How to find a therapist that is a match made in heaven?
November 2, 2011 2:55 PM   Subscribe

How to find a therapist tailor-made for my snowflake issues?

I've seen therapists in the past, for depression. But I'd really like to see someone who has experience treating people who have weight issues (eating disorders of many kinds) grief issues, and dealing-with-high-needs children issues. I am also chronically depressed. I'd rather not take meds unless there are new ones that WILL NEVER CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN IN ANYONE, EVER. I did the rounds with several antidepressants within the last several years and that is a side effect I cannot tolerate. I am not suicidal. Do I just pull up mental health providers that my insurer covers and start calling, or is there a better way? Throwaway email:
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
The Psychology Today therapist directory lets you refine your search based on the issues you'd like to address (search by location, then narrow your search using the criteria on the left side of the results page). You can find a few good candidates and then cross-reference with the list provided by your insurer.
posted by Meg_Murry at 3:23 PM on November 2, 2011 also has videos from providers - I think 30 seconds to 2 minutes of them talking about their practice.

But in helping someone else through snowflake-ish stuff this spring, it was still the same sort of numbers game you'd expect in finding someone you click with who your insurance covers.
posted by deludingmyself at 3:31 PM on November 2, 2011

You just don't know about weight loss and antidepressants. Celexa caused me to lose 15% of my body weight, even though it's known for making people gain. My close friend gained 20% on Wellbutrin, which more usually causes weight loss. I know these two anecdontes don't prove anything, but don't ask for a guarantee. You can change drugs after a few weeks; you don't have to hold off till you've put on 15 pounds.
posted by wryly at 3:59 PM on November 2, 2011

I initially lost weight on Zoloft, esp. when I reached the effective dosage. Low dose, not so much.

You need a really good therapist, and many therapists are only adequate. Call 1st, and have a list of questions:
1. What's your degree & where did you get it?
2. What recent training have you completed?
3. What type of therapy do you practice?
4. How do you help clients with weight issues/eating disorders, grief issues, chronic depression and parenting issues.
5. How much experience and training do you have with these issues?

I've had a couple of excellent therapists. 1 was an MSW, 2 were PhD Psychologists. I recommend finding a PhD if possible. During marriage therapy, we had several terrible therapists in a row, all MSWs. We were a difficult couple, but they were just really unprofessional, not skilled or trained enough, and probably not quite ethical. Then we found a PhD therapist who was fantastic. And split up, as we needed to, though it took months of sessions for me to see the writing on the wall.

I also throw in an offbeat question. In my case I ask potential therapists if they are a feminist. How a person reacts to that is interesting. So ask an unpredictable, but honest, question, and trust your instincts.

If your employer has an EAP - employee assistance plan - you may get some free sessions. And they may have help for eating disorders and parenting. Good luck.
posted by theora55 at 5:45 PM on November 2, 2011

I second Psychology Today, it is where I found an awesome therapist who changed my life. She was the third therapist that I tried, the first two just didn't do it for me. Don't feel bad about shopping around if you don't click with someone.

Re: Anti-depressants and weight gain, I feel for you. The results and side effects are really different for different people. I take Effexor and gained a bunch of weight over a couple of years. When my dosage was increased, my appetite disappeared and I lost all of that weight and then some. Prozac made me lose weight, but also made me crazy. Same for Wellbutrin. I'm afraid that weight gain or loss on anti-depressants is a body chemistry coin-flip.
posted by kamikazegopher at 6:47 PM on November 2, 2011

If you can possibly find an eating disorder treatment center in your area they should be fine with you coming in to see one of their therapists on a once-a-week basis (or however often.) Having a therapist with a specialized background has made a world of difference for me.
posted by corey flood at 6:27 AM on November 3, 2011

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