Many people have difficulty figuring out where to start when seeking mental health help. Patients are more likely to give up or prolong the process when the process feels overwhelming. Let’s discuss the most critical questions and the steps to finding your ideal therapist. Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Mental Health Help You’ll need to navigate several things when setting up treatment, but finding the right mental health provider in Vancouver can be life-changing. In today’s society, financial stressors impact the lives of many Canadians. Since financial problems can further affect your mental health, you’ll want to start by looking at the costs of your mental health help. Insurance vs. Self-Pay for Mental Health Help Start by determining how you’ll pay for your mental health services and what you can afford. Do you want to use your insurance, or will you pay out of pocket? You’ll also need to decide between in-person sessions and online therapy. Some mental health professionals offer both, while others specialize in one or the other. Prices and coverage will also vary between in-person and online therapy. Does My Insurance Cover Mental Health Help? You'll need to check your coverage if you plan to use your insurance. You can typically use your insurance’s website to search for in-network providers. Look at the behavioral health section of the website to search for a directory of providers covered by your insurance. You can also call your insurance company to find a therapist in your network. Once you’ve identified options covered by insurance, you’ll want to check with the provider to ensure they accept insurance. What Do All the Credentials Mean? As you’re looking for a therapist, getting overwhelmed with credentials is easy. Accreditations and credentials are categorized by the level of mental health help providers can offer. MD, Ph.D., LPC, LMSW- what do all these mean, and how do you know which is right for you? Here’s a quick breakdown: MDs are typically Psychiatrists who specialize in mental illness. They can prescribe medications, offer therapy, and run tests. PhDs are Psychologists who focus on a specific area of interest. For example, they may specialize in child psychology, addiction treatment, counseling, or other particular diagnoses. Master’s-level clinicians include Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT), Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), and Licensed Master Social Workers (LMSW). They typically only provide psychotherapy. Psychiatrists prescribe medications, while all other doctors offer psychotherapy. Looking at all the credentials can be intimidating. To make it simple, decide if you need counseling, medication, or a combination of both. Find a Therapist Best Fit for Your Needs Once you’ve narrowed down your list of mental health help for your specific needs, you’ll need to do your research. Browse online for websites, profiles, and reviews of each potential therapist. You’ll get a sense of who they are and how they approach mental health treatment based on their professional profiles. You may even get to put a face to the name, which can be surprisingly helpful in finding the right fit. Narrow your list down to two or three options. Reach out to each to discuss their current availability and whether they are accepting new clients. You may also be able to schedule a phone consultation to decide further if you’re a good fit for one another. Be Prepared for Your First Session Once you find mental health help that meets your criteria, budget, and schedule, you’ll need to prepare for your first session. Use a notebook to jot down details about what you hope to get out of treatment. Approach each session with an open mind and be willing to accept your counselor's guidance. It may take a few sessions to determine if your approach is suitable for your needs. Remember, your mental health help is about YOU! Don’t stop trying until you find the right option for your growth and healing. Find the Right Therapist for Your Treatment at My Recon Therapy Working through the technicalities to get the right mental health help for your needs is life-changing. At My Recon Therapy, we have the training and expertise to help you overcome your struggles. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options for working with a Vancouver therapist dedicated to your growth and healing.