I found my therapist through Google. I was searching for a relationship therapist in Seattle when Caley popped up. I scrolled through her website and really liked what I read on her blog. My ex and I both work in digital media, so a tech savvy therapist seemed important to me.

Caley and I emailed a couple times before our initial phone call. During that call, she asked what I wanted to accomplish. I don’t even remember what I said, but I felt like she nailed what I needed in just a 10-15 minute conversation. She had a road map and explained her goal is to work herself out of a job. I was hooked. I knew she was the therapist for me. I couldn’t wait to get started.

About six months later, we had accomplished what we set out to accomplish. I’ve been raving about the experience ever since. I’ve sent a couple friends in need to see her as well. They’ve all raved. Now I’m often asked how I found Caley and how to find a good therapist – particularly from friends who aren’t within a 20-mile radius of Caley.

I wish I had answers, but all I can do is tell you what worked for me and what I know now. Before Caley, I had one session with another therapist. I felt judged. I think it’s fair to say we mutually agreed she wasn’t the best for us. Because we left before our hour was even up.

After that, I called a couple therapists on my insurance plan. None of them had any sort of web presence and never even bothered to call back. Not impressed.

I went in only knowing as much about therapy as I’d heard from friends, seen in movies and studied in my college psychology classes. But I liked that Caley’s approach is to get to the root of the problem. My personal approach to health is that medication should be a last resort. I’d rather try every other option first. But to each their own. The talk approach is not a quick fix, but it was less time-consuming than I thought it would be. For me it took about six months. I started going every-other-week, then slowly went down to every three or four weeks. It’s case-by-case to be sure. In that initial call, I asked Caley how long it would take since I have friends who have been in therapy for years. She told me if she is still working on the same problem for a year or two, she wonders what she’s doing wrong.

My insurance was tricky. It covers mental health, but I had to meet a $500 or $1,000 (can’t remember) deductible first. Then it paid 80 percent. I don’t know what I ended up paying out of pocket, but I can tell you it was worth every single cent, and I would not hesitate to go again if necessary.

So if I were to look for a new therapist, here’s what I would ask:

 

  1. Based on what I’ve told you, how will we proceed?
  2. How long and how often do you think I will be seeing you?

The answers to these questions will probably be vague and certainly are subject to change, but I think you’ll get a sense of whether your therapist has a plan or not from them.

After that, I’d do some soul searching. Are you ready to be vulnerable? Are you ready to face repressed memories? Are you ready to cry on the couch about what your mother and father did to you (they did their best! They didn’t mean to!)? You have to be ready to work for it. No matter how good, the therapist, you have to be willing to put in the work.

Maybe I’m weird, but I always loved my appointments. I had no trouble talking about myself for an hour. I laughed, I cried. I left hiding my tear-filled eyes under sunglasses, but I always felt better and stronger. It’s feeling I wish for everyone.

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