Ah, winter. In my home city of Chicago, ’tis the season for icy winds that threaten to freeze off one’s appendages, beaucoup layers and for me, two cravings: 1) peppermint mochas and 2) reading about someone being spanked. Read More Books: Hot Erotica for a Cold Night
So here’s the scene – It’s twenty years ago. I’m sitting in my room, watching 120 Minutes on MTV. All of the sudden a voice booms out of my little 13″ TV yelling “Hey you! Don’t watch that, watch this…” I didn’t pay too much attention till the music started, but as soon as it did I was riveted. I felt like I had just been smacked in the face with a giant fish made of awesome. I was glued to the set until the end of the song when the song and artist blurb came on and told me just what I had been listening to. I went to bed that night repeating “Madness, One Step Beyond” over and over so I wouldn’t forget. First thing the next day I went out and bought the cassette. It is still one of my favorite albums.
Have you all ever had this happen? When you hear a song for the first time and your brain immediately empties all thought except “HOLY CRAP, THIS IS THE BEST THING I’VE EVER HEARD!”
I developed seasonal allergies as an adult. I didn’t even know that could happen, so I had no idea what was going on. I figured it out one day when I was feeling sorry for myself, thinking “What the hell is wrong with me? I’m snotty and sneezing and my eyes itch … Holy crap, I sound like an allergy commercial.” Read More Ragweed Sucker-Punch
And it’s about five hours early! We’ve eaten our way through another server, and we have to move to a bigger one. In like 24 hours. So. Open thread! Read More It’s the Weekend Open Thread!
Last week I covered the basics of types of therapy and therapists. So maybe you’ve figured out what might be best for you, or at least you feel a little more informed, and you want to pick a therapist. But holy crap! You look at your insurance list and there are 150 names within a 10-mile radius of you and you have no information to go on. What do you do? Well, for starters, I would recommend against picking someone based off your insurance list. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but if possible, get a recommendation from a friend who you trust. I’ve seen people on the other LadyBlog requesting therapist recommendations in their town, and that’s certainly a forum thread we could start here if there’s interest. I am a firm believer in word-of-mouth recommendations for therapists. Your friend can tell you what they like and don’t like about their therapist and that’s information that you’re not going to get from a list of names.
But since getting a few names from friends isn’t always an option (or their therapist doesn’t accept your insurance), the next best would be to get a recommendation from your doctor. To be honest, I have only been hit or miss with therapy recommendations from doctors. Most insurance providers require a PCP referral for a psychiatrist, but not usually for a psychologist or social worker. I would encourage you to ask for more than one name so that you have some options. After you have a list of names, google them. Most therapists have a webpage now and that will give you an idea of what they feel their specialization are and they should provide a little outline of how they like to work. Pick one that feels right to you and set up an initial appointment.
When I moved to a new city for graduate school I was at a loss for how to find a good therapist. I didn’t like the clinic my school referred me to, but I didn’t know how to find a better one. I was able to use a connection I had to a woman who had been a social worker in my city and knew some people to contact and she set me up with a really great therapist. This can take some work, which can be difficult if you have depression or anxiety that is impeding your functioning. If you have any support system at all, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re at a point where I was, it can feel daunting and you might want to give up on your search for a therapist. But if you really think therapy is right for you, it’s worth it to put in the work to find a good one.
Finally, don’t be afraid to try out different therapists if the first one doesn’t click for you. I have seen so many people waste time on therapists they don’t like or don’t feel are helping. It’s your mental health and therapy is a gift you’re giving to yourself to Live Your Best Life, to steal from Oprah. Don’t compromise on this one!
Any more questions or tips about finding a therapist? Let me know in the comments! Next week I’ll cover what a typical first session might look like.
Persephone Magazine is written by women, for women, and frequently about women, but I’m sure I’m not the only woman who has boys in her life that she encourages to read. Read More Kids’ Books I Like: Fantasy For Boys
Christmas has come and gone, and suddenly, around coffee with girlfriends, the subject comes up: When should we let our school-age children get email accounts? When should they be allowed to text or get their own mobile? Is an iPod Touch too much for a young child to handle? Holy crap, when did our kids get old enough for all of this?? Read More Parenting in the Cyber Age: A Post With More Questions Than Answers