Finding somewhere to go for therapy can be highly intimidating. The fact that you have acknowledged that you need professional help is an incredible step in the right direction. There is a wide range of resources available to help you get connected with the right treatment program, given your specific needs.
When people think of therapy, they may envision sitting or lying on a couch talking to a serious-looking therapist. However, that is often not the reality. There are a variety of therapy styles and programs that you can experience. You may find music or art therapy most helpful, or you may discover that you get more out of group therapy than you do individual sessions.
There is no right or wrong way. However, it is essential to find a therapist that understands your concerns and has experience and training to handle them. For example, if the reason or part of the reason you are in therapy is due to sexual abuse, it will benefit you to find a therapist that has experience working with sexual abuse victims.
For example, if you live in New York, and you need to find therapists in New York City, you will have plenty of options regardless of your specific mental health concerns. There are resources for those with depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenic disorders, as well as more generalized situations like situational stress, grief, and work/life balance.
Connecting with the appropriate resources will allow you to find a therapist that is experienced with your specific needs and provides help in a way that will make you comfortable and provide a safe environment for you to express your thoughts and feelings. This may include choosing either a male or female therapist, depending on what makes you most comfortable. There is no shame or embarrassment in expressing what you need to feel more comfortable.
There are also specialized centers that address specific issues. For example, Polaris Teen Transgender Treatment Centers works specifically with teens dealing with a variety of issues, including adjusting and facing their thoughts and feelings related to being transgender, depressed, anxious, and more serious personal problems like dealing with abuse, neglect, abandonment, and other issues.
Polaris is specialized in that they work specifically with juveniles. While there are facilities that help both youth and adults, choosing an organization that addresses the specific needs of minors can be highly beneficial. All of the therapists in these types of organizations are specially trained and experienced.
Therapy is a very personal experience, and it is essential to understand that you may not find the perfect match with the first therapist or therapy group that you visit. You need to keep your mind open so you do not allow one bad experience to shape your opinion of therapy or its effectiveness. If you do not feel you are getting the help you need, you can find somewhere else to go or someone else to see.
However, you do need to give it a little time. You may be resistant to what the therapist is telling you at first. Just because you feel resistant or a bit uncomfortable, doesn’t mean it isn’t going to help you. Therapy should challenge you to think about what you are doing, how you are feeling, and the way your thought processes work. Changing the way you think or feel is a difficult process that won’t always feel great.
You should stick with one therapist or therapy group for at least six sessions before you start thinking about whether it is the right situation for you. After six sessions, if you still feel uncomfortable, you should talk to the therapist about your concerns.