How do I find a mental health professional who is right for me?

“How do I find a mental health professional who is right for me?” Help for Me (2021)

“How do I find a mental health professional who is right for me?” Help for Me

man talking with a counselor

How do I find a mental health professional who is right for me?

It can feel intimidating to get professional help to overcome pornography. The following information can help you choose a mental health professional who is right for you.

Mental health professionals are qualified to diagnose and treat mental health conditions. Most have at least a professional degree or more advanced education, training, and credentials. Be sure that the professional you choose is licensed to provide mental health services. Note that how much professionals charge or how much education they have received is not always the best indicator of how qualified or how helpful they may be.

What type of mental health provider do I need?

A good starting point may be determining the type of mental health professional that best fits your needs and circumstances.

Professionals often specialize in certain areas, such as depression, substance abuse, or family therapy. The following are some of the most common types of providers:

  • Psychiatrist

  • Psychologist

  • Psychiatric-mental health nurse

  • Licensed clinical social worker

  • Marriage and family therapist

  • Professional counselor

To learn more about each of these professionals, see “Finding a Mental Health Professional Who’s Right for You.”1

What should I consider when choosing among the various types of mental health providers?

  • Reason for seeking counseling. Most mental health professionals are qualified to treat most mental health challenges, but you may wish to choose one that specializes in overcoming pornography or another area directly contributing to your use of pornography.

  • The type of treatment needed. Many pornography users may have issues regarding their biological, psychological, social, and spiritual influences. As a result, you may need to see more than one mental health provider. For example, you may need to see a psychiatrist to prescribe medication and another mental health provider for counseling.

  • Your budget. You should choose a professional that you can afford. If you’re able to, look for a provider who accepts your insurance. It’s important that you are able to continue treatment for the amount of time you need without undue financial constraints.

How can I identify the best mental health provider for me?

Consider discussing these questions with potential mental health providers:

  • What education and training did they receive? How many years of experience do they have?

  • Do they specialize in treating individuals who are seeking help in overcoming pornography use?

  • What insurance providers do they work with?

  • What are their office hours, fees, and length of sessions?

  • How far away is their office from your work or home?

  • Are they accepting new patients?

  • Do they offer individual therapy, couples’ therapy, or both? Which type or types of therapy do you feel would be best for your situation?

  • What needs does your spouse have? Would they also benefit from meeting with this professional?

It is appropriate to ask questions like these when determining whether a mental health provider is right for you. You can ask these questions before you make your first appointment. Pay attention to your initial emotional response when you talk with the professional. Trust yourself and your judgment. Consider whether he or she seems to be a good fit for you, your needs, and your personality.

Finally, take courage. As you seek the Lord’s guidance and strength, you can be led to take the steps toward healing that are right for you.