When you are feeling down, everything may seem like an uphill battle that you have to face alone. Finding the right therapist to help you with depression might seem overwhelming, even when you know counseling will help you feel better. To overcome chronic stress or depression, you need to have supportive people in your life, including friends, family, and often, an experienced therapist who specializes in women and depression.
Finding the right counselor, who understands and treats chronic stress and depression in women, takes research, time, and knowledge. Choosing the right therapist to help you overcome depression is an important decision, which can make a huge difference in how fast you recover. If you have been struggling for a long time, it might not always be a good idea to choose a therapist based only on your insurance coverage.
What to Look for When Choosing a Therapist to Help You Overcome Stress and Depression:
1. Therapist Training
Psychologists have doctoral-level training and provide talk therapy. Licensed therapists also provide talk therapy and often have a Masters Degree in counseling. Psychiatrists are medical doctors and mostly prescribe medication. Choose a therapist who is a licensed professional.
2. Counseling Experience and Specialty in Stress and Depression
Your therapist should be experienced in working with specific areas of depression in women, such as: general or chronic stress and depression; stress from balancing motherhood, a career, and life transitions; infertility; pregnancy challenges; pregnancy loss; and postpartum depression. A therapist with years of experience in the field of women’s depression will be well-versed in what kind of counseling works to help women overcome depression.
3. Personality and Comfort-Level With the Therapist You Choose
It is essential that you choose a therapist for depression that you like and feel comfortable with. Therapy research has shown that the key in healing is the relationship between therapist and client. Theoretical orientation (the approach or method a therapist utilizes) is less important than the quality of the relationship between the client and the counselor. All psychotherapy approaches will work if the therapist is competent, compassionate, and in-sync with the patient.
4. Shared Goals Between Counseling Client and Counselor
You and your therapist should agree on the goals and timeline of your therapy. Research suggests that shared goals and a feeling of being understood are better predictors of therapy success than the methods or approaches the counselor will utilize to help you overcome your depression.
5. Try out Your Therapist First
Initially, you may commit to a couple of introductory counseling sessions to see if you and your depression therapist are a good match. Then, evaluate how you feel and whether the therapy has made any difference, before you make a long-term commitment. Remember, it takes time to see results from counseling, especially if you have been depressed or very stressed for some time.
How to Find a Therapist for Depression:
1. Ask for referrals from someone you trust
Ask your doctor (OB/Gyn or family practitioner) to recommend a therapist. Ask around to see if your friends or family members know of a good therapist who has experience in treating stress and depression. We tend to like people with personalities like ours, so if your friend or doctor likes a particular therapist, chances are you may also like the therapist.
2. Do an Internet Search
Do an internet search to locate a depression therapist in your area. See if the therapist offers classes, groups, or newsletters to help women overcome depression. If your doctor or someone else refers a therapist to you, you should also check the therapist’s website to see if you are in alignment with him/her.
3. Talk to the Therapist on the Phone
Once you have located the therapist, call and ask about how they work. Most therapists will provide you with at least a few minutes to ask questions on the phone before you agree to see them for therapy.
4. Shop Around
Do not be afraid to interview a few therapists until you find person you are most comfortable with.
Depression is painful but treatable. With the right therapist, you can feel better again and enjoy your life. If you are having difficulty coping with depression, you do not have to struggle alone. Call me at (281)267-1742 for a FREE ten-minute consultation.
Dr. Irena Milentijevic is a licensed psychologist who specializes in helping mothers and those hoping to be mothers overcome stress, loss, and depression. Her offices are located in Houston and the Woodlands, Texas. Visit her website: www.DrIrena.com to get her free report, “Moms and Mom Wannabes: 10 Ways to Overcome Depression and Reclaim Your Sanity”.