You are considering therapy for anxiety but not sure what the first steps look like. You know that your anxiety is starting to feel consistent in your life. It may interfere with your ability to go out, whether it’s socializing with friends or running some errands by yourself. You are sick of constantly battling your inner thoughts and are wanting to get the tools and coping mechanisms you need.
When anxiety occurs, you tend to just push it aside and invalidate yourself as it is not that big of a deal. You don’t seek out help because, usually, you notice that your anxiety will subside and you won’t be in an uncomfortable state of mind anymore.
You may actually feel like you have good control over your anxiety sometimes, whether that looks like being able to trace back to what made you anxious initially, identify the emotions that come up for you, and maybe even take some steps to practice self care.
Whether you feel like you mostly have your anxiety under control or you are struggling to cope on a regular basis, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional to give an outside perspective and help by your advocate.
We tend to downplay our traumas in a sense of normalizing our anxiety. We might think that we have it completely under control, but in some moments, you can just feel powerless.
Therapy for anxiety: Start the search for a therapist
It can be tricky to start the search for a therapist. You may even feel overwhelmed knowing that you are going to need to start making some phone calls and do research. It can be discouraging if you aren’t making much progress in finding one.
There are some things to consider when you are searching for a therapist.
Firstly, therapists are either in network with insurances or they are out of network in a private practice. With your insurance, do you have the option to see an out of network provider? You can call to verify your out of network benefits, which means that once you hit a certain deductible, your insurance can start reimbursing you for paying out of pocket. There are some advantages in considering going out of network for therapy. They are more likely to have availability and flexibility for your schedule. Therapist out of network are also more likely to have a specialty they work with.
Consider if you’re wanting online anxiety therapy or to see someone in-person in their office space.
If you find yourself not having motivation to get ready for the day, and like to curl up in bed, online therapy may be a good fit for you. If you’re wanting a reason to get up and get out, in person therapy would be good. Depending on your therapist, you may be able to switch between video and in person sessions.
There are pros and cons to both video therapy and in person therapy. Weigh the factors of the distance you’d drive, the traffic, how easy parking is, and how much time out of your day therapy would take. If you work full time during the day, in person therapy would be undesirable due to having to scramble to head over.
There are many benefits to online therapy for anxiety. Online therapy does allow you to see your therapist from the comfort of your bed, but maybe your room isn’t as private as you’d like it to be.
Consider costs. Although there are clinics and counseling centers that offer low cost counseling, they can usually be full. Make sure to do some research on qualifications, specialties, and policies when you are considering where to go.
Do you have a gender preference? Oftentimes, women may feel more comfortable speaking with women as men may feel more comfortable speaking with men, but it can go both ways. Regardless of gender, therapists are equipped to provide you with security, comfort, and trust so that you can express yourself and not worry about being judged. If you feel uncomfortable with the opposite sex, consider holding a phone consultation to hear their voice and their vibe.
Here at Simi Psychological Group we help match you with the best therapist fit. If you are not a fit for us we make sure to help find you one!
Therapy for anxiety: Don’t try to find “the perfect therapist” rather find one that feels like a good fit for you
Remember that the most important characters of a therapist is their ability to listen to you, understand and validate you, and come up with effective goals and plans for you. If you are constantly finding small things in therapists to stop you, take some time to evaluate if you are ready for therapy.
It’s important that we are giving a chance to therapists as, obviously, we are strangers to each other. It can feel hard to feel comfortable and like you connect with someone right off the bat. It may even feel a bit awkward the first few sessions.
In time, your therapeutic bond will only grow stronger, and you’ll find yourself being more vulnerable and comfortable sharing information with them. If they fail to provide a safe space for you or show they are listening to your concerns, consider continuing the search. Otherwise, it’s important to try it out with someone who maybe doesn’t check all your boxes, but reaches the necessary ones (specialization, cost, location).
Consider therapy an investment in yourself (with long term benefits!)
What is the most you would spend on a therapy session? It’s important to think of therapy as an investment into your wellbeing. Although we can spend our money on restaurant or bar outings, shopping, or trips, in the end, investing in our mental health will benefit us the most.
When you review your bills, how much do you have to put towards therapy? On average, expect to have at least 8-10 sessions. It can be short term, where you come into therapy with your goals specified.
Therapy for anxiety: Consider your goals for therapy
Now that you know you are struggling with anxiety, what are some specific skills you want to be working on in therapy?
Consider some obstacles you face with anxiety: isolating yourself, having panic attacks, getting irritable,
This could look like working on ways to control or mitigate panic attacks, such as through breathing or stepping away from the scene to have a moment alone.
Maybe you want to be able to analyze your anxious thoughts while they are happening and strengthen your tools to slow down and process the cause and effects of your anxiety.
Or, you may be unaware of the exact goals you’re wanting to achieve – you just know your anxiety takes a toll on you, leaving you feel drained, and you want to talk about how it affects you first. Talking with a professional about your anxiety and the way it leaves you feeling, creates an opportunity for the two of you to collaborate together in creating some plans.
In anxiety therapy at Simi Psychological Group, our team of professional, compassionate therapists will provide you with the tools and coping strategies you need to support you in treating your anxiety disorder. We are dedicated to creating real change in your life so that you can live more comfortably and happily.