Anxiety is currently among the most common forms of mental health disorders, affecting nearly 260 million people worldwide. That’s 3.6% of the world’s population dealing with a health condition that’s both manageable and preventable.
If you’re dealing with anxiety and wish to address this issue asap, googling “anxiety therapist near me” might not be enough. Although numerous professionals and clinics claim to offer quality mental health services, choosing the right one means you’ll have to do a bit of research yourself.
First off, let’s begin with a better understanding of what you’re dealing with.
Anxiety: What Is It?
In a nutshell, anxiety is a state of restlessness and worry that can interfere with our day-to-day life. This condition comes in many ‘shapes and sizes’ from generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety to agoraphobia and panic disorder.
Although it’s perfectly normal to have feelings of anxiety at times; when anxiety begins to affect our personal, social, and professional well-being, finding a therapist should be a top priority.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Just like any other mood disorder, anxiety is characterized by an entire array of physical and psychological symptoms such as:
- Breathing difficulties
- Muscle tension
- Irrational Fears
- Excessive worrying
- Compulsive behaviors
- A vague sense of impending danger
How to Find a Therapist
When it comes to finding the right kind of anxiety therapy, there are several options to consider.
Clinical Services for College Students
Clinical services for college students represent a cheap and relatively accessible solution for anxiety. Nowadays, many university campuses invest in clinics specialized in the treatment of various emotional and behavioral problems.
Although most of these clinics are run by seasoned psychologists who supervise the activity of mental health workers, keep in mind that counselors who work there are mostly beginner psychologists who are still in training. Furthermore, since the demand for mental health services among college students is on the rise, you will probably have to put your name on a waiting list.
A professional referral is perhaps the most reliable way to get into contact with a mental health professional who can help you manage your anxiety.
The fact that referrals come from people who’ve already been in therapy for a mental illness represents a big advantage. In other words, you know exactly what you’re getting into and you don’t have to spend too much time looking for the ‘ideal candidate.’
Lastly, if you choose to see a therapist via referral, you will probably have to pay out of your own pocket.
When it comes to finding a counselor or therapist for your anxiety-related issues, the Internet represents a valuable resource. Nowadays, most professionals and clinics have a strong online presence.
If you wish to know more about the counselor or therapist you plan to see; a quick google search will help you gain a better understanding of his/her professional background, therapeutic approach and other useful information.
And since many counselors have moved their services online, you can also opt for mental health platforms which offer therapy services via chat messaging and video sessions.
Ever since the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act came into effect, insurance providers are bound by law to provide the same coverage for mental health conditions and substance use disorders as they do for medical conditions.
This means you can pay for therapy using your insurance plan. However, if you choose this alternative, your options are somewhat limited. In other words, your insurance provider will pick a counselor for you and the only way to deduct the cost of therapy is by receiving a diagnosis (even if you don’t need one) which will remain in your medical record.
How Do I Assess Potential Therapists?
When browsing for “anxiety therapist near me,” there are several factors to consider before choosing the right counselor.
First of all, you need to make sure your future therapist is a licensed professional with a solid academic background and a fair amount of experience in treating anxiety disorders.
Second, you can ask him/her a bit about his/her therapeutic approach and see if you resonate with his/her style. While some counselors place a strong emphasis on the therapeutic relationship, others opt for a more structured and systematic approach.
Lastly, you can search for a reliable therapist by visiting the American Psychological Association’s website.
In the U.S. alone, about 18% of all adults and 25% of all adolescents experience anxiety.
Given that anxiety is among the most common mental health issues, researchers and healthcare professionals have come up with a serious arsenal of strategies and techniques designed to help you cope with this condition.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the most popular approaches.
In the case of anxiety disorders, traditional approaches include talk therapy, exposure exercises, and psychiatric medications (for severe cases).
Talk therapy means sitting down with a licensed professional who knows how to ask the right questions and help you open up about the problems you’re dealing with. Sometimes, understanding how anxiety works and accepting it as a normal part of life is precisely what you need to keep it in check.
But aside from understanding and acceptance, you will also need to make significant changes that allow you to overcome those anxiety-triggering situations. And this is where exposure therapy comes into play. By getting to experience – in a controlled manner – the discomfort associated with anxiety, you will learn to tolerate those situations/contexts that generate intense fear and worry.
Sadly, there are some cases when talk therapy and exposure are just not enough. When your symptoms reach such an intense and debilitating level that you can’t even find the courage to get out of the house, medication might be the ideal option.
Anxiety Therapy Online
In recent years, online therapy has become a popular option for those who might be too busy to see a ‘live’ counselor. On top of that, there are cases when a good professional might be too far from your residential area.
If you google “anxiety therapist near me”, chances are you’ll stumble upon several mental health platforms that offer online therapy. Although some experts are somewhat reluctant in recommending this approach, most counselors and mental health experts claim that online therapy is just as effective as ‘live’ therapy.
In fact, recent studies suggest that online therapy is a viable option for people dealing with emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts.
What Do I Do to Set Up The First Session?
If you’ve never been in therapy before, setting up the first session can be a bit scary. You don’t know what to expect and you probably have a million questions going through your head.
All you need to do is pick up the phone and text or call your future therapist. He or she will gladly answer any questions and clear away any doubts you might have, even before the first session.
If you opt for online therapy, find a mental health platform and click the ‘Contact’ button. If you’re on Thrivetalk, click the ‘Get started’ button and you will be asked to fill in a short form. Afterward, a therapist will contact you via e-mail.
It doesn’t get any simpler than that!
What Happens In The First Session?
Since the first session represents the first contact you have with your therapist, there are no specific goals or procedures to follow. Just be natural, give your counselor a chance to know you better and see if you resonate with his/her approach. You are also free to ask whatever question comes to mind.
If you aim for a more structured approach, you can ask your counselor to help you set up some goals for the upcoming sessions.
All in all, the best way to approach your first counseling session is with optimism and curiosity.
Questions to Ask a Potential Therapist
Here are a couple of questions that can help you figure out if a counselor/therapist is the right one for you:
- Are you a licensed professional?
- What is your academic background?
- How long have you been working as a therapist?
- Can you tell me a bit about your therapeutic approach?
- Have you ever worked with people who were dealing with anxiety?
- How do you usually approach this condition?
Making Your Decision
In the end, it’s up to you to decide if a therapist is right for you. No matter how much research you do, you can never know for sure unless you try a couple of sessions.
If, at some point, you start feeling uncomfortable or think your therapist is not the ideal choice, make sure you discuss these issues with him/her. Also, bear in mind that you’re free to end the therapy process at any point and for any reason.
Find a Therapist Now on Thrivetalk!
Instead of googling for an ‘anxiety therapist near me,’ why not go straight to Thrivetalk where you can choose from countless professionals who can help you end anxiety once and for all.
This mental health platform offers top-quality counseling services via chat messaging and video sessions. No matter what problems you are dealing with, this platform is the ideal place to find highly-skilled, well-experienced and dedicated professionals.
With Thrivetalk, getting the help you need has never been easier.
- W. H. Organization, “Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates,” World Health Organization, Geneva, 2017.
- S. Hunley, “4 Steps to Finding the Right Therapist for You and Your Anxiety,” Anxiety.org, 15 September 2016. [Online]. Available: https://www.anxiety.org/how-to-find-a-therapist-to-treat-your-anxiety-disorder.
- A. P. Association, “Beyond Worry: How Psychologists Help With Anxiety Disorders,” American Psychological Association, 2016. [Online]. Available: https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/anxiety.aspx.
- Z. Villines, “Two Studies Explore Effectiveness of Online Therapy,” Good Therapy, 6 November 2015. [Online]. Available: https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/two-studies-explore-effectiveness-of-online-therapy-1106152.