First Time in Therapy

If you are considering therapy for the first time, good for you! I am excited that you are contemplating therapy as your next step for the New Year. Seeking therapy for the first time is an important decision and there are some important things to take into consideration.


Consider what you are seeking from a mental health provider

When it comes to mental health, you do not need to go through difficult times alone. Therapists comes from a variety of educational backgrounds, range in clinical experience and licensure, vary in theoretical orientations, approaches, and specialty. Some individuals may seek someone who is part of the BIPOC or LGBTQ community. Others may have preference for considerations such as gender or age when choosing a therapist. At CARE, our awesome admin team can help you talk through what you are seeking from a therapist and help with finding a good fit. As an alternative, going to therapist’s websites and reading bios can provide some helpful information. There may be times in which a provider may make a referral to another therapist or clinic, depending on presenting concerns, specialty, and level of care to help seek the therapeutic support and resources that will be most effective. There also may be times that you are seeking something different. Please let your provider as they can help support you in this process.

Coverage and convenience are also considerations

Insurance coverage can be a barrier to counseling services. One of the things that is very exciting is that CARE Counseling is in network with all major insurance companies. Services are available in-person and via telehealth. Physical locations are within Minneapolis and the surrounding metro areas, including St. Louis Park and Mendota Heights. Same-week availability is offered with many of the therapists. Did you know that CARE has over 60 therapists?! In my own personal journey of seeking out mental health providers, I have struggled to find a clinic or provider who accepted my insurance, had specialty areas, AND had therapist availability. I am thrilled that CARE Counseling meets all these boxes plus has such an amazing group of friendly, well-trained therapists.

Consider the benefits and the long-term consequences of not seeking help

As a mental health professional, I am seeing the trend of individuals seeking therapy for the first time. CDC report data indicate that adults reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression have continued to increase from 36.4% in August 2020 to 4.51% by February 2021. I anticipate that we will continue to have many individuals coming to therapy for the first time. We have experienced unprecedented times over the last few years and seeking support has become more normalized as no one is not impacted in some way by chronic stressors and trauma. Since mental illness impacts functioning at work or school, and interpersonal relationships, the implications of not being proactive in addressing mental health in can be devastating.  What are you waiting for?

Written By Charlotte Johnson, MA, LPCC

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