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Seeking out a therapist can feel like a daunting task, but we're here to break it down step-by-step.

Crash Course on psychotherapy methods!:

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Seeking a therapist to help address mental health issues is super common. You might have friends or family who talk about going to therapy.

Maybe you yourself have suggested a friend go to therapy. And yet, it can still be really hard to reach out and ask for help for yourself, even when you're struggling with common issues like anxiety, depression, trauma, attention deficit disorder or addiction. Talking about mental health is still highly stigmatized in a lot of western culture, and you might feel weird acknowledging out loud that you need some help.

But hey! We're here to walk you through this process. A quick caveat, though: This video is intended for people who are not in immediate crisis.

If you are, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 right away. Got it? Great!

Step 1: Deciding to seek help. If you're here, you might have already decided that you'd like to seek therapy. But in case you're not sure if you “qualify” for therapy, here you go: The only requirement for seeking therapy is that you want to try to talk to an impartial professional about what's going on in your life.

Period. There are lots of tests you can take online to determine if you have symptoms of depression or anxiety, but ultimately, you can make the final decision. If you're on the fence about going to therapy, it can be easy to convince yourself that you're okay because other people have it worse.

But you do not need to measure your own suffering against anyone else's. Yes, plenty of other people might have it worse. But you are not those people, and you get to decide if your sadness or anxiety or any other problem is too much for you to deal with alone.

Step 2: Choose a professional. The word “therapist” actually refers to a lot of different types of professionals with a range of training. You're probably going to look for a licensed professional counselor, a social worker or a psychologist.

You can find a therapist by asking for a referral from your general practitioner, asking friends for references or just Googling resources in your area. It's best to look for someone who specializes in the kind of thing that you would like to address, like anxiety or depression. Psychologists and most other kinds of licensed therapists can't legally prescribe medication, but they are trained in many psychotherapy methods, like cognitive behavioral therapy which can help you learn how to change your patterns of thinking and improve your outlook.

But if you also think that antidepressants or other medication might be helpful, most therapists are not licensed to prescribe drugs. Your therapist might refer you to a psychiatrist, who can write prescriptions. No matter who you choose, it's totally okay to make appointments with a couple different therapists to see who you like best.

Sometimes you might need to meet a few different therapists before you find one that really clicks with you. Step 3: Make the call to set up an appointment. This can seem super daunting, but afterward you will be amazed at how easy it was.

So, once you've picked out the therapist's office you'd like to try, call the office and ask if they're accepting new patients. If they are, ask what kind of insurance they take and what the doctor's hourly rates are. If all those things work for you and your budget, then you can tell the receptionist a little bit about what you'd like help with.

This can be pretty general, like, “I'm hoping to address my anxiety issues.” The receptionist will be able to tell you if you've arrived at the right place, and get you set up with your appointment. Step 4: Go to the appointment! It's all right if you're nervous going into it.

Every therapy session is different, but you can probably expect your therapist to ask what's going on and let you talk about whatever you feel like. And yeah, just like in the movies, your therapist might have a big leather couch that you lie on while they take some notes. Depending on their style and specialty, they will probably recommend various kinds of tools for you to use in your day-to-day life.

Don't be afraid to ask questions, like, “Why would my brain work that way?” or “How can I change this pattern of thinking?” This will help guide both you and your therapist toward helpful answers. Step 5: Keep at it! You might go to therapy once, a few times, or consistently for years.

You might notice results right away or you might not, but either way, you shouldn't put pressure on yourself to feel “fixed”. By seeking out information, you've already taken a big step in taking care of yourself, which is a super adult thing to do. Thank you as always for watching.

We hope that this video was helpful. If you want to see more of Hank and me, visit us at, and subscribe. Your therapist might refer you to a—.

Psy-key-a-trist-ahhh. Ughhahhh! This seems— [laughter].

Your therapist might have a big leather couch that you lie on while you take some notes. While THEY take some notes. Your therapist might have a big leather couch that you lie on while...

THEY take some notes. [laughter]. Let me do that again... If you more... of Hank and me visit— Bleh.

My brain is shutting down. [off screen] Last one! I know [laughter].