First, clarify your own goals for obtaining a new provider.  Many people talk with their primary care doctors first, who may help hone in on type of service that would be most helpful.  In Maine, clinical social workers, professional counselors, and psychologists are a few of the professionals who provide therapy.  If you are seeking medication, you may want to seek out a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner.

Each therapist has his/her own approach to helping people overcome problems in their lives.  Regardless of individual differences, you should expect a confidential, respectful relationship in a setting where you will feel comfortable sharing your story.

The first appointment is a good time to meet your provider to see if s/he is a good match for you.  The provider will likely have you complete some initial paperwork which outlines his/her policies and practices.  Read these forms carefully and raise any questions or concerns immediately.  You and your provider will determine the goals for your work together, and set up an appointment schedule for your ongoing work.

Spurwink bills most health insurances for these services.  If you have health insurance you may call your insurance company to find out your mental health  / behavioral health benefits in advance of your first appointment. You will also want to share this information with your provider.  Make sure to let him/her know if your insurance changes during your work together.  If you do not have insurance, you can ask your provider about self pay options for services.