Hi Friends,

Welcome back to the blog! The month of May has been jam packed with awareness surrounding mental health as it is National Mental Health Awareness & Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month. So, as we wrap up I encourage you to take the extra step and prioritize your mental health beyond May.

There are so many options to choose from like focusing on your self-care activities, setting boundaries (which we learned in my last post is self-care), or scheduling an appointment with a therapist. Self-care has been the hot topic since 2020, so, let’s get into the popular yet unpopular topic of seeing a therapist.

Yup I said it! Seeing a therapist!

In addition to side conversations I have with family and friends, the majority of the workshops I provide have a component where I offer tips on finding a therapist. Finding a therapist has been an area organizers have eagerly requested, as the deets surrounding what, when, who, where, why, and how someone should go about finding a therapist can be a bit overwhelming.

Like I said, this is a very popular yet unpopular topic.

So, if setting up an appointment with a therapist has been on your to-do list or an interest of yours but you don’t know where to start. I got you! Let’s dig into some common questions I’ve gotten surrounding finding a therapist.

When should I see a therapist?

Well, I’m happy you asked! I’m going to keep it funky with you and let you in on a little secret… there is no right or wrong time to see a counselor. For instance, I’ve had clients within the last year who started working with me solely because they wanted to be healthier people. They were prioritizing their health as a whole by going to missed doctor appointments, working out, seeking personal trainers, nutritionists, and a therapist aka me.

As someone who did A LOT of crisis work when I started in the field, seeing the change in how our society views mental health makes my heart happy. I’m not blind and know we still have a long way to go to break the stigma, but I’m giving society some props along the way.

So, you may be thinking, well, that may be good for those people, but I only go the doctor, dentist, or get a gym membership if something is wrong or I’m over weight. So, Patience, you have to give me a little more than that.

Like I said, I got you!

Some common themes I’ve seen from folks seeking therapy are, feeling overwhelmed, needing a different perspective (from themselves, family, or friends), unable to navigate their mental health alone, help setting/keeping boundaries, needing new or creative ways to cope aka self-care (just a note self-care is amazing but not a magic potion), need help processing past events, and dealing with relationships (whew relationships are a biggie).

As you see there are tons of reasons why you can start seeing a counselor, but if you get anything out of this post, I hope it is this…

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE IN A CRISIS TO SEE A THERAPIST!

Why should I see a Therapist?

Who do you call when you’re in a pickle, need to get something off of your chest, brainstorm ideas, or seek relationship advice? Well, a therapist is like that person but on steroids! What sets therapists apart from your ‘got to’ friend is we are trained to create a nonjudgmental and safe environment for our clients to experience mental and emotional growth. Since we have our own personalities, theoretical frameworks, and secret sauce when working with clients there will be a difference in how each counselor works with their clients.

But don’t worry, if you’re looking for a therapist YOUR person is out there, and believe me your professional friend is waiting for you to find them.

How do I find a Therapist?

Ask for recommendations. I don’t know about you, but I get the best recommendations from family and friends. It’s okay to treat searching for a therapist in a similar fashion you would in finding someone to do your brows, hair, a pediatrician for your kiddos, or a yoga class. If chatting with those closest to you about therapy is still uncomfortable you can reach out to your insurance company for in network providers, contact your Human Resources department and ask for the information to your Employee Assistance Program (EAP), or online directories.

Regardless, of what method you use to find a therapist I recommend reviewing their online profiles, website, and social networks before scheduling an appointment. In addition, if the therapist you’re interested in offers a consultation, schedule a meeting with them. Use this as a test run of how working with them may look like, and don’t forget to ask questions.


Some popular questions I’ve gotten are, “do you have experience with ___ issue?”, “what is your therapy process?”, “paperwork?”, “payment methods”, “views on the LGBTQ+ community?”, “availability?”, and “do you work with women who are not mothers?”

These are all GREAT questions! So, while you’re asking away and getting feedback, I encourage you to check the vibe between you and the therapist. Does this seem like someone you would mesh with? Did they answer all of your questions to your liking? Can you afford to work with them? Are your schedules aligned? If you check off all your boxes it’s time to schedule an appointment.

How do I know if we’re a good fit?

Another popular question I’ve been asked is, “how do you know if we’re a good fit?” Well, I hate to answer a question with a question, but this requires more information. If you’re currently seeing a therapist, and are unsure if you are a good fit, ask yourself these questions.

Do I like my therapist? The client therapist connection is professional yet intimate. A lot of powerful work can happen solely by finding the ‘right’ person to work with.

Is my Therapist helpful? Do you leave sessions feeling like you’ve made progress, learned a new skill, or have had a change in perspective? You’re not in therapy to remain in the same place, as you started. If you aren’t growing it may be time to discuss taking a different approach or searching for a new therapist.

Would you recommend your Therapist to a friend? Oftentimes, we only refer our family and friends to people, places, or things we LOVE! If you wouldn’t recommend your therapist to a friend, they may not be the best fit for you either.

How long do I have to go?

I assure you my answer is not a cop out, but you can see a therapist for as little or long as you want. Some people attend a few sessions to get over a slight hump in their lives while others need an extensive amount of time to process past experiences. And let’s not forget the people who have made progress but want to stay connected to their therapist for maintenance sessions. It is really up to you.

So whether you’re still looking for a therapist, want to share with a friend, or need to save this post go a rainy day chec out the list below. Every therapist is not listed on directories, but I am a huge fan of them because you get a sneak peak into the therapist.

Postpartum Support International-providers who have specialized training in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

Therapy for Black Girls

Black Female Therapists

Melanin and Mental Health

Therapy Den

Psychology Today

Low Cost or Free options

Open Path Collective

DRK Beauty Healing

Loveland Foundation

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Copyright Statement
© Prepared to Prosper and Patience Riley, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patience Riley and Prepared to Prosper with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. A request can be made by emailing info@whoamamas.com.  

Disclaimer
The content on this website and blog are for informational purposes only. Prepared to Prosper, LLC and Patience Riley assume no responsibility for how you use any information or documentation provided through this site. Nothing contained on the site shall constitute as professional advice or substitute treatment. None of the information available on this site shall be construed as an endorsement, guarantee, representation or warranty with respect to any therapeutic practitioner or treatment. 

Copyright Statement
© Prepared to Prosper and Patience Riley, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patience Riley and Prepared to Prosper with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. A request can be made by emailing info@whoamamas.com.  

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