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How to Choose a Therapist

After treatment, it’s a good idea to continue working with a therapist on a regular basis. Most people have a trauma or mental health issue associated with their addiction and treating or managing those issues are important in recovery. 12 Step meetings are great for support and service, but they are run by regular people and you shouldn’t rely on meetings for treatment of mental health issues.

You will probably see a therapist or counselor during your treatment, but you may need to find someone else when you have finished the program. Since the transition from a treatment program to regular life is often precarious, the sooner you find a good therapist the better. Here’s how you do it.

Get a recommendation.

This is the best way, if you can manage it. You want to ask someone who knows you and knows several therapists. You could ask your treatment counselor, if your facility is near where you live. Otherwise, you may have to do some research.

See who is in your network.

Realistically, you will be limited to the therapists who take your insurance. This is actually a good thing. It focuses your search and eliminates most of the quacks. Also, it wasn’t so long ago that insurance often didn’t cover mental health. If you do have to pay out of pocket because you don’t have insurance or you prefer someone out of network, it’s usually not prohibitively expensive and many therapists offer a sliding scale for people in a financial pinch.

Find someone close.

It’s usually best to look for someone within a half-hour radius from where you live. You don’t want therapy to be a chore that takes up half your day.

See what they specialize in.

Once you narrow the field to therapists in your network, near where you live, you probably have a manageable number. Depending on where you live, that may be 10 or it may be none. If it’s none, you’ll have to broaden your search. The next thing is to see what each of them specializes in. You want someone whose expertise matches your problems as closely as possible. Most therapists have an online profile that tells you their background, their specialties, and their approach to therapy. Usually, when you narrow the field to this point, you might as well make an appointment and see how it goes.

Treat your first appointment as an interview.

Meeting with a therapist is not a commitment. Be honest about the issues you are dealing with and see how you get along. Don’t be afraid to ask her about her experience and qualifications. More experience is usually better, especially experience treating clients with addiction. You can always try someone else if you don’t feel comfortable or you don’t think they can help you.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, Gardens Wellness Center can help you detox safely and decide on a treatment strategy. Call us today at 844-828-1050 or email us at to learn more.