There are many reasons that may be holding you back from going to therapy. Here are 3 common reasons that might be stopping you.
1. Where do I even begin trying to find a therapist?
If you are comfortable, begin by asking your network – your friends – who they might see for therapy and whether they would recommend their therapist. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find a reputable therapist.
If you’d prefer to do this with a little more privacy, Psychology Today (link) is an incredible resource for finding a therapist. You can search by postal code, and by many other search features (e.g. age, gender, specialization). You can read through profiles and see if a profile resonates with you. And in most cases, therapists will have a no cost phone consult with you so that you can have a chance to see if it feels like a good fit.
2. How do I know if I need to go to therapy? I’m not in crisis…
You do not have to be in crisis to go to therapy. Therapy can be a place for introspection and personal growth, or it can be a part of a treatment plan for mild to severe mental health challenges and illness. The reasons to go to therapy are wide ranging – you can go to therapy simply because you are curious about what it feels like and what it can offer you, OR because you need it as an important way to care for your mental health.
3. Private therapy is expensive! What if I can’t afford it?
It’s true, private therapy can be quite costly. There are some resources here to bring some ease to the financial burden of therapy. Most communities have a family counselling agency that offers individual, couple, and family therapy at a sliding scale based on income. If you are not sure what resource exists in your community, you can google “Family Counselling Agency in my city”.
Family Health Teams also often have counsellors (registered social workers). If you have a GP (General Practitioner, Family Doctor) who works as part of a Family Health Team, you can ask if you are able to have a referral to the counsellor. This is often reserved for significant mental health challenges.
The Affordable Therapy Network is another excellent resource for finding *affordable* therapy. All therapists listed on this network (similar in style to Psychology Today), offer sliding scale.
And finally, many private therapists care deeply about accessible therapy and offer a select number of sliding scale spots as part of their practice. You can ask if there is a sliding scale spot available for you!
Danielle is a Registered Social Worker and psychotherapist in Hamilton, Ontario. She works with experiences of anxiety, depression, and trauma from a relational and client-centred approach. She is an EMDR Certified Therapist and Consultant-in-Training. She’s probably drinking a very hot coffee, right now. More questions? Reach out here.