I love therapy! There’s nothing like talking to someone who has no tie to your lifeEva Mendes
Let’s face it, making the decision to go to a therapist can be difficult for many people. The wrong fit can hamper progress or cause us to stop altogether. My goal is to dedicate a blog post to the cultural barriers that keep us away from therapy. But, for the purpose of this article, I will assume that the decision has been made, and now it’s time to find a good fit.
How will I pay for therapy?
Financing therapy and access are key roadblocks. Here are some recommendations to get you started.
- Determine if your health insurance covers therapy
- My insurance is covering my co-payment due to COVID, so ask the question it doesn’t hurt
- If you are uninsured many therapist charges on a sliding scale that is based on salary
- Check out your Employee Assistance Program
- Contact the National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI) for resources and information on free counseling services in your community
What kind of therapist do I need?
There are many pathways to finding a good fit. Narrowing down what you need will be critical to your success. “You wouldn’t go to an orthopedist about your heart, so why go to a therapist who specializes in couples when you’re single and experiencing anxiety?” says Juanita Davis, LCSW, a therapist at Collier Counseling, LLC in Atlanta.
What matters to me in a therapist?
It took over two years for me to find the right therapist. I encountered many good therapists but something was missing. As a woman of color, it was important for me to find a therapist that looked like me and could relate to what life is like in my skin.
Unfortunately, we are underrepresented and this makes finding a fit harder. This is why I absolutely love Therapy for Black Girls and Therapy for Black Men. These sites provide a directory of black/brown therapists and resources and amazing resources.
Found my therapist on Therapy for Black Girls. Does gender matter? Do you want someone that listens to only or someone that gives step by step instruction on what to do?
It is now time to begin reaching out and connecting with potential therapists. I usually start with three possibilities at a time. Their availability and location matter.
Although these days many are conducting virtual sessions. If you prefer a virtual platform, TalkSpace has been ranked #1 in online therapy. TalkSpace has also developed a mental health resource by people of color for people of color.
Taking it from me therapy is messy. It is scary and gets ugly before it gets better. But it is worth every dollar, every hour, and every tear. More importantly, YOU are worth it. You deserve the fullness of life and a mind at peace.