So you are considering seeing a therapist...
So you are thinking about seeing a therapist.
The first step is to decide if you want to use your insurance or pay on your own. The pros and cons to using insurance are that it might limit which therapists you can see but it is likely also to be less expensive. The best therapist for you may not take your insurance and information about you has to be provided to your insurance company in order for the therapist to be paid. The pros of paying on your own include having a better choice of therapists and having greater privacy. The con is that your cost might be higher than if you utilized your insurance.
If you decide to use your insurance, the next step is to find a therapist in your insurance network. The easiest way to do this is to go to your insurance's website and search for therapists in the area of your choice. I would encourage looking these therapists up online to determine if they would be a good fit. Therapists may have their own website, they may have a listing on one of many websites that provides profiles for therapists. It can be difficult to know if one therapist would be a better fit than another but you might rule people out this way.
If you are going to private pay, skip the first step and go for the second. There are a few ways to find a therapist and read about them: www.psychologytoday.com, www.goodtherapy.com and www.networktherapy.com. You can also do a google search using "therapist, [your city] and [your issue]" or some variation of that. On each of those websites you can read about the focus of therapist's practice, and get a sense of them.
The next step is to call therapists and make an appointment. Unfortunately, many therapists do not return phone calls. Keep trying, eventually you will get a call back and be able to make an appointment. It can be difficult to find a therapist with the availability that you need; evenings, weekends, etc. Again, keep trying. It might take sacrifice as in you may need to leave work a little early one day a week to make it to session or rearrange your schedule to get an appointment time or go on your lunch break.
Even after you start with a therapist, it is important to evaluate if this is the right therapist for you. See post about evaluating if this is the right therapist for you.