Your Guide to Finding the Best Therapists In Boston

More people in the United States suffer from depression and anxiety than almost any other illness. It is common in people of all ages, from youths to people facing old age. It does not discriminate based on ethnicity, culture, or socioeconomic status. Somehow, it is still something only spoken about in whispers. Which makes finding therapists in Boston a bit more daunting than it needs to be.

Awareness of mental illness and therapy is limited, and people therefore don’t know what they’re supposed to be looking for when they decide to see a therapist. With all the confusing options and terminology, Boston residents have a difficult task simply finding a therapist. Moreover, the ideal is to find the perfect therapist for you, someone you can connect with and whom you can trust.

To assist you, this guide will help you find the right therapist in the greater Boston area.

Therapists in Boston

There are a number of therapists in the Boston area, including many who may be perfect for you. But what does it mean to find the “right” therapist?

Why Is It Important to Find a Therapist That’s Right For You?

Therapy is a very personal process. You are going to be confronting issues that may have been causing you great pain and that you’ve probably never shared with anyone. Therefore, it’s crucial that you feel a rapport with the therapist you find and that you feel confident enough to trust them. It is important that they approach therapy from a perspective that makes sense to you and works for you. Everyone has their own expectations and its normal to feel uncomfortable with a process that seems inscrutable.

How Are Therapists Trained?

Training as a therapist is a long and complex process that takes the trainee through undergraduate classes all the way to a master’s degree, and possibly a PhD. It is a profession in which personality and values are particularly important, and not everyone is suited to the role. The first few years of study focus on the theoretical. Potential therapists learn about the history of the field of psychology, the different approaches, and what their work involves. Later on, they train in therapeutic practice under supervision, as well as spending hours doing research that will contribute to the field. Therapists are monitored to ensure they can connect with clients. They should also show that they are committed to the strong ethical foundations on which the profession is built.

Once they have completed 1,000 hours of therapy under supervision, they are ready to branch out on their own. 

In Boston, not just anyone can simply promote themselves as a therapist. Professionals like psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health counselors, as well as marriage and family therapists are strictly licensed and these professions are regulated by the state. They have established standards regarding education and training.

Which Types of Issues Can They Help With?

Your local therapist can help with any and all mental health issues, as well as facilitating the search for meaning and purpose. They are also responsible for helping people with family and relationship issues.

Therapists are qualified to diagnose mental health disorders, from any type of mood disorder to anxiety and more. These mental health experts are also trained to help couples confront their relationship problems constructively. Meaning-making is part of the human condition, whether or not you are suffering from a mental health disorder, and a therapist can help you through this. If you have religious principles which are important to you, rest assured. Your therapist can help you work within a framework that you are comfortable with, even if they are not members of your religion themselves.

Many people go to therapy for brief periods when they are experiencing increased stress. It can help during exams, tough times at work, and major life changes like marriage, childbirth, and death. Therapists can also assist patients with behavioral interventions. 

Lastly, did you know that therapy can help you to get the physical symptoms associated with mental illness under control? Chronic pain is a good example here.

The Therapy Scene in Boston

The therapy scene in Boston has its pros and cons. While a range of therapists are available, it is not always easy to find them or get an appointment. 

Mental Health Statistics

Almost one in five US adults are suffering from a mental illness and indications are that the rates in Boston match the national numbers. Clinical depression and anxiety are the most common. Statistics have also shown that during the year of 2015, around 12% of adults in Boston reported that they experienced persistent sadness. 

Unfortunately the rates of treatment do not match the rates of illness. Only around 42% of adults suffering from mental health disorders in the US receive treatment in any form. 

Mental Health Obstacles

While successes have been celebrated in the mental health scene in Boston, various mental health obstacles are still preventing the citizens of Boston from getting the help they need.

In order to overcome these obstacles interventions are needed that target the sub-populations who are at a greater risk for mental illness. Public education about mental health disorders can also help along with ending discrimination. 

Outpatient behavioral health services are still not adequate in Boston and these services are essential to care transformation. To make the bold visions for transformation a reality, policymakers along with payers in Boston need to work together on potential long-term strategies.

Types of Therapy Available Today

A wide range of therapy options is available in Boston. The most well-known therapeutic approach is talk therapy. During talk therapy you talk through your problems with a therapist as they guide you to discover new insights about yourself.

Other types of therapy focus on more practical skills. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), for instance, teaches you to challenge the irrational thoughts that lead to anxiety and depression. Mindfulness training has become an essential tool in many therapists’ repertoire, with these skills helping millions of people around the world cope with difficult emotions.

There are also therapies which rely more on the guidance of the therapist. Hypnotherapy is one such therapy, which is becoming more popular as practitioners achieve more and more consistent results.

Where Can I Find Mental Health Professionals in Boston?

There are many different ways to find mental health professionals in Boston. These include looking through online databases, getting a referral from your doctor, calling or visiting a mental health center, or using online therapy.

These two facilities are available in Boston, but they are certainly not the only ones.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Brigham and Women’s Hospital is a top women’s hospital in Boston that provides holistic care for individuals dealing with any kind of health condition. They have various types of health professionals available who know all about dealing with women’s health issues including mental health disorders.

Thrive Boston Counseling

Thrive Boston Counseling hosts therapists in Boston who are available for appointments within 24 hours. This is incredibly helpful for people who feel desperate or don’t want to be on long waiting lists. They provide psychiatric services from mental health professionals like psychiatrists, to psychologists, to family counselors as well as executive coaching.

Online Counseling

Online counseling is the most cutting edge way to find therapists in Boston. It refers to therapy during which sessions take place over video or voice calls, or even occasional texts. With online counseling your therapist could also share helpful reading materials with you.

What Makes It Different?

Online counseling is different from traditional counseling in that you don’t have to be there in person. These therapy platforms make it easier to find a therapist and contact them immediately to set up an appointment.

What Are the Benefits?

The benefits of online therapy include that you don’t have to take travel or waiting time into account, which streamlines the process. This makes it possible for professionals who work full-time jobs to access treatment more easily. It also allows you to part-take in therapy from the comfort of your own home. With online therapy those who are scared of “stigma” have the opportunity to seek therapy without worrying about being seen.

Online therapy makes it easier to choose a therapist who is right for you, rather than whoever happens to be the closest or most convenient. It is also easy to switch to another therapist if you do not connect with one individual.

Can I Trust an Online Therapist?

Online therapists are fully qualified clinical experts, and their qualifications are listed with their biographies. They explain in a write-up how they approach therapy and what you can expect in a session. An online therapist is at the least as trustworthy as any therapist you can find in Boston.

Preparing for a Session With Your Therapist

You may be wary of going into a therapy session unplanned, especially if it is your very first time. Your therapist will make you feel comfortable and guide you through it, but to help you prepare, here’s what you need to know.

What Happens During a Therapy Session?

In your first therapy session, you’ll discuss your personal and clinical history, from childhood to the present. There will be an emphasis on major life events and the matters that brought you to therapy. The therapist will work with you on a treatment plan, helping you set goals for the process and determine what your ideal outcomes will be. You will get to know your therapist and become more comfortable sharing information with them.

Will My Insurance Cover Therapy Sessions?

In Boston, most health insurers should be willing to cover therapy sessions provided by most mental health professionals who are state-licensed. Some are, however, excluded like licensed social workers who have less training and those who don’t have the required education.

Questions to Ask a Potential Therapist

In order to determine whether a therapist is right for you, consider asking the following questions:

  • What sort of therapy approach do you take?
  • Where did you train to be a therapist?
  • What is your experience in therapy?
  • Do you have experience with sexual orientation/gender/race/other identity issues?
  • How will you go about helping me?

Finding therapists in Boston is difficult if you don’t know where to look, but it can be made easy with the right information. The good news is that help is available to anyone who knows where to look!

author avatar
Angel Rivera
I am a Bilingual (Spanish) Psychiatrist with a mixture of strong clinical skills including Emergency Psychiatry, Consultation Liaison, Forensic Psychiatry, Telepsychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry training in treatment of the elderly. I have training in EMR records thus very comfortable in working with computers. I served the difficult to treat patients in challenging environments in outpatient and inpatient settings
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