Tips for finding a therapist
Therapy can be an important tool for people who are struggling with mental health problems or illnesses. As awareness increases around mental health issues, the demand for therapists is increasing. It can be difficult to find a therapist. Here are some helpful tips.
- If you are looking for help through the public sector, like the CLSC, most likely you will be put on a waiting list before you receive help. Although help is not immediate, it’s worth putting your name on the list. Think of it as being one step closer to finding a therapist. In the meantime, you can contact other resources, like community mental health organizations.
- If you are a student at a CEGEP or a university, you can contact your counselling department and request follow-up services. They often are limited in the number of sessions they provide. Visit amiquebec.org/students for a list of resources.
- If you are employed, find out if your group insurance includes coverage for psychology and/ or psychotherapy, and how much coverage you have per year. They may help you find a therapist, assign a therapist to you, or pay for a therapist of your choice. Keep in mind that you may be covered under your spouse’s insurance for psychology or psychotherapy services.
- Some people have the means to consult a therapist working in private practice. Since Covid-19 many therapists have been offering services online and will continue to do so, while others may return to offering in-office services.
- We have some resources listed on our website under Counselling and Therapy. Visit amiquebec.org/therapy. You can also consult the Order of Psychologists of Quebec, Google “psychologists” or “psychotherapists” in your area, or ask someone you trust if they have a recommendation.
Finding a good fit
It is important to have a good fit. It is your mental health, so take the time to find someone that you feel comfortable with and that responds to your questions. Here are some things to consider before engaging in a therapeutic process:
- What is your intention? What do you want to work on in therapy?
- Choose carefully. It is a big ocean out there when it comes to psychological help. Not all therapists are created equal, so you should verify that they are a member of a professional order or have a permit to practice psychotherapy.
- Ask the therapist questions that will inform your decision, such as their background and training, how successful they are in helping people with the issues you are dealing with. Is it short-term or longer-term therapy? What is their approach (for example, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR for Trauma and PTSD), etc.).
- You have the option of working with a professional online, so your choice of therapist is not limited to where you live.
- Give it a try before committing to working with the person.
- There are also e-therapy services, which often use a CBT approach. This can be good for people who want to do the work on their own with some input from an e-therapist.
- Finally, if you are someone who prefers to work on your own, you may be interested in checking out our Top Free Mental Health Apps list: amiquebec.org/free-mental-health-apps.
– Blanche Moskovici, AMI counsellor