Update: At this time, Jennie is not accepting new clients. However, please review these resources and recommendations to find support.
Looking for a Therapist?
If you're ready to try counseling, congrats -- that's a big step! For an approach similar to mine (Jennie), I recommend finding a counselor who specializes in anxiety or trauma-specific CBT therapies. Alternatively, an experienced EMDR counselor who has worked with trauma and PTSD can be helpful.
Consider a therapist who is:
*Trained in specific anxiety or PTSD approaches
*Mentions specific therapies, like CPT (cognitive processing therapy) or EMDR
*Targets specific conditions, rather than just a general "talk therapy" approach
*Has a few years + of experience with treating anxiety and/or PTSD (ask about their success with clients with your condition)
Meanwhile, you'll need a way to find a counselor who fits. Here are some options.
If you need to stay on a budget, use your insurance, or don't have insurance, consider these options.
Many communities have local therapy agencies with multiple offices and services. These larger organizations tend to have funding and resources to help with pay, and will accept nearly all insurance plans. The drawback of these is that there may be a wait, and you may not be able to get in as often. Counselors may also carry large caseloads and turnover tends to be higher. Visit here to look for such an agency.
Personal Violence Centers
If your trauma relates to domestic violence (from a current or past partner) or sexual assault, you may qualify for free therapy through funded services. Quality of these services will vary from area to area. To learn more, visit here or call 1-800-799-7233. Let them know you're looking for therapy in your area. You may need to answer some questions to see if you qualify for their grant requirements.
Open Path - Sliding Scale Therapists
Open Path is a place where private practice therapists (and others) can sign up to offer lower-cost self-pay services. They range from around $30 to $80, depending on your needs. You will need to look for a therapist within your state (as therapists are licensed in their own state or region, even if they're providing telehealth.) Visit here.
Veterans and Military
Vets are already familiar with the VA. You can look for local services here. Just like with other agencies, the quality of services will vary in your area. There are also various agencies that help with funding for counseling for veterans or those in the military. You can best find these by searching online.
These options will generally cost more, but may offer higher quality, specializations, and more availability.
Local Group Practices and Private Practice
Often therapists tend to start out at agencies and then join a private practice group, or open their own office. Some may start out in a group practice. These therapists tend to charge more and carry smaller caseloads.
They may also be very experienced, with specialties in areas like anxiety, couples, or PTSD. The drawback is that they tend to be self-pay and not accept insurance. This is because it's incredibly complicated and time-consuming to accept insurance (and then companies don't always pay). Private therapists also have more overhead such as office space, software, insurance, etc., which ups the cost.
Generally, the more experienced the therapist, the more it costs. This also allows these specialists to carry smaller caseloads, see individual clients more often, and provide a high level of support, quality and availability. It also decreases burnout rate which improves quality and consistency.
Private practice therapists who charge out of pocket can range from $60 to upwards of $200 per session. This depends on their experience, overhead costs, and the local region. You can generally find these therapists by searching online in your area, or by looking through therapy listings such as Psychology Today, or Therapy Den.
Online Therapy Apps - Pros and Cons
There are a lot of opinions about therapy apps (think Better Help or Talkspace) and how effective they are. In my opinion, these services can be helpful if you just need to talk out an issue occasionally with a therapist. However, this format may not work best for problems like chronic anxiety or PTSD, or if you need regular, ongoing support.
Also, keep in mind that many counselors on these platforms carry very high caseloads and have limited session times (sometimes just 30 minutes per week). This may affect the quality of your therapy.
These apps also often advertise affordability, however the fee is generally $60 to $100 per week, and your therapist will only get a fraction of that (generally half or less). In many areas, you can find a private therapists with the same or lower fees, who will offer 50 minute sessions and be more available to you.