How to Find a Therapist {Hoboken Girl} Style

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Excited to have a guest post on the blog today — Brittany Gallagher {LCSW} is a Hoboken resident and has been providing therapy to individuals in the area. Today, she’s sharing her tips for how to find a therapist that fits your needs and lifestyle. Without further ado, here she is:


 

As a self-proclaimed Hoboken girl and Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the fabulous mile square city, I know how daunting the task of finding a therapist can be. {Self-disclosure alert: I had to go through this process myself and could have really used some basic tips on how to go about it!} In my years of providing therapy to young professionals in Hoboken, I hear time and time again “I’ve been wanting to see a therapist for so long but…” and receive a slew of common, yet challenging barriers individuals experience when seeking out therapy.

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Everything from embarrassment, cost, busy schedules, and more can be enough for someone who is struggling in their life to say, “maybe it’s not worth it.” Well let me tell you this, finding the right therapist IS worth it. Your health, happiness, well-being and LIFE are worth it.

To break this down even further, I can equate finding the right therapist to purchasing one of the most important items you will ever buy. Your wedding dress. Whether you’ve gone through this process yourself, helped a bestie do it, or have simply imagined it since you were 5 years old – we can all relate. Here’s how to find a great therapist that is just right for you!

1. Do your research

You would never go into a bridal salon without having done your research! Think: binge watching Say Yes to the Dress, stacks of magazines, hours on Pinterest. It’s important you take some time to research therapists in your area. Referrals are a great way to go – ask a friend who sees a therapist, talk to another professional {i.e. your primary care physician or psychiatrist}, and check out therapist profiles online {i.e. Psychology Today, Good Therapy}. If you’re seeking therapy for a specific reason {i.e. OCD or couples counseling}, find a therapist that specializes in that area.

2. Know your budget

Never try on a dress that is above your budget. Never. While every mental health professional will tell you the relationship you develop with your therapist is the most important, and therapeutic, aspect of therapy, we cannot deny barriers such as cost and scheduling. A great way to keep cost down is to utilize your health insurance.

Call your insurance provider and ask about “outpatient behavioral health benefits – in and out of network” {these will be different than your medical coverage!}. While many therapists are no longer accepting insurance, you can utilize any out-of- network benefits you may have or ask about “sliding scale” options {this is modified cost based on your income}. Most therapists have flexible schedules to accommodate clients’ needs, including evening appointments. If making a weekly or biweekly appointment still seems impossible, ask the therapist about supplementing with phone or FaceTime sessions.

3. Keep an open mind

Many brides end up with a style dress they never even imagined for themselves! You may have a specific idea of what you want your therapist to be like, but try to keep an open mind! Therapists come in all different shapes, sizes, and ages — and your perfect fit may be different than what you imagined.

4. Try it on – again and again!

“I saw a picture of my dress online, bought it, and I’ll wear it for the first time on my wedding day” – said no bride EVER.

This isn’t about finding any therapist; it’s about finding the right therapist. I recommend reaching out to several therapists via telephone or email. Many therapists will offer a free phone consultation – take advantage of this! Feel free to ask the therapists questions about their education, experience, and clinical orientation {what type of therapy does s/he provide}. You should be able to get a pretty good idea of a therapist’s style over the phone. If you get a good feeling, schedule an initial appointment.

5. When you know, you know

“I said Yes to the dress!”

After several sessions {about 2 or 3} you should have a good idea if this therapist the right fit for you. Your therapist should leave you feeling safe, heard, and understood. {Note: I did not say comfortable! That’s because therapy should not be comfortable {all of the time}. You’re there to talk about serious issues, make changes in your life, and challenge yourself. Who ever said this was comfortable?!} If you find yourself thinking about discussions you had with your therapist between sessions, are challenging yourself to do things differently, and are noticing an overall positive change in your life, chances are, you’ve found the right therapist.


 

Brittany Gallagher, LCSW is a Hoboken resident and has been providing therapy to individuals in the area for over three years. For additional information, she can be contacted via email: bgallagher0709@gmail.com


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Jen is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Hoboken Girl. She started the site to discover and share the wealth of things happening in Hudson County. Her roots in the area extend to her maternal grandparents, who owned two textile factories in Weehawken and North Bergen. When not planning the next Hoboken Girl event/volunteer project or editing her life away, she can usually be found shopping at local boutiques, eating an Insta-worthy meal, walking her French bulldog + rescue pup, or watching the latest murder doc on Netflix with her husband.