Let’s celebrate something for a moment: You’ve decided to prioritize your mental health.
Whether you’re working through some things and need an objective, supportive point of view, or you’re having a hard time and are ready to get treatment, you took the initiative to request an appointment to see a therapist.
But it wasn’t accepted, or they’re not taking new clients, or they’re on sabbatical. Now you’re going to have to reach out to another potential therapist.
This post is here to tell you that:
this is actually normal, and
totally frustrating, and
don’t give up.
It’s really easy to get discouraged in your search for a therapist. It can feel like all the elements are conspiring against you, from the red tape of your health insurance policies, to roommates on the other side of thin walls. And sometimes, once you do find that unicorn therapist who ticks off all your boxes, you can’t get an appointment.
It sucks. It’s annoying. It can feel like an exercise in frustration. But it shouldn’t dishearten you. Some research has suggested it can take nearly three weeks on average from deciding to see a therapist till that first appointment.
Research also shows that the better the relationship and trust is between a therapist and patient, the better the outcomes are for the patient. Which means that it’s advisable to actually meet (or thanks to telehealth, schedule a call) with a few therapists before you pick one.
So don’t throw in the towel.
You’ve probably heard that finding a therapist is the first step in your wellness journey, but that’s not really true. The first step is actually deciding you deserve to see one. You’ve completed this step; momentum is on your side.
Start your search again here.
Flückiger, C., Del Re, A. C., Wampold, B. E., & Horvath, A. O. (2018). The alliance in adult psychotherapy: A meta-analytic synthesis. Psychotherapy, 55(4), 316–340. https://doi.org/10.1037/pst0000172