- Credentials: The letters that come after a name are actually quite important. These letters mean that your provider has appropriate training and qualifications. A couple of the letters refer to education such as A., which means they have a Masters Degree or Psy.D., which is a Doctorate in Psychology. The other letters refer to the license type. You want someone with one of the following: LP (Licensed Psychologist), LICSW (Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker), LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist), or LPCC (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor).
- Contracted Insurance Provider: If you intend to use your medical benefits, which almost always covers mental health services, you want to make sure the provider you are choosing is contracted with your plan as an “in-network” provider. This means you will have the highest level of coverage and those benefits are often much better than your “out of network” coverage. No need to pay more than necessary.
- Expertise and Knowledge: Be sure to read the biography on the website of the provider you are considering to make sure they can treat the issues you are concerned about. Most providers are well versed in common issues such as depression and anxiety. However, if you are seeking help with issues such as ADHD, bipolar, OCD, addictions for example, you want to make sure your provider has experience working with these issues.
- Personality Fit: The first session is your chance to get to know the provider you have selected. Often they will be asking about your background and history. As you get a sense of the provider’s style, personality, and approach; you will need to decide if it is a “good fit”. Trust your gut and if you feel comfortable, give it a couple more sessions. Trust evolves over the first few sessions, but if you don’t feel like you are going to be able to open up to this provider, don’t waste your time and money. It’s ok to try someone else. Providers don’t take it personally. In fact, on average it takes people three tries before they find a good fit, so don’t give up.
- Red Flags: Once you’ve started the therapy process there are some red flags to watch out for. Watch out for therapists that are talking more than you, especially if they are talking about their own lives. Therapists that routinely interrupt, start sessions late, or watch the clock a lot may be exhibiting some red flags. Also notice if they are fostering dependence, or encouraging you to tap into your own resources and become more independent.
We look forward to helping youReady to make an appointment? Call us at 763-416-4167 or fill out our online scheduling request and one of staff will contact you to help find the best provider.