Y'all. Therapy is a game-changer. Take from a professional therapy-giver and loyal therapy-receiver. But here's the thing: if you aren't familiar with the world of counseling, it can be hard to know where to start.
To begin therapy is to start a long-term relationship with a professional of your choice. Even if you're only seeking short-term counseling (as is the case with premarital or containment during a season of high stress), it's helpful to find a person that you feel comfortable calling on months, even years, down the road!
Here's your 101 guide to finding therapists and figuring out who is the right choice for you:
Where to Find a Therapist
Sites like Psychology Today, Therapy for Latinx, and Therapy for Black Girls are designed with your needs in mind. These collectives of therapeutic resources can help you find a trained professional in your location who specializes in your area of concerns.
Pro Tip: As you scroll through profiles, be open. A therapist may not "look" like anyone else in your life, but their biography may reveal special care for what you need. If you plan on attending sessions in-person, also recommend choosing a therapist that is 20 miles or less from where you live. If you're willing to make a longer drive, go for it! But you don't want to put yourself in a situation where consistent attendance is difficult due to distance/traffic/schedules.
Yes! In this digital age, mental health providers are extremely active on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Pinterest!
Pro Tip: Search for basic hashtags related to counseling (i.e. #atlantatherapist, #sextherapist, #atlcounselor, #marriagecounseling, #therapistsofinstagram) or related to the topic you need help with (i.e #sextherapy, #anxietytips, #healthyrelationships, #datingadvice). You'll be able to get a glimpse into the therapist's style and area of expertise!
How to Write an Inquiry Email
Keep it simple! Most therapists offer some form of phone or video consultation if you'd like one, so that you can both discern if you're a good fit. The email is your way of letting them know that you're interested. Try this email template to save time as you contact multiple potential therapists:
Hello, (therapist's name here)!
My name is (your name), and I am interested in (individual | couples) counseling to improve (anxiety | communication | sexual issues | etc.). I am interested in ( in person | online) sessions at this time, and am available on (these weekdays at time).
You can reach me on my cell phone (insert number) or by emailing me at (insert private email).
What to Look For
Go with your gut! There is an expected amount of discomfort and anxiety that comes with exploring your emotions. There is also an expected adjustment period where you are getting used to a new person in your life! Still, the hope is that you'd feel the potential for trust with your therapist.
Trust is earned and built, so give yourself one to three sessions to discern if it's the right fit. If not, no worries! There is a therapist out there that will be a great match! If you feel an instant connection, AWESOME! If you are still unsure at session three, trust yourself. Or, even better, talk about it with your therapist. "Hey, I kind of like this, but I still feel a little unsure, and I'm not sure what to do."
Pro Tip: In your first session, ask your therapist questions as well! They can be questions about the process (frequency, their therapeutic style), or questions about them (why they chose to become a therapist, their favorite ice cream!).
YOU'VE GOT THIS!
If you're a lady with concerns about anxiety, relationships or sexuality, let's talk! Getting started is a big step, and a brave one. Be proud of yourself!
Are you interested in beginning your therapeutic healing journey?
Book a FREE 15-minute consultation that fits your schedule. Ask any question you have!