Tenacity: The Key to Finding the Right Doctor
For the sake of this article, I would like to share my journey to find a new therapist over the last few months. However, the concepts discussed and the frustrations and follies I have experienced can be applied to the search for any type of new doctor. And all kinds of doctors are important to us on this site, aren’t they? Whether you are looking for a new GI doc, GP, therapist, psychiatrist…the search is not what I would call fun. If you are lucky enough to have just a fantastic medical support team; that’s great. If not, I think that it is important that you believe YOU ARE IMPORTANT ENOUGH to be getting the best treatment and support. So…you have to search. And the search can be a little grueling.
I have mentioned before that I ‘broke up’ with my therapist of four years in February. Like any relationship, you have to weigh the costs and benefits of said relationship. Without further delving or analysis, let’s keep it simple. I didn’t think I was getting my $60 worth. $60 is my copay. I am a social worker. I cannot afford to throw $60 around every week or two if it is not to my benefit. So…I began the search. You can go online or call your benefits provider for doctors in your area, even with recommendations about what types of treatment they offer or specialties they have. That’s what I did first…even got a list of ten names. I thought, ‘well, somewhere in those ten names is my new therapist…groovy.’. Uh…no. Without going through the entire list, I talked to rude receptionists, groups that wouldn’t take my insurance (Aetna), doctors with no openings or availability and so it went. I ended up with two names. Long story short, I tried both of those names and ended up in an argument with one (she spent our entire first session talking about herself) and left feeling worse than when I came in with the other guy. Should have seen his face when I said that IBS was causing some of my trouble…yes…indeed…he made a face.
So…like any good soldier…I gave up. I said to myself, ‘I know what therapy is all about and maybe it’s just best I take a break for a while’. For God’s sake, I’m a mental health counselor. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. For many (not all) people with mental illness of any kind (including anxiety and depression problems), therapy can be the cornerstone of your ability to cope with difficulty in your life. After seeing that my diet was going to crap, exercise had dropped off and my coping skills were flimsy and weak…I started the search again. Two therapists later, I found the right one for me. He specializes in all of the things that I struggle with, is certified in several of the therapies that I find helpful and is a genuinely good guy.
Continue the search
So…as usual I’m going to preach self-awareness, but I’m also trying to promote TENACITY. You can’t just give up because of all the things you face when looking for a new doctor. Our support circle is so important to our wellness and happiness that you really do have to make it one of the main priorities of your life. If you haven’t found them yet, they’re out there. Just have to keep searching...though the search may take you to strange and unusual lands ;).
Have you ever had a public IBS accident?