mental health blog


In a previous post I talk about all the reasons I hate therapy. Because I do.

But it doesn’t matter if you hate it. There are compelling reasons to get off of your couch and go to someone else’s couch.

You can go back and read the reasons, but for the sake of this post, we’re just going to go over how to make it from Couch A to Couch B.

There are two distinct tracks. They start with the same question.

Do you have insurance?
If the answer is yes, then go to your provider’s website and look there for therapists that take your insurance. The list is narrowed for you.

If the answer is no, then go to Google and look up clinics in your area. I strongly encourage you to go through a clinic because they may have special programs for the uninsured or will be able to point you to places that do. Also, if something happens you have the clinic to fall back on. I’ve been burned by being in someone’s private practice and having to rely on the state when I had to file a complaint. It didn’t work out for me.

Would you prefer a lady or a man?
This one is pretty simple. I prefer talking to female therapists. Doug doesn’t mind either way. But if someone has their gender standing between you and them the minute you walk in the door it’s just going to make therapy harder and no one wants that. 

Would you like a faith-based therapy?
This one is easy too. It’s likely that you can find a clinic that has at least one therapist who is open to including faith into your treatment. The only downside is that a lot of times these clinics do not take any insurance or only a few insurances, so it can be more expensive. But if it is important to you, you should go for it. See if you can’t talk to them about the cost if it’s an issue.


These questions should land you in a clinic or private practice. But there are some things to remember so that you can ensure you won’t end up couch surfing looking for the perfect therapist who doesn’t exist.

You don’t have to stay if you don’t want to.
Just because you went through the rigmarole to get there doesn’t mean that you should keep going if after a few sessions it doesn’t seem like this is the counselor for you. I’ve noticed that understanding that I don’t have to keep seeing someone after I’ve given them a fair chance helps me feel more comfortable in initial sessions. Just remember to give them a fair chance. You may not be nervous because of them, but because you are nervous about therapy.

You aren’t auditioning.
I struggle with the feeling that I have to “prove” to the therapist that I need therapy. When you’re meeting someone new it’s difficult to be open and honest and not be so fake that you look totally put together. I’ve had therapists ask me why I’m there, because “You look so put together”. It’s hard to not just deluge them with all of my issues and history so that they get the picture. I don’t have to say anything I don’t want to. Just because I’m in therapy doesn’t mean I owe them something. Be honest, yes, but don’t share things you are uncomfortable sharing until you are okay doing so. It’s easy to throw it all out there but it doesn’t help you if you leave feeling like crap when you didn’t have to.

They aren’t auditioning.
I have had an amazing therapist in the past and I struggle to not compare everyone new to her. I have to remind myself that they are different and also that I spent two years working with her. Of course she knew what to say and how to listen to me, she worked at it. Therapy is a relationship. You are joining up with a professional to help equip you to work through traumas and deal with stress and day to day issues. It takes time for them to get to know how to work with your individual circumstances. Therapy is not one-size-fits-all.

You are allowed to disagree.
Your therapist may miss the mark sometimes. Which is okay. It’s also okay to tell them. You are allowed to speak up. I get that it can be difficult, but you can explain the situation differently or fill in gaps they have about your history. They may have be incorrect because they weren’t sure about some facts.

Be patient.
I feel like this is on every list I make, but it’s important. You need to be patient. Keep your appointments and be as honest as you can be. It takes a while for a therapist to see how all of the parts of your issues are working together. You aren’t going to be “cured” in an instant. Things may actually get worse before they get better. But don’t quit.



Remember that getting better is worth it. Make goals, stick to them, and see the results.

You can do it!






photo credit: <a href=”″>Banana Therapy</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

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