A Spreadsheet That May Make It Easier To Find A Therapist
The first time I sat in my therapist's office I remember thinking that if the process that brought me here hadn't been so easy, I may very well not be here.
Now, almost four years later, I'm so thankful for how easy a simple referral from my GP made the process. I needed to go to therapy then and I still need it now.
At least once every two weeks, I sit down in her office and I lead with the sentence, "How's it possible that so much life can happen in a week?" Then I talk. I talk for 45 minutes straight, while she works in different psychological terms or "mhmms" or affirming head nods.
Over four years she's come to learn my mind just as well as I'm learning it myself. But I can't stress enough how important (and privileged) it was that I didn't have to jump through too many hoops in order to be there.
It's a reality I don't take for granted and one I try to pay forward when possible. It's why a few months ago when a friend and I were talking about how difficult the space between deciding to see a therapist and scheduling an appointment is to bridge, I chose to act as that bridge.
I created a google spreadsheet with a list of therapists that were either close to my friend's home or work. I couldn't act as a bridge between her scheduling an appointment and actually walking into the office, but I could help through the before process.
Deciding to see a therapist is hard. Seeing a therapist for the first time is hard. Seeing a therapist for the 76th time after a panic attack is hard. Seeing a therapist for the 127th time after life's been so good and you're questioning whether you've ever even lived with TK mental illness before...that's hard. Because therapy isn't the equivalent of going to a doctor for antibiotics, it's a process that doesn't have a cut off, cure date.
The discovery process of compiling a list of potential therapists though, that shouldn't be this hard.
Deciding to see a therapist is such a huge step, paralysis caused by not knowing what to do next shouldn't stall that healing process.
So whether you're someone who has decided to go to therapy and doesn't know where to start or someone who wants to help make the process easier for a friend. Here's the spreadsheet I used for my friend.
There are a series of questions on the first sheet that thinking back on my own experience with therapy seemed relevant. If you have any other questions that you feel should be added on that list, comment them below and I'll make the sheet a running list!