Are You Considering Therapy?

Self-Therapy For People Who ENJOY Learning About Themselves

Probably not!

Since you are competent enough to read and understand this, the question isn't whether you need therapy but whether you want it. And whether you want it enough.


You can decide if you want therapy enough by weighing the expected costs against the expected rewards.


You can evaluate the costs by thinking about money, time, and energy.


Your out of pocket costs can range from nothing (for those with great insurance) to much more than $150 per hour (for those who need a psychiatrist and must pay on their own).

You need a psychiatrist if you have medical complications related to therapy. Most therapists are "clinical social workers" and some are "clinical psychologists."

If you need medication you might see a psychiatrist just once or occasionally and sometimes for less than an hour but you'd see the social worker or psychologist for your regular meetings.

Fees vary greatly. Competence is not directly related to fees! Fees are mostly related to the therapist's circumstances:
overhead, agency policies, lifestyle, etc. [My monthly rate is low because of low expenses. Ask for info if you want telephone counseling or could see me in person in Milwaukee.]

Finances should not keep you out of therapy. If you can't afford the fees and have no insurance, call a Family Service agency or call the local Mental Health Association. They can find help based on your ability to pay. (If you have enough income but prefer to spend it on other things, you don't want therapy enough...)


One of the best ways to evaluate whether you want therapy enough is simply to ask yourself:
"Would it be worth an hour of my time and energy each week to talk to a therapist about the things I want to improve about my life?"


If the answer to this question is "Yes," then you probably want therapy enough.

If the answer is "No," you probably don't want it enough. (Unless deciding to value yourself is one of the problems you should work on.)


It is reasonable to assume that you will at least learn to understand yourself and your situation very well through therapy.

Since nothing is perfect, it is not reasonable to assume that you will solve all of the problems in your life.

When I end therapy with someone, I ask them to rate everything they wanted to change during therapy.
They then put a percentage on each item to indicate the degree to which we were successful or unsuccessful.

Most people report improvement in all areas, and enough improvement to be quite happy about it on 90% of the things they wanted to change.


The Best Ways To Find A Good Therapist:

  • Go back to any therapist you had in the past if you were happy with their work.

  • Ask your friends what they like about their therapists, and notice if these same factors are important to you.

Don't rely on your insurance company. Their primary interest is in keeping costs down. They usually refer to therapists who agree to follow the insurance company's very restrictive guidelines for short-term therapy.

Remember: You Are Hiring The Therapist. You decide if they are right for you, and you have every right to shop around if you want. A therapist should feel like a good match for you, regardless of their credentials.

One of the most important factors in finding a good therapist is whether the therapist truly believes he or she can help you. Notice their level of personal confidence.

Something is very wrong if your therapist believes they know you better than you know yourself or if the therapist acts "superior" in any way.

Therapists are the experts on the therapy process. You are the expert on yourself!

Enjoy Your Changes!

Everything here is designed to help you do just that!

next: Depression In The Culture

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, October 19). Are You Considering Therapy?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 20 from

Last Updated: March 29, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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