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Posted 03/17/2022 in Free Topic by Dr. Jo L

The Problem with Mental Healthcare Today & How to Choose a Practitioner

The Problem with Mental Healthcare Today & How to Choose a Practitioner

Why is it that finding a psychologist or therapist today is a ridiculous endeavor, often starting with a months-long “waiting list” only to be informed at the first appointment that, oops, your insurance isn’t actually accepted at this clinic. After another few months of waiting for your appointment at a new clinic that does accept your insurance, you run into traffic on the way to your intake appointment and are told you cannot be a client there due to a no-exceptions policy of terminating clients who show up late. How is this helpful for anyone?

People are increasingly seeking coaches for assistance in managing emotions, dealing with stress, setting goals, dealing with transitions, etc. Coaching is different than therapy in that the focus is not on pathology or childhood experiences that led up to current "symptoms." Instead, coaches focus on current functioning and are pro-active in collaborating with the client on treatment planning. While coaching isn't necessarily covered by insurance companies, many coaches offer reasonable prices and often sliding fee scales. 

If you decide to see a coach or mental health practitioner, a few things to keep in mind: request a free consultation and make sure you feel a connection with the provider right away. Many people feel an obligation to give someone a couple chances, however, with something as important as your well-being, you can expect an immediate connection and feeling of security with a provider. You are not responsible for a provider's feelings and you are the customer so if the consultation doesn't feel right, go elsewhere!

Secondly, a provider should be willing to take suggestions about what works for you rather than just pushing their own agenda, and treatment planning should be collaborative. You are, after all, the only expert on yourself! If something isn't working, speak up! The provider should take this information in and change strategies accordingly.

Finally, ask your provider for homework, resources, and regular feedback. These are all tools that will help you along your journey and if not offered, be assertive and ask for them. 

Seeking help from a practitioner is an important step in self-care and you are in charge of choosing the right person to help you. When you choose someone who genuinely cares, is compassionate, skilled and experienced, your journey toward well-being can be easier and more effective. 

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Dr. Jo L

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