The process of getting therapy can often be a journey in itself. It isn’t always an easy process from taking the leap to finding a therapist to suit your needs. Many individuals have a hard time seeking out help due to the stigma that surrounds the conversation of mental health. It is difficult to seek help when it isn’t normalized in your environment. When an individual is able to seek that help, they are still on an ongoing journey. I want to share some things that I have learned on my own journey.
Some things I learned:
- Feelings of discouragement may come along the way. It could be hard to take the leap after realizing that therapy may be a good option for you. Obstacles can arise like finding what mental health professional takes your insurance, getting help when you aren’t insured, or scarce appointments. It’s important to recenter on that leap when obstacles come your way. Why are you doing this? What do you want from this experience? Are there people rooting for you to get this help? Is there a past version of you rooting for you to get this help?
- While going through the waiting period, find healthy outlets to express yourself. Whether it is waiting for the appointment day to arrive or waiting to find a professional that meets your needs, it may help to tap into other areas of wellness. It may be to get active, take up a creative activity, sign up for a workshop, hanging out with loved ones, etc. The waiting period can feel lonely or discouraging, so it is important to keep up the momentum.
- If you are comfortable and have an opportunity, find support in a loved one. One thing that may help is having someone check in on your journey. Having someone ask if you were able to set up an appointment or if you have been consistent with your sessions, can make the journey feel less alone.
- Document your feelings in a way that feels authentic to you. It could be journaling, making a video diary, incorporating it through your art, etc. Choose a way that you feel comfortable getting your feelings out without judgment.
- Be open-minded on this journey. Your first session may not be the “it” session. The mental health professional and you may not be suited for each other, you may not like the medium in which you are receiving help ( i.e telehealth vs in person), or you may find a professional you like that doesn’t have availability that aligns with your own. Although it may be difficult, try to remain positive that you will receive the care that you deserve.
Don’t give up trying to find a professional to meet your needs. It’s definitely not an easy task, but please look into the resources out there:
Helplines: To help with a crisis as it is happening.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
If your life or someone else’s is in imminent danger, please call 911. If you are in crisis and need immediate help, please call: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
The NAMI HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., ET.
1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Text WELL to 65173
Samaritans 24-Hour Crisis Hotline
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Text START 88788
The Trevor Project for LGBTQI+ youth
Psychology Today-Psychology Today
American Psychological Association-Crisis hotlines and resources
Therapy for Black Girls-Therapy For Black Girls
Black Female Therapists-Black Female Therapists
Black Male Therapists-Black Male Therapists
Therapy for Black Men: Therapy for Black Men
Asian Mental Health Collective: Asian Mental Health Collective
Inclusive Therapists-Inclusive Therapists
National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network-National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network
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