It’s a misconception that seeing a therapist means there’s something ‘wrong’ with you. Fortunately, that awful trend is starting to shift.

Thousands of people seek treatment for mental health each year, with figures slowly and steadily increasing—even among the uninsured.

But if you’ve already started your search for the perfect therapist, you already know how hard it can be. Between juggling your insurance, finding reputable doctors in your area, and battling social stigmas, it can seem almost impossible.

That’s why we’ve created this helpful guide! Keep reading to learn some essential tips on how to choose a therapist that fits your lifestyle.

1. Ask Around

We understand that asking for therapists isn’t exactly a conversation fit for the water cooler. However, if you have someone in your life that you trust, there’s no harm in asking for their recommendations.

While stigmas surrounding therapy and mental health still exist, you’d be surprised at how willing some people are to share their experiences.

And if you can’t find anyone in your social circle with a recommendation, schedule an appointment with your general physician. Some therapists won’t accept patients without a referral anyway, so talking with a GP is a good way to learn about trustworthy therapists in your area while securing future care.

Certain therapists have different specialties, too, so your physician can help you find a clinic that can help with your unique need. So if you’re struggling with, say, autism, it’d be more beneficial to find therapy clinics that specialize in helping autistic patients.

2. Learn About Insurance and Payment Plans Beforehand

Therapy is expensive. Like, borderline impossible for most people to afford without insurance expensive.

On a more positive note, most insurance providers now offer coverage for behavioral health treatments like therapy.

Before scheduling your first appointment, make sure you’re with a doctor who accepts your insurance provider. Most therapists have this information on their website, but you’ll still want to call and get verbal confirmation.

So what if you’re uninsured?

You’ll want to find a therapist that accepts sliding-scale payments. On a sliding-scale system, you and your therapist will come up with a reasonable figure that you can afford to pay for each visit.

Most therapists are willing to work with you if you can come up with a suitable plan, so don’t be afraid to ask.

3. Research Your Therapist

If a therapist is reputable, you shouldn’t have an issue finding information about their background. While most therapists have a dedicated website, some prefer to use directories.

To save yourself some time, start with Psychology Today, which is one of the most respected directories in the industry.

However, as we mentioned in the previous section, always double-check a therapist’s info. Sometimes directories contain outdated information like old phone numbers or obsolete insurance info.

The simplest way to learn about a therapist is to simply call their office and speak with a receptionist. They’ll be able to tell you about everything from what a therapist charges per session to how long they’ve been in practice.

They may also set up you up with a brief phone consultation so you can get to know a therapist before deciding if they’re a good fit for you.

4. Expect a Lot of Bad First Sessions

Consultations are a lot like first dates. They’re an opportunity for you to learn more about your therapist, set up expectations, and delve into your history.

They’re also like first dates in that sometimes first sessions can be a pain. That’s okay.

While it may seem like a waste of your time and money, it’s important to understand that not every therapist is the right fit for every patient. It’s quite rare for a patient and doctor to click during the first meeting.

What’s important is that you take your well-being into your hands and find a therapist who fits your needs and understands your unique situation in life.

And don’t worry about upsetting them or hurting their feelings. Becoming a therapist requires years of training and constant continuing education. They’re well aware that they’ll never see some patients in their office again and they won’t take it personally.

5. Look into Telehealth

Between family and social obligations, work schedules, and finding reliable transportation, it isn’t always possible to get into a therapist’s office.

Yet at the same time, mental health conditions don’t disappear. If left untreated, symptoms can become exacerbated, making a tough battle even tougher.

Fortunately, there’s a pretty cool tech-oriented solution in telehealth. Companies like Teladoc, Doctor on Demand, and Better Help offer customers access to medical professionals straight from their smartphones.

Getting started is often as easy as signing up and inputting some basic information about yourself. Note that this info is safe under HIPAA guidelines, so anything you discuss with your doctor or enter into the app is confidential.

Telehealth offers the same great care you’d get from an in-person visit to a therapist, but without any of the hassle. It’s a huge step forward for those with limited access to transportation or those who live in rural areas.

The only downside is that most telehealth offerings aren’t covered by insurers. However, some providers, such as Ambetter, may have their own telehealth solutions that fit under your coverage.

If your provider doesn’t cover telehealth visits, look into a subscription-based service or find coupons online. Most services will offer a discount for your first few visits, so you should be able to save some cash.

Getting Peace of Mind: How to Choose a Therapist

Now that you know how to choose a therapist, it’s time to put this information to good use. Therapy is hard work, and more often than not, it’s uncomfortable.

But taking that first step toward a healthier life is often the most challenging part. So take a deep breath and reach out. There’s a therapist out there who can change your things.

For more information on topics like this, be sure to check back with our blog.

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6 Most Important Considerations for Starting a Fitness Business 1 - Florida Independent
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6 Most Important Considerations for Starting a Fitness Business

Starting a new business can be thrilling and challenging. It could be terrifying when you think about all the details and every resource you need to get up and running. If you’ve done your research right, it will be easier to know what you are getting into and exactly what you need to succeed.

Most people choose to start their own businesses because they are ready to share their ideas with the public. And want to do what they love in their own way.

Others want to create a work-life balance that works for them. Ultimately there can be great opportunity to make money if everything goes as planned. The risk is worth it, most of the time for people who are entrepreneurial.

According to The Guardian, consumer spending on UK gym membership soared by 44% in 2014, driven by the growth in popularity of new, budget gyms.

The demand for affordable, high quality, no-contract or flexible contracts fitness centres is continuing to grow. People are now interested in staying fit more than ever. The popularity of budget gyms, including Pure Gym, EasyGym, Anytime Fitness and DW Sports, are most likely driving the increase even further.

If you are thinking about going out on your own and starting a fitness business this year, this will help you get started.

Find your niche

1. Decide on your niche market right from the beginning 

Which market do you want to serve and why? This should be very clear to you. Do your research and find out a profitable niche that can scale. Weight loss is popular. There are other less popular ones like injury management and even endurance athletes. You could also choose powerlifting, crossfit, yoga, or whatever you prefer that works for you.

But remember, going after a popular niche means more competition. It should be a niche you are genuinely interested in. That way making it a business won’t be difficult.

The planning process

Launching a brick and mortar fitness business can be overwhelming but once you get your planning right, you will be off to a great start. Put everything on paper. It pays to keep records.

2. Cost

Consider your fix costs (business registration, legal fees, rent, premise renovations, utilities, hiring and educating trainers, wages, décor items and furniture, initial marketing) and monthly expenditures.

What will be your monthly protected costs? How will you fund the business before you attract paying customers? How many active clients will you need to break-even or generate your desired level of profit? Think of every little thing that you will need to spend money on to before your business opens and plan a contingency.

Getting started right

3. Purchase appropriate equipment

Make a list of all the equipment you’ll need to get started. JLL Fitness have a great range of commercial gym equipments you can check out. Things like dumbbell sets, bars, exercise mats, weight benches, treadmills etc. cannot be compromised. They are the most important things you need for a fitness business.

4. Make it insanely easy to register

Set up a a great and easy to use website to educate and inform prospective clients of your offering and packages. And most importantly give new users the opportunity to register and book fitness packages right at the comfort of their homes. Make it flexible. Your prices should be competitive.

Getting a website up and running is no longer a difficult or expensive. There are great DIY websites available, such as Wix and Squarespace. This is one of the first things you should do once you are ready to kickstart your fitness business.

5. On discounts and special offers

Attracting customers or users is one of the hardest part of starting a business. It’s no different for fitness businesses. Give people a reason to become members. Why should people choose you over your competitor next door?

Special deals and launch offers can be a great idea and really draw people in. You can offer a few days or even weeks for free and start charging once users establish fitness habits. When you are getting started, make it big, exciting and tempting. Set and stick to your urgent end date to get people signing up as soon as possible.

6. Focus on amazing service to leverage worth of mouth marketing.

The first few people who register for sessions at your fitness business can make or break your new startup. Give them the results they crave and make your sessions the best part of their week.

The aim is to get them talking about your fitness sessions to their friends. Word-of-mouth advertising is crucial for every service-based business, and in the case of a fitness business, it’s key.

Final words

Building a successful business takes time, focus, persistence. Starting a fitness business is probably going to end up costing more than you thought. But that’s not a reason to give up or abandon your dream career.

Do everything in your power to sustain the business once you get started. You probably won’t see profits for months. Plan for setbacks.

Focus on attracting and retaining clients and your business will grow as planned. And build a team of trainers who share your same passion and want to see your business succeed.

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