Finding “The One”
No I’m not talking about marriage here. I am talking about finding the perfect therapist. In my opinion finding the perfect therapist is a lot like dating. Sometimes your personalities don’t match, sometimes they are too assertive, or sometimes they do too much talking. It took me a few tries, but I finally found my perfect match this year.
I decided to seek help for the first time a few years ago when I was still married. I was dealing with some mild anxiety and I just wanted someone to talk to about my failing marriage. My insurance gives me 5 free therapy/doctor visits to one large practice in my city. This practice is like the fast food of mental health counseling. They want you in, collect your money, and out their door as quickly as possible. You are given sub par service and you are left feeling rather unsatisfied. I only met with this therapist two times before I gave up. She wanted to spend the majority of the time talking about my mom and my past with her, when I honestly felt my mom was the one person I could rely on and was confused on why we were spending so much time discussing her. I wanted to discuss anxiety coping skills and help with my marriage.
Fast forward another year when my marriage was over, and I thought I could once again use some help. I knew what the therapy was like, so I thought this time I would just meet with a doctor and hope that he would prescribe me some anxiety medicine. After a quick ten minute visit and an even briefer survey on anxiety and depression, I was out the door with pills in hand.
I knew the pills would take a little bit to actually start working, so when the first month was up I had an appointment to go back. I made the appointment at a different office location and called the morning of my appointment to confirm. When I showed up for my appointment I was greeted with a “Oh no one called you? We had to cancel your appointment.” I stated that I just called to confirm the morning of and no one told me it had been cancelled. Apparently because I was at a new location I was considered a new patient and had to be scheduled at a different time. So out I went feeling even more anxious, without pills, and a new appointment time.
The next time I went back and I was told I had a $20 fee for a missed appointment. Even though they were the one to cancel my appointment, I was told it was my fault and I had to pay. After demanding to speak to the office manager and explaining to her what happened, my fee was waived and I was sent back to see the doctor. Once again this was a very fast appointment. However this time the doctor had the nerve to tell me that “I’m a pretty girl and pretty girls shouldn’t have problems like this.” This was my final straw, and I decided that I am going to quit taking the pills and visiting this office. It was actually causing me more stress and anxiety, and I thought I would be better just managing it all on my own.
It wasn’t until another year and half went by that I decided that I had to find other options. I knew I didn’t want to go back to the practice my insurance uses. I started to call around looking for different options, and every place I called charged on average $100 a session without insurance coverage. As a single female living on her own on a teacher’s salary I just couldn’t afford this. One day I just started to Google sliding scale therapists and my zip code. I got lucky and found a practice that is about 30 minutes from my work and they see patients on an honor system sliding scale. I luckily (or maybe unluckily) fell into the lowest category and was told it would be $60 a session.
I bit the bullet and decided I needed to make an appointment. After looking online and reading the biographies of each of the therapists, I decided to make an appointment to see a woman named Krista. Just as one would expect the day of my appointment I was very nervous. However once I arrived and walked into her office my nervousness began to fade. Her office was welcoming and calm. She appeared to be someone who actually wanted to listen to me and not just tell me what medications would be the best. I almost immediately felt comfortable opening up to her. We decided to set up weekly appointments. I still spend $240 a month on therapy, but I think it is worth it. It hasn’t magically cured all my problems, but I find myself looking forward to the days I get to speak with her.
Finding someone who I am comfortable opening up to and sharing some of my secrets with has been a difficult and long task. Yet I am glad I continued to try. Krista has shared with me many strategies and tricks to help ease my mind during an anxiety attack. Some of them have worked while others have not. I will share some of these in future posts. Therapy definitely isn’t a cure all, but it has provided me an outlet to share my worries and fears. Sometimes just talking (or writing) about them help ease an anxious mind.