It seems the whole world is facing a mental health challenge, all at once. Burnout is rife, millions have lost loved ones to COVID, and people are resigning in record numbers. It’s no surprise that demand for therapists is surging.
Whatever your reason for seeking assistance, this article will equip you with the information you need to find a therapist in Calgary.
It starts with the foundational question: What kind of therapy is right for me?
Here are a few popular approaches: Psychodynamic therapy (also known as Freudian therapy), Behavioural therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and creative therapy (art- or music-based). Ask your family physician for help sorting through the many options.
As you investigate the various approaches, you’ll want to think about how much time you have available to dedicate to therapy, as some approaches (such as psychodynamic therapy) can require a long-term commitment, while others (such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) are targeted approaches.
Questions to help focus your search include:
- Why are you seeking therapy?
- Do you need a therapist that works with individuals, couples and families?
- Do you want a therapist of a particular background?
- What is your budget?
- What is your desired schedule?
- Do you prefer online counselling or in-person counselling sessions?
Once you’ve decided on a specific approach and eliminated therapists that don’t fit your basic needs, you can call their office and ask more detailed questions.
Therapy is an investment of time and money, not to mention trust. It’s easier to avoid starting a problematic relationship with a therapist than to get out of one, so ask these questions up front to increase the chances of success. Before starting therapy, make sure to find out:
How do they measure success? Do they just let you blather on, non-stop, or is there an end-game? What happens if you aren’t satisfied with the experience?
How do they train their therapists? What level of education do they have? Are they a registered psychologist? A licensed social worker? Remember: if you are looking at a group practice, ask them to explain how they keep their standards high across the board. Reputation isn’t enough here. Make sure they have a plan to guarantee consistent results. Ask any prospective practice how their counsellors are educated and what ongoing training and support they receive.
What is their cancellation policy? If your life is in flux and you find it hard to commit to set appointment times, you might want to find an office that understands your need to reschedule last-minute.
How much does it cost? Therapists can offer low-cost, sliding scale or group options, in addition to individual therapy. If you are referred to mental health services through a hospital or mental health clinic, the cost may be covered by your BC Medical Services Plan (MSP).
If you’re looking for a therapist (Calgary downtown or Calgary), you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. With these guidelines in mind, your search should go smoothly.