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What should I look for when selecting a mental health professional?

Selecting a mental health professional is an important decision. The right match can make all the difference in the success of treatment. Consider both the practical aspects of obtaining care, as well as how you feel when you interact with the person. 

Practical Matters

Make sure the therapist has experience helping people with problems similar to yours. One therapist may be most experienced in marriage and family therapy while another may be skilled in treating substance abuse or co-occurring disorders. While some therapists feel most comfortable working with adults, others may prefer to work with children or adolescents.

Find out more about a provider by searching online or calling the provider’s office. 

  • What are the provider’s areas of specialty?
  • Does he/she see children or teenagers (if seeking help for your child)?
  • Does the mental health professional offer a sliding-scale fee based on income?
  • Does he/she accept your health insurance or Medicaid/Medicare?
  • What is the fee and payment policy? What credit cards are accepted?

Credentials

  • What are the provider’s credentials?
  • Is he/she board-certified (for psychiatrists) or licensed (for therapists)?
  • What is the therapist's or psychiatrist’s expertise?
  • What is his/her education background?
  • How many years has he or she been in practice?

Personal Preference

Certain traits might make you feel more comfortable with a mental health professional. If these traits matter, use those preferences to narrow your search. Think about whether you would prefer to see:

  • A man or woman
  • Someone older or younger
  • Someone who shares your religious, racial or cultural background
  • Someone with a style that is more formal or more friendly

Choose a professional based on his qualifications and skills, but also consider whether you would feel comfortable working together to achieve your goals. The professional’s personality and the connection you feel interacting are essential components of successful treatment.

Fortunately, the search for mental health professionals who meet your needs is much easier with Here for Texas.

The information on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. We do not recommend or endorse any specific tests, mental health providers, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on this site. Reliance on any information provided herein is solely at your own risk.

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