Updated: Oct 29, 2020
Part 1 of this series shared some ideas about how to access behavioral health benefits. If you’re employed and insured, you’ll need to contact your employer to inquire about your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and free sessions through that or call your Health Insurance to ask about your Behavioral Health Benefits.
When you have the information you need, such as a list of therapists that accept your insurance or your EAP, you’ll be good to go in terms of moving to the next step of finding a therapist. If you’re paying out of pocket, you’re already at the next step.
FIND A THERAPIST
A quick Google search will pull up a list of therapists in your area. Try search terms such as:
“Therapist near me” “Mental health services near me” “multicultural counselor in [insert your city/town]” “marriage therapist in [insert your city/town]”
Most health insurance plans have a list of in-network mental health professionals on their website and this can help you narrow your search.
There are also a number of databases such as:
Therapy for Black Girls
Multicultural Counselors of Color
Therapy for Black Men
BROWSE THERAPIST WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES
Many therapists like myself have websites and social media pages on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. A quick Google Search of your prospective therapist will produce these pages. You’ll get a sense of your therapist’s personality, their creativity and perhaps get to know them a little bit before you take the next step.
Therapist contact information will be on their website or on the insurance listing. A note about contacting therapists: Try your best to stay away from connecting with your prospective therapist on social media. Aside the fact that those platforms are not necessarily HIPAA compliant, meaning they’re not held to the highest standards of privacy, some therapists have others manage their social media pages. Instead, give them a call or send them an email to inquire about their availability. I’ve heard from several clients that they haven’t heard back from therapists they’ve called in the past. I get that. Sometimes therapists are unable to get to their phones between sessions like they’d like to because they use that time to wolf down their food or write notes. So if you don’t hear back from them, try again. If you don’t get a call back, try email.
Hopefully these tips will get you started on your journey to healing.