Written By Anita Ginsburg / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
If you require some form of therapy, you may become overwhelmed when you realize just how many options are available. You want to find an expert that works with people who share your unique needs, but that can be difficult when you’re starting your search. Use these tips to find a mental health professional with the right specialty to treat you.
Learn Psychiatrist Specialties
When you look for a mental health professional, you will find a number of specialties. Some of the most popular specialties include:
- Addiction and eating disorder psychology
- Developmental and juvenile psychology
- Social psychology
- Military psychology
- Serious mental illness psychology
- Sleep psychology
- Relationship psychology
By thinking about your current problems and goals, you can figure out what sort of specialization you need from your psychologist. When you determine the specialization that best applies to you, you can narrow down the pool of available mental health professionals in your area.
Get References From Your Insurance Company
Now that you understand your options, call your insurance company to get a list of nearby covered psychologists in your specialization. Learn what your insurance company will cover, as coverage varies greatly from policy to policy. In many cases, insurance will cover at least part of your therapy expenses as well as anything medically necessary, such as emergency inpatient care and addiction treatment.
Pick Your Psychologist
Once you have a list of psychologists who specialize in your needs to choose from, you need to make a decision. Start by eliminating options with offices too far away to reach easily. If you have mobility issues, you can narrow down your search to mental health professionals who offer telehealth services.
Next, you will read reviews to learn which psychologists have the best reviews from their clients. Look for therapists who appear to have an approach that works for you.
Decide if You Need a Psychiatrist Too
Many people use the titles “psychologist” and “psychiatrist” interchangeably. However, these professionals serve different roles. A psychologist will spend time working with you regularly, often with weekly, hour-long appointments, though it may be more or less depending on your needs.
A psychiatrist is a medical professional who can legally prescribe medication for mental health problems. You will visit them less likely than a psychologist, and appointments will be shorter. During these appointments, they will assess whether your current prescription is effective and whether the dosage or type of medication should be altered for better results. They will work with your psychologist as well.
While a psychiatrist is not a replacement for a psychologist, they can be a vital part of your mental health journey. Your psychologist can refer you to a psychiatrist if necessary.
Make Your First Appointment
Finally, you need to take the plunge and actually schedule an appointment. Make the appointment as soon as possible and make it at a convenient time for you to eliminate the possibility of having to cancel. During your first session, talk openly and honestly about your needs and feelings toward therapy.
During this session, you will get the opportunity to start a relationship. Unless you see a serious conflict in personalities, move forward for a couple of months to give the psychologist a fair chance.
When you find a perfect match in a psychologist, you will experience better results more quickly. While the path to better mental health always takes time and effort, the right mental health professional can make your journey easier and your goals more attainable. By doing your research, you can find the right professional more quickly.
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Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, Colo. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.