Trying to find a therapist?
In my 15 years of practice as a mental health professional, I have never seen such demand for therapy. On the one hand, fantastic! That means there is decreased stigma around mental health treatment and that more people understand the importance of mental health in our overall well-being.
On the other hand, not so fantastic. That means there are a lot of people who are suffering. These last two years have been difficult for everyone. Some folks think that just because their day-to-day life has returned back to normal or because their city has fully opened up, they should feel like they used to pre-pandemic.
Unfortunately, it is not that simple.
I can go into greater detail about this in another article, but there are real pandemic-related reasons why people everywhere continue to feel fatigue, low motivation, existential angst/dread, lack of happiness, and just a general sense of "ugh."
The other downside of the increased need is that many therapists and psychologists have been operating at full or more-than-full capacity for the last two years. Many of us are not using waiting lists and providers who have long-term clients may only have one opening every few months.
So, what is one to do if one wants therapy? Here are a few ideas:
1) Online therapist directories, such as those found on the websites for your state and national psychologist/counselor/therapist association, PsychologyToday, and MulticulturalCounselors.
2) Contact your employer's Human Resources office. Many companies are now using various EAP (Employee Assistance Program) or EAP-ish programs that offer mental health services as an employee benefit. These programs contract with their own network of providers and these seem to be one of the more effective ways to get connected with a therapist.
3) Contact your health insurance provider. They may be able to help you identify providers who have current availability.
4) Connect with one of the many companies that are specialize in telehealth therapy. They also have their own networks of providers.
To conclude, I encourage you to keep these things in mind:
One great thing about telepsychology is that you can engage the services of any provider in your state, so when you look at directories, don't limit yourself to your city or county; look in the more remote regions where there may be less demand.
Prepare yourself to make many more inquiries than you might think you'll make. That also means to prepare yourself to not receive responses to many of your inquiries.
Know that if providers do not respond or if they do not take you on as a client, that is not because of you. Rather, it is just that they are full and overwhelmed with the number of inquiries they are receiving.
Above all else, keep trying! You will find someone, it might just take a few months longer than you thought. If a provider suggests that you try them again in a month, do that! In the meanwhile, take advantage of the great mental health apps out there, self-help workbooks, and your support network.