How Do I Find a Therapist to Help Me after Divorce?
Divorce is one of life’s most challenging transitions. Even if you are the person initiating the divorce, it can be painful and even a bit scary to rebuild your life, embrace your new identity, and let go of the disappointments you have carried.
Research suggests that our physical and mental health can suffer in the first few years after a divorce. While many of us try to cope with the aftermath of divorce by ourselves, getting professional advice and guidance can help lessen the sting of the fear, loneliness, and grief we may be experiencing.
What type of therapist do you need?
Therapy, or psychotherapy, is the treatment and management of mental health issues with a licensed therapist, typically using talk therapy techniques. This kind of professional guidance can be particularly transformative after a divorce.
Depending on the issues you’re dealing with and what you want to accomplish, a professional therapist can provide you with the perspective and clarity to move on. There are many types of mental health professionals and modalities that can help individuals reach their post-divorce goals.
A psychologist is a state-licensed mental health provider with a postgraduate degree, often a doctoral degree, in clinical psychology or a related specialty. A psychologist is trained to evaluate, diagnose, and treat an individual’s mental health through interviews, psychological evaluation, and testing. Often, a psychologist specializes in specific forms of therapy and therapeutic intervention.
A licensed professional counselor, or LPC, is a masters-level mental health care professional trained to evaluate and use therapeutic techniques to help clients. An LPC can work with many different clients, assessing their issues and making suggestions they can use to improve their mental and emotional health and correct negative behaviors.
A social worker may have a master's degree in their field. These professionals know how to evaluate an individual’s mental health and offer therapeutic techniques to help them find relief. Social workers may also specialize in public advocacy and case management.
A psychiatrist is a state-licensed medical doctor with additional psychiatric training. They can diagnose and treat mental health conditions, and they can prescribe medications to their patients. Some also conduct therapy sessions.
While these professionals are all credentialed to evaluate and help with mental health and emotional issues, it’s important to seek out someone with experience in the issues you need help with. Each professional has a different take on how they treat clients, and you will want to find someone who fits your personality and needs.
Prefer to get support from your peers in an online community? Try Circles, one of our favorite online support groups for those struggling through divorce, trauma and other major life events.
How to find the best therapist for you post-divorce
Therapy is about communication, so finding a therapist you click with and who makes you feel emotionally safe is critical. What are your needs and personal style? While some of us want a therapist who is primarily a good listener, others want a more direct approach. Still, others want someone who is able to prescribe medication for depression or anxiety after their divorce.
Researching potential therapists
You can research therapists in your area by consulting online therapy databases or getting referrals from friends, family, or your primary care physician. If you plan to use your health insurance, you’ll want to make sure your therapist is in your insurance plan’s approved network.
Look at each candidate's credentials and experience, especially if you need someone who focuses on marriage and divorce.
Many therapists offer an initial no-cost consultation during which you can decide whether it’s a good fit. Ask questions, and be open and honest during your first session. This will help you get a feel for who the therapist is, and it will give the therapist a chance to understand your situation and what support you need.
What about web-based therapy?
Today, even if you don’t have access to a local therapist, many web-based therapy programs – also called telepsychology programs – are available. But keep in mind that this technology is new, and little research has been done to evaluate how well telepsychology helps compared to one-on-one in-person therapy.
While web-based therapy can appear more convenient and less expensive, it’s important that you get what you need from these sessions. Consider these matters before signing up with an online therapy application:
- Is the therapist licensed in your state? A therapist can only provide services to clients in the state where they are licensed. For your own protection, make sure you get service from someone who is licensed in your state. This is best achieved by asking them for their licensing information.
- How secure is the information you give this therapist? Your privacy is important. Mental health providers have special HIPAA protection requirements regarding all notes taken during a session. Whatever application you use should be HIPAA compliant.
- Find out upfront how to pay for services. While your health insurance may cover in-person therapy, many online therapy services are not covered by insurance.
We’re here for you
Navigating a divorce can be emotionally difficult for anyone. At Hello Divorce, we are committed to giving individuals the help and support they need before, during, or after their divorce. If you are considering a divorce, in the midst of one, or struggling in its aftermath, we offer online divorce plans, a comprehensive menu of services, and many free online resources to help you glide smoothly into your next life phase.