Three tips to starting therapy
Starting therapy is hard. Not starting therapy is harder. It’s a decision that will have a positive effect on quite literally all aspects of your life—from your relationships to your career to your day-to-day habits and your overall happiness. Unfortunately, when you’re ready to talk to someone, it can feel like there are a million hoops to jump through. It can be hard to find someone you like and connect with. It can be expensive. It can be difficult to carve out the time and really commit to it.
Similar to all the ways you can talk yourself out of going to the gym (“I can’t find my sneakers” / “I don’t have time” / “It’s too far away”), any barrier to starting therapy can kill your motivation and stop you from ever going in the first place. Here are a few ways to get past the hurdles and get started on growing, healing, and thriving:
1. Poll your friends
Chances are good you already have one or more friends in therapy. If someone you trust already has a therapist they love and trust, it could be a good option to have them refer you. This is a common way for people to get into therapy, much like getting the name of a good hairdresser or dentist. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing a therapist with your bestie, you can crowdsource your acquaintances for recos. Keep your ears open for that magical phrase “My therapist said….”
2. Phone it in
If slotting in the time to have a session before work or if getting out the door is impossible, how about don’t? Look for therapists willing to do phone or video sessions. That way you can set the schedule that works for you, and you can eliminate the need to drive or commute, which can drain precious energy you’ll want to preserve to talk about the tough stuff. If you already work from home, it’s easier to take a therapy call during your workday or during your lunch hour if it’s by phone or video.
3. Give teletherapy a try
As our lives increasingly move online, it makes sense that mental health is headed there too. These days, there are several telehealth companies that make starting therapy practically turn-key. When you sign up, you’ll get matched with a therapist—and the good news is if you don’t connect with that person, you can keep getting matched until you find the person that’s right for you. The cost of these monthly or weekly services is often lower, and doing your sessions remotely is convenient.
Why start now?
Regardless of how you choose to get started with therapy, it’s a good idea to start talking to someone sooner rather than later. There will probably come a time when life throws something hard your way: a break-up, a setback at work, the loss of a pet or a parent. When that happens, it’s important to already have someone on call who can help. If you already have a therapist, you have a relationship built up with someone who knows you and can guide you through the really hard times.
Bottom line: it’s never too early to start feeling better.