What to Look for When Your Treatments for Depression Include Mental Health Therapy

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If part of your prescribed treatments for depression include  mental   health  therapy, there are a few important things you must consider when trying to locate a therapist who can effectively help you in your recovery.

It all comes down to finding a specialist who can meet your specific needs. You are a unique individual whose symptoms, gender, age, religious beliefs and cultural background are important factors which must be addressed as part of a successful therapeutic program.

 Mental   health  therapists vary as widely as patients. Just like you, they vary in all those areas which make up who you are.

Some are male and some are female. Some are older, some younger. Many choose to specialize in one particular area, such as depression, rather than try to cover the entire gamut of  mental   health . If you’re suffering from depression you wouldn’t seek help from a therapist who works in marital and family counseling.

If you are a woman, you may feel more comfortable working with a female therapist…and vice versa if you’re a man. Furthermore, if you’re first language is something other than English, you may wish to find someone who can conduct your therapy in your native language.

But cultural issues aren’t the only things which must be considered when locating the right therapist. The severity of your condition, the need for medication, and your health insurance coverage all play important roles in this process.

For example, if there is a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder, you will need to see a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist.

And when it comes to using  mental   health  benefits from your health insurance you will have to check the specific coverage of your policy. You may be required to select a therapist from a pre-approved list.

There may also be certain limitations to your benefits. For example, your policy may pay for more visits to a nurse, social worker or behavioral therapist, but not a psychiatrist.

Once you have narrowed-down one or two potential therapists, it’s important to do some further investigation before making your final selection. You can make these inquiries, usually over the phone, or during an initial consultation.

Here are some of the things which are important to know about the therapist and about how therapy is conducted:

  • Therapist’s education, training, license and number of years in practice. Licensing requirements can vary from state to state.
  • Therapy fees, length of sessions
  • After-hours availability
  • Which insurance providers they work with, or if they work with Medicare or Medicaid.
  • Treatment approach and philosophy (does it match your style and needs?)
  • Areas of specialization
  • Willingness to answer all of these, and any other, questions you may have

Going through all this legwork may seem overwhelming, especially if you’re suffering from depression. However, in order to get the most from these treatments for depression, it’s critical you find a therapist you feel comfortable with and with whom you believe you can establish a long-term, working relationship. The right match can make all the difference in a successful, long-lasting recovery.