Bipolar Doctor

Therapy is an important part of treating bipolar disorder. Seeking therapy with a qualified therapist you trust is crucial to good mental health. Use these pointers to help choose the right therapist for you.

Choose a Therapy Format

Therapy is offered in both private and group settings. Choosing the right therapy format for you will help you feel relaxed and willing to share.

If you prefer a private setting, a one-on-one talk therapy session might be the best option.

If you want to know you’re not alone in your condition, group therapy may help you overcome those feelings. It may also help you feel more connected to others who are experiencing similar problems. 

Learn more about the types of doctors that treat bipolar disorder »

Get a Consultation

Most mental health professionals will begin with a phone consultation. This is a time for you to describe why you’re seeking treatment and to discuss the details of your condition. You can ask any questions you’d like during this consultation. Try to think of some questions that you’d like to ask the therapist before the consultation: What is their general philosophy? How do they connect with their patients? What is their experience?

You can also ask for a face-to-face consultation so that you can meet a potential therapist in person. This can make a big difference in your assessment. It’s perfectly normal to meet a therapist in person and not click with them right away. If you get even the slightest hint that you may not feel comfortable with the therapist, politely state that you don’t believe the relationship will work out. But don’t give up. Instead, continue your search until you find someone who suits you.

Evaluate Your Therapist’s Methods

To get the best therapy available, you must have a good working relationship with your therapist. Several factors contribute to this, including your therapist’s listening skills and how closely your values align.

For example, you may not enjoy certain techniques, such as hypnotherapy. Also, you don’t want to seek therapy from anyone you feel is judgmental or unsupportive of your efforts. Similarly, some therapeutic orientations may feel uncomfortable for you if they’re more directive than others.

All therapy takes time, so be wary if your therapist gives you quick fixes without providing you with the tools you need for long-term stability. This could include being too eager to please you, such as always blaming others for your problems. A therapist should be on your side, but should also challenge you to confront your own role.

Read the Fine Print

Just as important as the style of therapy is how you can fit it into your life. When choosing a type of therapy, there are some important logistical concerns.

Find a therapist that’s easy to get to. The easier it is to travel to therapy, the less likely you’ll miss an appointment. You’ll also be able to arrive to the appointment in a calm mood and ready to share.

When you first meet your therapist, agree on a price for your sessions and how often you will see each other. If the cost is way beyond what you can afford, you should negotiate the price or find something that better suits your income. The financial impact of therapy shouldn’t be yet another stressor.

Ask about your therapist’s educational background. You should feel satisfied that they have the knowledge they need to help you. Make sure they have a license as well, and don’t be afraid to research them on the Internet.

Training and experience are two different things. Ask your therapist how much experience they have, including years in the field.

Establish Trust

Trust is the cornerstone of any good relationship, especially one where you’ll be telling someone your deepest emotional troubles and secrets.

Tone, demeanor, and other factors can affect the way we view someone. If you’re not clicking with your therapist, you should mention it to them. If they’re truly professional, your therapist will help find someone else for you to see. If they take offense, then you know it’s time to find another therapist.

Therapy involves teamwork, so it’s important that you feel that you and your therapist are on the same team.

The Takeaway

It’s often difficult to reach out to a professional if you’re having mental health problems. But therapy can be a highly effective method of treatment. Therapists are trained to help people just like you. Knowing which questions to ask and what to look for can help you find the perfect therapist.