Handspring Health
November 3, 2022
December 6, 2023

How to Find an Anxiety Therapist Near Me

Living with anxiety, or watching your loved one struggle with it, can be stressful and upsetting. If you or your child are dealing with anxiety, you likely want help as soon as possible. You might be doing a web search for “anxiety therapist near me,” “anxiety counseling near me” or “depression and anxiety therapist near me.” These are good first steps, but you may be overwhelmed by the results, and may not know where to start in your search for the right therapist. 

Living with anxiety, or watching your loved one struggle with it, can be stressful and upsetting. If you or your child are dealing with anxiety, you likely want help as soon as possible. You might be doing a web search for “anxiety therapist near me,” “anxiety counseling near me” or “depression and anxiety therapist near me.” These are good first steps, but you may be overwhelmed by the results, and may not know where to start in your search for the right therapist. 

That’s totally understandable—and, luckily, we’ve got you covered. Here, we’ll discuss what to know about anxiety in general, how therapy can help—and most importantly, how to find a good, reliable anxiety therapist for you or your loved ones.

What to Know About Anxiety

You might feel very alone when you are dealing with anxiety, or watching someone else deal with it. But anxiety is actually quite common. Roughly 18% of adults have anxiety disorders, and about 9.4% of children aged 3-17 have been diagnosed with anxiety.

While it’s normal to have times of stress in your life, you may receive an anxiety disorder diagnosis if your symptoms are persistent and impact your ability to function in your day to day life—at school, work, socially, or at home. There are several types of anxiety disorders. These include generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, phobias, social anxiety disorder, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Anxiety can present in many different ways, and each person’s experience of anxiety is unique. Likewise, anxiety symptoms are often different in adults than in children. For example, adult anxiety may include racing or obsessive thoughts, rapid heartbeat, headaches, stomachaches, feelings of dread, feeling restless and irritable, or insomnia.

While children may experience many of those same symptoms, they typically aren’t able to articulate their feelings quite so readily, and you may notice more physical or behavioral symptoms in your child, such as:

  • Fear of being away from parents
  • Irrational fears about activities like going to school or going to the doctor
  • Excessive fears about specific things or situations, like dogs or the dark
  • Seeming excessive worry about the future or generally worried about something bad happening
  • Physical symptoms like shortness of breath, stomachaches, dizziness, headaches, and restlessness that aren’t attributed to a medical condition

Is Anxiety Treatable with Therapy?

Here’s the good news: anxiety is highly treatable. According to the American Psychological Association, therapy is the most common and effective treatment option for anxiety. In some cases, medication is used along with therapy, which can increase its effectiveness. Most people who enter therapy for anxiety will notice improvement in symptoms after the first few sessions, and may be able to significantly reduce or eliminate symptoms after several months.

What Is the Most Common Treatment for Anxiety?

Psychotherapy—from an anxiety therapist or anxiety counselor—is the most common treatment for anxiety. Within that umbrella, the therapy type known to be most effective for anxiety disorders is called cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. Exposure therapy (a form of CBT) is also an effective therapy type for anxiety disorder, especially for phobias and anxiety disorder that involve avoidance behaviors.

Anxiety in children is also typically treated with CBT. Additionally, children who experience anxiety may benefit from family therapy, play therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), or dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT).

How is Anxiety Treated?

If you suspect that you or your child has an anxiety disorder but aren’t sure, you’ll first want to get a diagnosis. Generally, you should start by visiting your doctor or your child’s pediatrician. They will examine you, and rule out medical issues that may be causing your symptoms. They may be able to diagnose an anxiety disorder, but will likely refer you to a therapist for a diagnosis. Licensed therapists or psychiatrists can diagnose anxiety disorders in adults and children.

What Do Therapists Do To Treat Anxiety?

 There are many techniques therapists use to treat anxiety. Most treatment options are based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), the gold standard for treating anxiety. CBT treatment for anxiety involves:

  • Helping adults and children become more aware of their thoughts and how these thoughts impact their feelings of anxiety
  • Teaching skills to manage and reduce anxiety, such as naming thoughts and feelings and doing “homework” to better understand anxiety triggers and reactions
  • Learning to employ relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, and visualization techniques
  • Strategies for managing anxiety at school, work, home, and in social environments
  • Learning to face feared situations so that anxiety dissipates

Your child’s therapist may also draw from various other therapy types, including acceptance and commitment therapy, which may include mindfulness and learning to accept difficult thoughts and feelings. Dialectical behavioral therapy techniques may also be used; these techniques include learning skills to manage intense feelings and managing conflicts.

Where Can I Find a Reputable Anxiety Therapist Near Me?

If you do a search foranxiety treatment near me” or “behavioral therapist near me,” you will likely get pages of results but may not know where to begin. You might also be unsure where to find a reputable therapist and how to tell if the therapist you are contacting is a good fit.

Let’s break it all down.

First, how do you find a therapist for your child? Where can you search for a therapist or counselor? There are several different avenues you can explore here. 

Here’s what to know:

  • In most cases, you can ask your primary care provider or your pediatrician for a referral.
  • Sometimes asking a school counselor or social worker is a good way to get a local referral for a child.
  • You may also want to ask friends or family members for local referrals.
  • You can also contact your insurance company for a list of covered therapists in your area.

There are also several online listings for therapists that can be helpful. It’s best to look at lists put out by recognized, reputable organizations. Some organizations that curate therapist lists include:

What to Look for in Local Mental Health Professionals for Anxiety?

Finding a good therapist for you or your child is a very personal thing. First and foremost, you need to find someone who makes you and your child feel safe and comfortable. After all, you or your child will need to feel able to share intimate details about life and feelings with this person, so the right fit is vital.

To that end, it is helpful to interview a few different therapists before selecting one. Usually therapists will let you have a “meet and greet” session to ask questions and assess whether they’re a good match.

Besides assessing whether the therapist makes you or your child feel at ease, you may want to ask the therapist a few questions, including:

  • What type of treatment methods do you use?
  • What is your training and experience?
  • How frequently do you treat patients with anxiety?
  • How much experience do you have treating anxiety?
  • What is your availability like?
  • Do you do telehealth, in-person appointments, or both?

The Bottom Line

If you or your child is experiencing anxiety, you are probably overwhelmed as it is. Having to find an anxiety therapist can just add to your stress. Thankfully, there are many good resources in terms of searching for and finding a therapist. 

Most importantly, once you find a good therapist, the weight on your shoulders may start to lift. Remember that anxiety treatment is effective and usually helps decrease troubling anxiety symptoms within a few weeks or months. There is a path forward, and you and your family deserve to feel whole and well.

If you need further support or assistance in helping a child who is experiencing anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out for a free consultation from a licensed Handspring Health therapist today. 

Works Cited

American Academy of Pediatrics. Help Your Child Manage Anxiety: Tips for Home & School.

American Psychological Association. Beyond worry: How psychologists help with anxiety disorders.

American Psychological Association. How Do I Find a Good Therapist?

Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Treatment.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anxiety and Depression in Children.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data and Statistics on Children’s Mental Health.

National Institute of Mental Health. Anxiety Disorders.

Stein M. So You've Decided to Start Therapy for Your Anxiety… Here's How to Make It Work. Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

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