Seniors: How to find the right therapist for you

Elderly mother with daughter
As we age, it becomes more difficult to ward off health problems. It can also be more challenging to work through depression. Because seniors face so many stressors, such as adjusting to retirement or losing spouses, depression can easily set in. It becomes even worse when health conditions develop or mobility decreases. Social withdrawal and isolation can also lead to depression. Without intervention or the proper treatment, many seniors suffer for years. 

The right therapist can help you handle the challenges that aging brings and improve the relationships in your life. If you’re ready to find a therapist, read our tips which will assist you in your search.

Ask for recommendations.

If you’re comfortable talking to your family and friends about your search for a therapist, start there. If any of them have seen someone they really love and trust, you know they’re worth looking into. The word of someone you know who has direct experience with a particular therapist is a strong recommendation. Your doctor may also have a therapist they know and trust for referrals, so check in with them as well.

Be willing to shop around.

A lot of people don’t find their perfect therapist on the first try. If you go in for your first appointment and just don’t feel like the therapist’s style works for you, that’s okay. Therapists understand that different people want different things from therapy and they won’t be the right fit for every possible patient that comes their way. It’s okay to say “no thanks” to a second appointment and look to the next name on your list.

One unsatisfying therapy appointment shouldn’t make you give up on the whole idea. It’s worth trying again until you can find someone you feel comfortable with.

Contact your top selections.

If you’ve gone through these first few steps, you should have a list of possible therapists in front of you. Do a little research on each of the names on the list. Based on what you can learn about them online, start to rank them based on which ones you think you’re most likely to want to meet with. Think about things like how far away from you, their office is located and any preferences you have based on factors like age range or gender.

Then set up a phone consultation with each. You’ll have the chance to ask them questions and see if you feel comfortable talking to them. They’ll have the chance to learn a little about you and see if you sound like a good fit for them. At the end of your phone consultations, you should be able to make a decision on who to set up an appointment with.

Look for therapists in your area that take Medical or Health Insurance

Therapy can be expensive. Depending on your financial situation, the cost may be a big factor for you in deciding which therapist to go with.

Check your health insurance to see what options they offer for therapy coverage, a lot of plans do cover mental health services so you may be able to get the costs for your visits entirely covered.

There’s a chance that the best therapist for you won’t be covered by your health insurance plan. A lot of therapists will offer rates on a sliding scale based on need, so it may be worth it to look beyond just those which are included in your plan, especially if you find that there aren’t many therapists in your area that are covered.

Research therapists based on specialties.

Are you dealing with a lot of stress? Are you fighting with your children or spouse regularly? You can find therapists that focus on helping pain management, relationship issues, stress management and a wide number of other issues.

If you’re genuinely not sure what issues you most want to work on, that’s okay. A good therapist can also help you figure out what’s there below the surface that you’re not able to see yourself.

For seniors who can’t drive: consider teletherapy.

If you have trouble getting around on your own and the main thing keeping you from trying therapy is figuring out how to get to a regular appointment without inconveniencing someone for a ride, there’s a growing industry of therapy offered over the internet.

If that’s your situation, look into a service like, which will match you up with therapists that will chat with you over the computer. It’s not quite the same as sitting across the room from someone, but it can still be a valuable experience.

While therapy can really make a big difference in your life, it’s important to have realistic expectations going in. The changes you hope for will take time and work, but the help of a skilled professional can help you figure out how to start down that path of making things in your life better and more productive.

How did you find the right therapist for you? What tips did you use that we should add to this list? We’d like to hear your thoughts and stories in the comments below.

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