If you feel that you need to talk to someone about issues or feelings that are coming up, but aren’t sure if talk therapy is right for you, what can you do? Fortunately, in this age of technology, you can do a lot of research online to find out answers to many questions. If you aren’t someone who likes to talk, what do you do? If you can’t make time in your busy schedule, what do you do? If you don’t have a method of transportation to get to appointments, what do you do?
Another name for talk therapy is psychotherapy. A psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, counselor or psychiatric nurse can offer this type of therapy. According to Robin D. Stone, LMHC, “Today, more people are making psychotherapy a part of their self-care practice. In the same way they have personal trainers, they are investing in therapists — and that’s a good thing.” This type of therapy is a significant element in the treatment of depression and bipolar disorder. An effective therapist can assist the individual in coping with the feelings and symptoms that go along with these issues. They work on altering behavior patterns that may add to the illness.
Talk therapy doesn’t mean just talking about problems in your life. It also includes working towards resolutions to the problems. Psychotherapy can assist you with: dealing with stress, understanding how trauma in your past affects your present, recognizing triggers that may exacerbate symptoms, improving interpersonal relationships, developing coping skills, and understanding why you feel the way you do.
WHAT ARE TALK THERAPY OPTIONS?
OFFICE APPOINTMENTS: If you have health insurance, you usually have to choose a practitioner that is covered by your particular plan. You may have to go through an intake interview in order to be placed with a therapist. This is the most cost-effective type of therapy because you would only have to pay the co-pay amount. The drawbacks are that you have to choose someone within your network and the choices may be limited. Also, you have to be available to meet during office hours.
ONLINE THERAPY: Although this option is more money than a co-pay, it is much more flexible. You fill out a questionnaire and the website will match you with a therapist. You will then decide on whether you want to utilize emails, live chat sessions, live video sessions or phone sessions. But remember “online care is not for every patient or practitioner. Clients with more serious mental illnesses or addictions likely need more treatment than digital therapy can provide. And some clinicians may find certain telehealth modalities difficult.” clinical psychologist Nina Barlevy, PsyD says. The benefit of this type of talk therapy is that you have direct access to your therapist, as you need it. You can set up appointments that fit into your schedule. There are also therapy apps that function in the same manner. This may also be a great option for those who need talk therapy, but don’t like talking face to face. If you feel more comfortable expressing yourself in writing, this may be perfect for you.
PRIVATE THERAPISTS: The most expensive of the talk therapies are going to a private therapist. These type of therapists usually do not accept insurance, but may have a sliding scale payment plan. If you feel the need for talk therapy that is a little more specialized and where you are given time to express yourself without having to be rushed out for the next appointment, this may be the best option for you. Many times, private therapists offer additional therapies, such as Reiki, acupuncture, meditation, relaxation techniques, etc.
WHAT IF I DON’T FEEL A CONNECTION WITH MY THERAPIST?
If you do not feel a connection with your therapist or feel that they are not effective, by all means, find someone else. Do not ever feel trapped in a therapist/client relationship. If you are not receiving the help, advice, support that you need, then, find someone who can give it to you. Many people may feel bad about “breaking up” with a therapist, but it is of the utmost importance to find someone you connect with. Elana Schechtman-Gil LMFT once said, “The foundation of therapy is based on the relationship you build with your therapist. When seeking someone out it’s important you feel comfortable with them. “