Beginning therapy can be intimidating for some. For a long time I was apprehensive about going— the idea of opening up to some one was terrifying. It took a while, but eventually I found someone that I felt completely comfortable with. This was important because since counseling is so intimate and personal, I needed to meet with someone that I trusted. It may take meeting with multiple people before finding the perfect fit, but comfortability is crucial in the long run.

Beginning the process can be simple. You can start by asking around to friends who have tried therapy, go to the counseling center at your school campus, or visit the Psychology Today website. When you have found someone that seems like a good match, make an appointment at a time that works for you. Before the first meeting you will need to arrive at the office ahead of time to fill out paperwork. This will help your therapist to know what kinds of things you are struggling with. If you have insurance, it is important to have you insurance card with you at that time. If not, most therapists in Bozeman charge between $100 – $200 an hour. Insurance reimburses $140 an hour, so most therapists will charge around that rate.

If you cannot afford that, you can call the HELP Center and ask about therapists with sliding scale fees. If you do have insurance, you need to call and ask how much your deductible is, when that resets, and how much the co-pay is. You should also find out from the office if the therapist that you are interested in is in-network or out of network. If they are out of network, ask what your co-pay will be. Once you have figured out the financial aspects, the therapy can begin!

The first session will really be about getting to know each other and seeing if you are a right fit for each other. This decision should be mutual, for you to have the best experience possible. After the initial appointment, you can decide how often you want to meet and make a plan for the future. You can meet as often or as little as you want, but keep in mind that insurance will not cover more than one appointment per day. Through the process you should always keep an open mind and recognize what feels right for you. Therapy can be incredibly healing if approached in the correct way.

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