This is a post in my series about attending therapy for disordered eating. You can read about my decision to begin therapy here.
Deciding you need therapy takes the longest amount of time in this process… at least it did for me. I probably should have started therapy for binge eating when I was in high school because that’s when it started and grew out of control. I probably should have started when I graduated college and battled with it once again along with depression and anxiety. Basically there were a thousand probably should moments during the last 12 years or so were I could/should started therapy.
But I didn’t until now. That’s okay because NOW matters most.
The actual process of finding a therapist didn’t take me long at all. It took 30 minutes from the time I finally decided therapy was necessary to decide on a therapist and contact her.
How I Found A Therapist
How does one find a therapist? Like with everything else, I googled it. I searched for eating disorder therapists in Memphis and landed on a page with several listings. From that list I narrowed it down to the ones who specialized in this area and from there I chose one based on what they wrote about themselves on that site and on their website.
When looking for a therapist it’s important to keep a few important things in mind like
- What do they specialize in? Is this the area you need help with?
- Are they accredited? Do they have a PhD or other degree? How long have they practiced?
- What techniques do they use? Are you comfortable with their method?
- Where are they located? Can you get to appointments easily and on time?
- How much will it cost? Will insurance cover it? Will you pay out of pocket?
I used these questions and criteria to narrow down my search and choose a therapist from the ones available in my area. Depending on what is important in your search you can use these questions or others to help narrow down the search for a therapist.
Once I decided upon a therapist I grabbed her e-mail address from her website and sent her a quick e-mail about my situation. The e-mail sent on Friday night around 10 pm. The next morning I had a reply from her about setting up an appointment and attending her support group. Her quick response encouraged me that I made the right decision and things would work out.
Setting Up An Appointment
By Tuesday we had e-mailed a few more times and I called in to set up an appointment. I chose the first appointment available though it’s three full weeks away – June 14th.
She walked me through the new patient checklist of things I need to do before the appoint – fill out new patient paperwork, talk to the lady who handles insurance, etc. Doing all this before the appoint will save time for an actual appointment.
Thoughts On The Process So Far
Everything is going smoothly so far. I wish there had been a closer appointment because three weeks is a long time to wait. I usually like to have appointments and meetings asap so I don’t let anxiety build too much. In the past I’ve allowed that to happen and ending up canceling things at the last minute. I refuse to let that happen this time but I wish I didn’t have such a long waiting period.
Luckily though I can attend the free support group and meet the therapist in a less formal setting in just a week. Though the group setting frightens me (a ton!) I’m excited that I get a chance to meet her first in that setting so the actual therapy meeting won’t be so awkward for me. Also, the second meeting of the support group will be the day after my appointment so that will be good.
What If It Doesn’t Work Out?
There is always the chance that even after finding a therapist you might not click with them. I’ve been told this happens. It’s important not to give up on the idea of therapy but to find another provider. Personally I think my first choice will be great but I still have a backup option as well. You can always ask you therapist for referrals to other people or ask around if you need to find someone else. Or just head back to Google and start the search again. It is important to find a person that you are comfortable with so you can really work on your problems.
Have you ever seen a therapist? What factors did you consider when choosing a therapist?