Why can't I find a therapist?
I get between 3-5 calls or emails daily asking for an appointment for new clients. Unfortunately, I have to inform them that I will not be taking on new clients. Even more, unfortunate is that I hear the same concern, "I cannot find anyone who is taking new clients. Can you recommend someone"? And most of the time, anyone I would refer to is also not taking on new clients.
So why is it so challenging to find someone? First, let's look at the logistical and ethical issues. It's July, and we do take time off. Between June and September, I take a total of 4 weeks off. Starting therapy with a client when you will not be available can be considered unethical. Like, hey, let me get you to unpack all that anxiety and family issues, but I will be unavailable to you for three weeks after we do that. First, do no harm.
Secondly, we are burnt out too. Most of us have never worked so hard in keeping clients together, their own families together, and their own lives together as we have in the last 18 months. So it comes down to I cannot give you my best therapist self if I am burnt out.
Finally, something most people do not realize. Time slots. Unlike other specialists, many therapists see the same client at the same day and time every week or every two weeks. I have anywhere between 34-42 spots open per week ( see previous blogs about baseball). I currently have 65 clients. If I do not have a consistent opening, most therapists will not want to put you in as a new client because we cannot guarantee when you will schedule another appointment. - Again, first, do no harm.
So how do I find a therapist, Melissa?
Follow these steps. I know many people get their recommendations for their insurance company, but I promise you that is the worse thing to do. Instead, go to Psychologytoday.com FIND A THERAPIST. At that site, you will be able to refine your search to a therapist who takes your insurance and areas of specialties. You will also have the opportunity to bios about that person and areas of specialties and treatment modalities. In Psychologytoday.com, most therapists will advertise if they are not taking new clients. Unfoturntaly this is not a luxury we have when it comes to insurance company's sites. You can fire off emails to multiple therapists from this website instead of calling them ( due to time). I recommend a copy and paste email to all the therapists that meet your needs.
After your psychologytoday.com search and before your email blast - google the therapist. Do they have a website, a Facebook page, an Instagram page, a blog, etc. Read up on the therapist. Does the therapist have office hours that fit your schedule? I cannot count the number of times I get asked about weekend appointments where a simple click on my website or Facebook page would give your my hours.
Finding the right therapist is essential for growth. No two therapists are alike, just like no two clients are alike. My service to you is personal. I treat our time as sacred. It is built on trust. We create a connection. I want to meet your needs. I want anyone seeking out therapy to believe that if we are turning you down, we cannot meet your needs at this time.