Therapy is a lot like a relationship. Being willing to both give and receive will help strengthen the relationship. Thinking about what you need from therapy and what you can give is an important first step. If you’ve never been to therapy before, you may have questions about how to get started and what the experience will be like. You’re already off to a great start by asking these questions.
So where you should you begin?
Therapy can be an important step in improving your health and well-being. Because the things you want to discuss may be very personal, a first step is to find a therapist who can relate to you. Minority Mental Health Project, the Center for Behavioral Health at Spaulding University, the Facebook group Buy Black Lou, and asking your trusted friends are all excellent sources for finding Black and/or LGBTQIA therapists. Once you find a potential therapist, you’ll want to call or e-mail to see if they’re accepting new patients and, if you have insurance, if they accept your insurance. If you don’t have insurance or the therapist does not accept your insurance, many therapists adjust payments based on your ability to afford their services, often referred to as sliding scale payments.
Once you’ve scheduled your first appointment, you will complete paperwork on your history and your goals for therapy. All of this information is kept confidential between you and therapist and is a good opportunity to reflect on what you’d like to discuss and what you’d like to get out of therapy. Most sessions are currently virtual, so once you’ve booked an appointment and provided your information, you’ll receive information on how to join your virtual session. Your first session is a chance to get know each other. Know that if it doesn’t feel like a good fit, you have the right to move on and find someone else.
Minority Mental Health Project is here to support you through this process in many ways, including offering a voucher program to help relieve any financial concerns. Know that you are joining a large community of African Americans and other minorities who seek therapy for a variety of reasons – anxiety, depression, exhaustion, and many other things that hold us back. We are here to help, and we’re proud of you for taking a step towards healing.