By now, you’ve no doubt heard plenty about the benefits of therapy. It can help you work through difficult issues in the short-term, but it also gives you helpful tools to cope with events that may occur in the future. Good therapy can change your thinking and give you a new perspective on the world. That being said, many people who need therapy the most don’t get it for a simple reason: they feel too overwhelmed to even try. They’re just trying to get by, and taking time out of their day to call therapists feels like too big an ask. Here’s how you can find therapy even when you’re going through a rough time.
Talk to loved ones
No, we’re not suggesting using your loved ones as therapists. Venting can help, but you need a trained professional. However, you can talk to a few people in your life and ask if they know of any local therapists who might be a good fit with you. People are more open about mental health problems now than they were a generation or two ago. Millennials are especially likely to talk about it without any shame.
Chances are, if you’re struggling, other people have noticed. For instance, depressed people tend to withdraw socially. If you’re not accepting social invites the way you did a few months ago, your friends are probably wondering what’s going on. Even if they don’t have any therapists to recommend, letting them know that you’re looking for help can do a lot.
Finding a therapist can be daunting when you don’t know where to start. Talking to people in your social circle offers you a starting point. That can be invaluable, especially if you’re in a big city with a lot of mental health options. Locating reliable NYC therapists is simpler when you can get feedback from those who are already in the system and know a bit about how it works.
Set small goals
It’s no secret that the American healthcare system can be confounding. When you’re stressed or feeling low, the idea of trying to navigate it can make you want to crawl back into bed and hide under the covers. There’s a lot that’s wrong, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. There are plenty of high-quality providers who will work with you to figure out what’s wrong. You just have to find them first.
But you don’t have to find them all at once. If you can, try calling a couple of mental health providers a day. First ask if they’re taking new patients. Then ask if they accept your insurance. Those are two of the biggest questions to resolve when you’re seeking a new therapist. Once you get those out of the way, you may find that the process gets easier.
But what if you don’t even feel up to calling anyone? If you have phone anxiety, search for mental health providers that can be contacted via email. If the person you’re looking at has a website, then there’s a good chance they have a “Contact me” page. Email may be a bit slower than picking up the phone, but it’s a good option if you don’t feel up to making any calls right now.
Be nice to yourself
Let’s say you make a call only to find out that the office is not, in fact, accepting your current insurance plan. That’s not a great feeling, but it’s not your fault. When your mental health isn’t great, you may believe that everything’s your fault. That’s your brain trying to trick you into believing something that’s not true.
Don’t give up and say, “Well, I’m never going to find anyone now.” Remember that practicing self-care isn’t just about sitting on the couch and watching your favorite Netflix shows (though that’s also important). It’s also about being kind to yourself even as you get out of your comfort zone a bit. Your future self will be grateful that you pushed through and kept looking.