Categotry Archives: Choosing A Therapist

Choosing A Therapist

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Choosing The Right Kind of Therapist For You!

Given that there are so many different kinds of people and so many different kinds of therapists….How do you find the right one?  Use the information below to help you in your journey.

Do you prefer to use your health insurance plan mental health benefits?


If so, check the insurer’s website to see if they have an online directory of covered providers.  Start with providers that are near to where you live, work or go to school.  Make a short list and search their names on the web for more information.  Many providers now have websites where you can find their up to date address location and contact information, as well as a description of the services they provide.  You may be able to get an indication of the style in which they work, as well, from their website.  Use any and all information you can find to make a short list of therapist to call or email.  Call or email several regarding your specific problem or need, scheduling needs, and to see if they are taking new patients insured by your plan.  If possible ask other people who may know of that providers services, such as your doctor.

No Insurance?  Not Planning to Use Your Insurance Plan?


Many therapists have sliding scale rates available, for people who pay out of pocket.  You may choose not to use your insurance plan, even if you have one, if your need is not one of medical necessity, for example.  Or even if you just prefer not to have your mental health information on your medical records.  Compare the rates of several therapists and if you need one, ask directly if they have a sliding scale.  The rate you will pay for therapy should be negotiated before the first session, so you are sure of what you will be expected to pay before entering the therapy office.

Other things to clear up before the first session, either by phone or email….


If you have specific mental health condition or life situation, ask to be sure the therapist has experience in handling those matters successfully. Have a short conversation with the person in which you give him or her an opportunity to reassure you that you can be helped by coming in to see them for therapy.

If you had a specific type of therapy that had worked for you or not worked for you in the past, it would be helpful to discuss these preferences, and try to find your best match.

Is it important that you speak to either only a male or only a female?


In some kind of life situations one will only feel comfortable talking things over with someone of a certain gender or age group.  Decide if your situation is of that kind and write down your limitations.  Then begin to interview people who match what you feel you need first.  It is important in the healing journey to honor your basic needs and preferences when possible.

Do you need to speak with someone of a specific group, or specific orientation (cultural, religious, or sexual orientation)?
If you feel that differences having differences from your therapist in any of these areas, it is worth making sure ahead of meeting time that you are going to feel comfortable with your new therapist.  Usually, I can work with anyone, but I have met people who were not comfortable working with me due to some perceived difference in these areas.  I have a number of photos of the Buddha and of some really famous Yogis like Paramahamsa Yogananda in my office.  If people are going to be upset over the existence of those images in my office, for example, it’s best for us to find that out as soon as possible and spare us all the disconnect.  There are so many kinds of people who are psychotherapists in this community, you can surely find someone who you feel cozy with.

It is not always easy to reach out for help when we need it, especially with our inner lives, inner thoughts, inner pain and worries….  So give yourself the best opportunity for success by discussing your situation with several therapists and choosing the one you think and feel will be able to help you the best.  If your situation allows for it, even interview two or three therapists in person until you find someone you are comfortable with.   PUT IN THE EFFORT TO FIND THE BEST THERAPIST FOR YOU , You Are Worth It!

Self Help

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Here are some things to consider when you would like to help yourself feel better right away.

If you would like more assistance in applying these methods in your life, feel free to call, email, or schedule an appointment now, online. for an in person or telephonic session.

 

The quality of your mind will match the quality of your breath. The Breath can control the Mind.


When you are upset and start breathing shallowly, rapidly or holding your breath, the mind interprets that to mean that you are in some kind of serious danger. When that happens the mind will whip up a tornado of thoughts and speed up its scanning of the environment, reading in more trouble behind every corner! You can intervene at times like these by intentionally breathing in a more slow and steady way.

 

Try the triangle breathing method of training the breath to stabilize.
Triangle Breathing: imagine an upside down equilateral triangle. the left side represents the inhalation, the top represents the holding in of the breath, and the right side the exhalation. Your job is to make all the sides of the breath triangle as long and as equal as possible.
Begin this technique by inhaling as slowly as you can and counting how long your breath is. Then hold your breath in your lungs for the same amount of time. Next count the same number out as you slowly release your exhalation in a controlled fashion, making sure you have enough breath to make it all the way to the end of the count. After you have completed the first cycle, complete 2 or 3 more the exact same way. Next add one number to the count as you inhale and do a couple of cycles at the higher number if you can. If you can not, simply return to the lower number and try to increase it when you practice the triangle breathing next time. You can continue to train your breath to be slower, richer and deeper by practicing this method regularly, at least 3 times a week. It is a safe method to use to train your breath, even once per hour. So employ it liberally, and enjoy a greater peace of mind and a more relaxed body today! See my post “Reboot Yourself” for a more extensive description of this method.  http://vickivanwinkle.com/re-boot-yourself-after-trauma/

 

Stress causes you to use up key nutrients very quickly


If you are under a great deal of stress you can become easily depleted in B vitamins, which give you energy, and minerals such as calcium and magnesium which help you to relax. If stress is making you feel bad you might want to learn more about what kind of vitamin and mineral supplements will help. Besides ordinary food and multivitamins, you may benefit from specific supplements
help encourage healthy brain function, such as SAMe, phosphatydal serine,
GABA,or HTP 5 Hydroxy tryptophan.

You own mind may be making things worse by attacking you instead of helping you calm down and solve the problem at hand.


You may need to take some time to evaluate whether your own thought process is helping or hindering you in reducing your stress levels at this time. Dont Believe Everything You Think!!!! You may be blaming yourself, or jumping to conclusions or seeing things in black and white. You may be maximizing your obstacles and minimizing your strengths or making any number of cognitive errors. In order to best help yourself it would be good to get the book, FEELING GOOD, by David Burns. He explains the common errors we make in our thinking that make us feel more and more miserable. In his book he makes excellent suggestions for sorting out these distorted thoughts and getting our own mind back on our side of the problem solving crisis at hand.


If you are currently ready to seek in person therapy in Santa Rosa, CA ….or would like to schedule a telephonic therapy session please click here: