Learning how to choose a good anxiety treatment therapist is important, because the numbers of diagnoses of anxiety disorders has risen sharply in the last decade. As a result, more and more people are turning to professional therapy to help them overcome these types of issues.
There’s a bewildering array of choices when it comes to anxiety treatment options. So how do you know you’re choosing a therapist that’s right for you? I’ll show you how to make your search for a good anxiety treatment therapist easier.
First, Narrow Your Options in Order to Choose a Good Anxiety Treatment Therapist
It may sound counter-intuitive, but the first step is to narrow your focus down to a subset of all the available therapists in your area. Most communities have hundreds of practicing therapists; large cities often have thousands. Here’s how to reduce that huge list into something more manageable:
- Will your anxiety treatment be covered by insurance? — If your insurance will pay for your treatment, your insurance company will have a list of all their approved treatment providers. Get a copy of that list by calling them or by downloading it from their website. Circle the names that show treatment of anxiety and/or phobia as among their specialties. It’s important your therapist understands the special challenges you face as an anxiety sufferer.
- Will you have to pay for treatment out-of-pocket? — If you have to pay for your anxiety treatment yourself, you obviously can’t use a provider list from an insurance company. You’ll have to generate your own list of good anxiety treatment therapists to start with. Here’s how:
- Medical clinics — If your community has a large public medical clinic, they will often keeps list of all practicing therapists in the surrounding area. Obtain this information by calling or going to the clinic, or check their website if showing up in person or calling feels too scary. The Internet has made finding info on good anxiety treatment options a lot easier!
- Hospitals — You can also check your local hospital for info about mental health professionals in your area. Hospitals either have therapists on staff or maintain associations with other organizations that provide treatment services. At the very least, they can make a referral to someone who can help you locate the information you need.
Other Ways to Choose a Anxiety Treatment Therapist
- Ask a friend — Millions of people seek professional treatment every year. It’s likely that you already know some of them. Ask a good friend for a recommendation to a therapist they’ve had a good experience with. A solid recommendation from someone you know and trust is a great way to find a therapist.
- Use the Internet — The Internet has made choosing a good therapist much easier. Check out Good Therapy, Psychology Today, and the Anxiety & Depression Association of America to search for qualified mental health workers in your area. You can also do a Google search for “anxiety treatment therapists in (name of your city)” to find more local treatment options.
By using one or several of these methods, you should be able to find some good therapists in your area that specialize in anxiety treatment. In part 2 of this series, I’ll talk about how to interview specific therapists to find the one that’s the best fit for you.