A lesser-discussed “second pandemic” of mental health problems is upon us, and could affect the public’s future perception of therapists and their willingness to seek help. To improve first time encounters with therapy, Thriving Center of Psychology has launched an online matchmaking platform.
Vets and validates licensed professionals are matched with individuals seeking help, based on the person’s specific therapy needs and the professional’s area of expertise and therapy process.
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Problems faced by individuals and professionals
Anxiety, financial stress, substance abuse, isolation, job worries, relationship problems, health concerns and other issues that have intensified since the start of the pandemic, have overwhelmed therapists with new patients, many of whom go on a waiting list or get referred out to less qualified resources.
“When people finally decide they should find a mental health therapist, they are often faced with the next large hurdle: finding a qualified therapist,” said Alexander Alvarado, Psy D, clinical psychologist and founder of the Thriving Center of Psychology.
“Mistakes can be made as many people either skip or rush through the research step of finding a therapist. If it’s a person’s first time in therapy and it’s a bad experience, they likely will never return to it.”
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Mental health professionals are not immune from the stress of the pandemic, often mentioning burnout and fatigue from patient loads, while also struggling to manage their own stress at home.
These additional factors contribute to a more complicated and challenging mental health climate that Alvarado says requires more from his industry to make sure that those seeking help are receiving evidence-based therapies from qualified professionals who have the bandwidth to invest in the client for the long run.
“Even though we have made great strides in bringing people into therapy during the pandemic, there’s still a stigma about therapy – that it doesn’t work,” said Alvarado.
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Thriving Center of Psychology offers a free survey
“In order to really change this perception, we have to do more upfront work on making sure people are being matched correctly to qualified therapists and psychologists who can care for, and treat, that person’s individualised needs. To achieve this successfully requires more than a simple Internet search or app signup.”
Thriving Center of Psychology offers a free survey on its platform to start the therapist matchmaking process. The 3-minute questionnaire helps uncover the style of therapist that may be the best fit for the individual’s preferred type, covering everything from therapy approach to gender and ethnicity. This filter then quickly matches individuals seeking help to a vetted database of qualified therapists who are licensed to work in the state in which the person lives.
“The increased popularity of virtual sessions since the start of the pandemic has opened many more options for people seeking counselling, but you still need to make sure that the therapist you select is licensed to work in your state and you should always interview 2-3 therapists before committing to a paid session with anyone,” said Alvarado. “Ideally a face-to-face office visit or video session is preferred.”
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During the interview process, Alvarado recommends checking the therapists’ credentials with state government sites, having a clear understanding of his or her treatment style, therapy process and verifying whether or not that therapy approach is evidence based as defined by the American Psychological Association.
Thriving Center of Psychology currently matches individuals to qualified therapists and psychologists in California, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Oregon, and is one of the top Google reviewed mental health practices in the country. Start your therapist search at: https://www.thrivingcenterofpsych.com.
– Globe Newswire, New York
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