your choices by checking off boxes.
Does it matter to you if your therapist is male or female? You can check off the gender box on the initial search form. But most databases go even further into detail than that.
You can search for therapists that have experience with something you’re seeking to work on. For example, a child psychologist may not be the best fit for you at 33.
And someone who specializes in divorce won’t be the right person to help you with an Eating Disorder.
You don’t have to know exactly what you’re looking for. In fact, most people discover what they need in therapy is completely different from what they thought going in.
But you do have an idea of things you want to work on, so use that as a starting point.
4. Learn About their Personal Beliefs and What Theories They Use
For the most part, many of the thoughts Freud championed have now been challenged in one way or another. He had good ideas and did change how we think of psychology. Some also argue he had a really small and non-diverse sample size.
His experience pretty much only was with rich, white, upper-class women. So if you find a therapist who sites their operating theory as Freudian, that gives you some indication on how their approach will be influenced by.
But what you’re more likely to find are terms like “cognitive” or “psychodynamic”. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most common types of therapy there is. But it’s not for everyone.
When you’re looking at potential therapists, take some time to google the terms they list on their site or profile.
Some of the terms like “family therapist” are easy to understand, but others like “narrative” are a little vaguer. A few minutes of research should be all you need to figure out which approach is for you.
That said – you may not pick the right approach on the first try. Even the best therapist in the world isn’t right for 100% of people. The worst thing you can do is give up if you didn’t find an approach or therapist you like on the first try.
And if you do find something didn’t work or you didn’t like it – let your therapist know. Telling them “this didn’t work for me” is great feedback. Now they can start building a better idea of what kind of personalized care they can deliver to you.
5. Call Your Insurance
For many of us, even if we have great job benefits, therapy isn’t always covered in-network. That doesn’t mean you can’t write it off or use funds from your HSA.
But you don’t know if you have network benefits until you ask – so give your health insurance provider a call. Tell them what you’re looking for and they’ll let you know what your plan details are.
If you find a therapist who isn’t in-network but you love them, most insurance plans will let you send in receipts and reimburse you.
Finally, when you’re trying to find the perfect therapist in Boston, keep location in mind.
Look for someone who’s within a realistic distance so that going to therapy doesn’t feel like a burden.
Still not sure what you’re looking for with Boston Therapists? Check out our staff and services to get a better idea.
Sam Nabil was featured in many prestigious publications. Check out his interview with Aljazeera English, The Washington post, The Boston Globe, Fatherly magazine, Women's health magazine, Cornell university , Yahoo News, USA Today, Marriage.com