Seeking the guidance of a therapist is a wonderful way to fix your family’s communication problems and start the process of healing. But selecting a family therapist can be a daunting task, particularly when you are already struggling with emotionally pain or anxiety.
To help you with your selection process, here are four questions you should ask when looking for a family therapist.
1.Should I Find a Provider that Takes Insurance or Cash Pay?
Therapy is as much a financial commitment as it is an emotional one, and not everyone will be able to pay out of pocket for counseling. That’s why it’s important to understand your funding options before you begin therapy and potentially wind up with a bill you can’t pay. There are different advantages to insurance and cash pay.
When you pay cash for treatment, you have far more privacy. In fact, the only ones who need to ever know you are in treatment are you and your therapist. Also, when you pay cash, you are not forced to search for an in-network therapist, but rather have more options when it comes to selecting someone who specializes in an area you’re interested in. And, since many therapists offer clients a sliding scale, no one should assume they can’t afford to pay cash. Using insurance to pay for therapy means having less options and privacy, but it is significantly cheaper to get care.
2. Do I Know Anyone Who Can Recommend a Good Therapist?
Often, some of the greatest connections and therapeutic relationships come from personal recommendations. Before you flip through the yellow pages or do a Google search, check with close friends and family to see if they can recommend a therapist in your local area. When you know that a close friend or family member feels safe with a specific counselor, it will help alleviate any anxiety during that first session.
3. What Are Our Goals?
Every family comes to counseling with their own unique set of hopes and expectations. Knowing your goals before you start therapy will help you and your therapist know what you expect from the entire process. Before you attend that first session, sit down as a family and think about what you hope to gain from your time in therapy.
4. Do We Have Any Specific Preferences in a Therapist?
Do you have any preferences when it comes to the gender of your therapist? For many, gender doesn’t matter, but for some families, especially those with young children, having a female counselor over a male, or vice versa, may have a positive influence on the counseling process.