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Therapy can be tough. A counselor or therapist can help show you how to overcome anxiety, but you’ll likely need to share some very personal thoughts and feelings. So it’s a good idea to invest time and effort into finding the right person.
Consider these eight tips for choosing the right therapist:
- Ask your doctor for a referral.
- Ask friends or family if they can recommend someone.
- Ask your insurance company for a list of therapists whose services they cover.
- Check the Anxiety Disorders of America (ADAA) website for a local therapist.
- Look for someone who specializes in the condition from which you’re suffering (e.g., social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic). Don’t be shy about asking therapists about their specific areas of expertise or focus.
- Check credentials. Did this therapist go to a reputable school? Is he or she accredited by respected medical or psychological organizations (such as the American Psychological Association)? Is he or she affiliated with a respected university or hospital?
- Meet with the therapist to see whether you’ll have a good rapport. No matter how well-trained a therapist is, he may not be a good fit if you don’t feel comfortable talking with him.
- Find out what forms of treatment your therapist uses and decide whether those are right for you. Don’t limit yourself to what one particular therapist has to offer.
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Overcoming Anxiety: Find the Right Therapist
Remember that therapists vary tremendously in their training and approaches. You don’t have to stick with the first person you see. Shop around, if you need to, to find someone you can trust.
Remember, too, that only medical doctors or nurses with certain types of training can prescribe medication. Therapists can, however, work with doctors or nurses to prescribe medication if it’s needed. The goal is to figure out how to overcome anxiety, and sometimes the help will come from more than a single source.
The Effects of Anxiety
Left unchecked, anxiety and stress can wreak havoc on your mental state, your physical health, and your life. No one wants to spend his time feeling stressed, worried, exhausted, and unsafe—that’s no way to live.
In today’s fast-paced and competitive world, problems with stress and anxiety have reached epidemic proportions. That’s the bad news. The good news is that experts in all areas of health, lifestyle, and medicine are always on the lookout for solutions.
With a little research, you can find solutions for your stress and anxiety. Whether you need more exercise, a better diet, a stronger social network, breathing exercises, yoga, or support from a professional, with so many options available for the management of stress and anxiety, you’re sure to find something that helps you. Often, people experience the greatest relief by trying more than one thing.
Don’t get discouraged. Your anxiety-causing problems didn’t pop up overnight, and they likely won’t disappear overnight. Controlling stress and anxiety is a learning process that takes time, but there are strategies anyone can learn. Breathe easy. Help is available.
Originally published in February 2016 and updated.