Finding a Therapist

 

If you or someone you know is just getting started on the path to healing, the first step is accessing professional therapy. I hope this information helps!

Anxiety is normal! (read about mine!)  You are making a good choice! Healing is possible! When I began therapy, I had no idea I was suffering from the effects of trauma or what therapy would be like. I certainly didn't know my struggles weren't my fault or that it would be possible to heal! I was blessed to receive the exact help that I needed, but the following are the things I wish I would have known.

Note! During COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, many therapists are using teletherapy options. At the "Find a Therapist" link in this information, you can look for that option by viewing the therapist's information.

1.

There is such a thing as "good fit" in therapy. You are allowed to choose the type of therapy you desire. Now, having said that, if you go and get upset by what the therapist asks or says, it doesn't mean it isn't a good fit. It probably means you have stuff to work through. But if the therapist says something completely against your value system, you might need to reconsider. (Then again, maybe you do need to rethink some values. If they are valid, you won't loose them in the process. The values worth keeping will remain.)

2.

You can know something about a therapist before you arrive. Recommendations are helpful, but you may not know anyone in therapy or you don't want to ask for a recommendation. (It is OK to not ask for a recommendation from church. Sometimes our deepest wounds occur in the church. Sad but true.) Go to Find a Therapist and search by location. You can narrow your search using the menu on the left (this includes choosing Christian if that is a priority). In addition, therapists have specialties. You should consider this. There are short professional snippets on each one to provide information.

3.

Think about the kind of counseling you need. My highly recommended suggestion for trauma-related therapy is EMDR Therapy (you can choose this to narrow your search). Though this is my personal preference, it is not the only effective therapy for treating trauma. You need to check for training and experience, especially if you are aware of trauma. There are levels of training for EMDR specifically and you do not want to choose a novice if you are aware of complex (multiple) traumas.  See Trauma-Informed Therapy . . .

4.

Cost is always a factor. You can ask if there is a sliding scale. If you have insurance, you can filter the choices by insurance providers.  Have the courage to file the claim (I didn't because of fear). If you file a claim, a diagnosis will be required, but it should remain confidential medical information. Remember, you are not to blame for the trauma you experienced!

5.

Be prepared to work. Your healing is your responsibility! Your therapist is your guide. You have to want to heal. Work through a layer, take a break, but accept that you may need to return (I wasn't very good at this). Healing is a process and your therapist can't tell you how many sessions it will take--it just doesn't work like that. 

6.

Understand that you may be storing a lot of pain and hurt inside. It is kind of like cleaning out a closet--it can get really messy before it gets better. No one stops cleaning out a closet in the middle of the mess and walks away because that just makes living more difficult. When healing comes, you will be so glad you made the choice to heal.

Janyne McConnaughey, Ph.D.

      Trauma-Informed Author & Advocate

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All information and resources at this website have been presented as part of my personal story and does not replace professional psychological care for mental health issues. The only legal and ethical advice I can offer is to seek professional help. 

If you have had or are having suicidal thoughts, please call: 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

1-800-273-8255

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© 2021 by Janyne  & Scott McConnaughey