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Finding a Therapist for Young Adults: How to Know Who’s Right
High schoolers and college students are no strangers to mental health struggles. Whether it’s the pressures of your classes, friends, or parents, you could be fighting with feelings no one knows about. Perhaps you’d rather find a therapist for young adults instead of relying on the guidance or campus counselors, but where do you start?
Trying to find a mental health professional for yourself — or even your child — can feel daunting. There are so many people out there who have the potential to help you, but how do you know you’re picking the right one? Here’s a look at how to find a therapist for young adults and feel confident in your choice.
1. Do Your Research
Naturally, looking around for mental health counselors is the first place to start. Perhaps one of your friends either goes to a therapist themselves or knows someone who really likes who they see. Word of mouth is always the easiest way to locate a good therapist for young adults because you know you can rely on the people you’re hearing from.
However, you might not know anyone who has a good counselor to recommend. In that case, search engines are a fantastic resource to utilize because you may be able to see some of their reviews. You could also call your insurance provider to get a list of therapists you know they will cover.
2. Read Up on Their Style of Therapy
Hopefully, you now have a few counselors you’re considering reaching out to. But each of these professionals could have a different modality they work with. You may need to do some research on the type — or types — of therapy they like to use to see what might benefit you the most.
For instance, cognitive behavioral therapy could be great for you if you need help combatting unhelpful thoughts or feelings. On the other hand, dialectical behavior therapy might be best if you have trouble managing your emotions. There are many treatment styles out there, so read up on what the therapists on your list offer and see which ones sound helpful to you.
3. Have a Consultation Call
The last thing to do before starting sessions is to call the therapist’s office for a consultation. Before getting into the specifics, you may want to double check if they take your insurance. It would be challenging to find a great match only to realize you can’t afford their services.
Parents seeking help for their kids may be more interested in asking about the professional’s credentials. However, if you’re the one doing the search, you may want to ask how they feel about what you need help with. As an example, you might want to work with someone who has experience dealing with struggles related to race or gender.
4. See How You Feel
It’s perfectly OK to feel a bit uncomfortable when first starting sessions with the counselor you ended up deciding on. After all, you’re starting to open up about things you feel uncomfortable discussing with others. But if you want to ensure they’re a great therapist for young adults, pay attention to how you feel during and after each appointment.
Do you feel more comfortable talking to them, or is it hard to connect with them? Try talking to them if the latter is the case — they may just need to adjust how they’re approaching you. But sometimes, they end up not being the right fit for your needs. Switching therapists is absolutely normal, so don’t worry if you think someone else might be better for you.
However, there are a few things to watch out for. Your safety always comes first, so feel free to stop seeing them if they cross your boundaries. Additionally, you may want to be wary if the counselor talks too much about themselves. Many therapists use self-disclosure to connect with their patients, but it could take away from your own treatment if they do so too often.
Connecting With the Best Therapist for Young Adults
When looking for a counselor who will work well with you, consider following these steps to help find them. Your comfort level and progress are vital elements in this process. The professional you form a strong connection with that enables you to work through your problems may be the best therapist for you.
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