Choosing a Therapist

Finding the Right Mental Health Care for you can be a daunting task.  If you or someone you know may benefit from a counselor or mental health center, here are some questions and guidelines to help you find the right care…

Which Professional Is Right For Me?
There are many types of mental health professionals. Finding the right one for you may require some research. Often it is a good idea to first describe the symptoms and/or problems to your family physician or clergy. He or she can suggest the type of mental health professional you should call.

You Make The Call To The Mental Health Professional…Now What Do You Do?
Spend a few minutes talking with him or her on the phone, ask about their approach to working with patients, their philosophy, whether or not they have a specialty or concentration (some therapists for instance specialize in family counseling, or child counseling, while others specialize in divorce or coping with the loss of a loved one.) If you feel comfortable talking to the counselor or doctor, the next step is to make an appointment.

On your first visit, the counselor will want to get to know you and why you called him or her. The counselor will want to know what you think the problem is, about your life, what you do, where you live, with whom you live. It is also common to be asked about your family and friends. This information helps the professional to assess your situation and develop a plan for treatment.If you don’t feel comfortable with the professional after the first, or even several visits, talk about your feelings at your next meeting; Don’t be afraid to contact another counselor. Feeling comfortable with the professional you choose is very important to the success of your treatment.

How Much Will Therapy Cost?
The cost of treatment depends on many factors including: the type of treatment, the therapist’s training, where treatment takes place and your insurance coverage. Fees for licensed mental health professionals in the Austin area range from $85 to $195 per session.

Am I Getting The Care I Need?
As you progress through the therapeutic process, you should begin to feel gradual relief from your distress, to develop self assurance, and have a greater ability to make decisions and increased comfort in your relationship with others. Therapy may be painful and uncomfortable at times but episodes of discomfort occur during the most successful therapy sessions. Mental health treatment should help you cope with your feelings more effectively.

If you feel you are not getting results, it may be because the treatment you are receiving is not the one best suited to your specific needs. If you feel there are problems, discuss them with your therapist. A competent therapist will be eager to discuss your reactions to therapy and respond to your feeling about the process. If you are still dissatisfied, a consultation with another therapist may help you and your therapist evaluate your work together.