How to Find a Therapist

Finding a therapist or counselor to speak with can be incredibly overwhelming. Let's talk about how to make the process easier // www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

Following up on my post at the beginning of the month on the unexpected benefits of therapy, let’s talk now about how to find a therapist. Though the process can seem SUPER overwhelming, don’t get discouraged. It was definitely easier than finding a boyfriend, if that makes anyone feel better!

I took two approaches to find a therapist, but only really found success with the second one.  As the first one was the way that it was told to me by a doctor, I thought I’d include it anyway just in case.

BUT, before you go a-searchin’, there are some things you need to do:

Decide what are important qualifications for you.  For example, my qualifications were pretty simple. As I don’t have a car, location was a major key for me.  I wanted someone close to where I lived so it didn’t make going to see them that much harder.  I also knew I wanted a woman, someone who specialized in anxiety, and who was relatively young. Another important factor was needing them to be able to work with a sliding pay scale, as the fate of my insurance coverage would be fluctuating in the future.

When looking for someone, here are a few helpful things to keep in mind:

  • Location
  • Specialty/Experience in specific mental ailments (ie: depression, anxiety, sexuality, trauma, etc.)
  • Gender
  • Insurance/pay schedule
  • Age
  • Appointment availability
  • Style or theory of counseling, ie- Are you a big jokester? Do you want someone with a sense of humor? An optimist? Do you want someone to take you very seriously? These types of styles are important, as they’ll affect your comfort level and ability to open up to them.
  • TYPE of therapist– there are many types of counselors, and many different certifications of what we probably all lump together as “psychologists”.  Though most will help with the average talk-therapy, you may want someone who has a different specialty. Don’t hesitate to do a little research if you are unsure of exactly what you are looking for.

Check your insurance.  I checked mine online, but you can also just call your provider and ask about your coverage. Thankfully, my current health insurance covers mental health very well, so that was a huge load off my mind.  If you are without insurance, or don’t have insurance that covers mental health, make sure you take that into account when looking for someone.  I knew that I will be switching jobs in August/September, or possibly even going without a job for a short period of time this fall, so having someone who accepted many insurances, or worked on a sliding pay scale (relative to your income!) if I lost insurance was a huge bonus. Your insurance may have certain restrictions, or not cover mental health care at all, so be sure to know this before looking for people!

Finding a Therapist Approach 1) Referral from my Primary Care Physician

My general doctor issued me a referral, and gave me a list of therapists that were in-network with my primary care office.  I sorted them by location, then by gender, and started calling places that were recommended.  Honestly, I got a lot of not-so-nice responses from some places, some crazy long wait times for my first appointment, and some really staggering prices for sessions that scared me off immediately.  I think I made about six calls before I gave up and decided the process was hopeless. This was not exactly the most encouraging way to do it, in my opinion.

Plus, making me CALL THEM was not an ideal situation— anyone else out there with anxiety can probably agree with me on that one.

Finding a Therapist Approach 2) Using PsycologyToday.Com

A friend who is in the mental health field suggested I use PsycologyToday.com‘s “Find A Therapist” feature. Not only could I basically plug in exactly what my specifications were like creating a search filter, but it had an EMAIL option. I picked four counselors that met my specifications, and sent them all an email:

Hello, my name is Kelsey and I am looking for a therapist to help with anxiety.  Are you accepting new patients? I have a referral from my primary care physician if you need it, and Cigna health insurance. I’d love to book a preliminary appointment if you have any open availability. Thanks!

I received 2 responses from therapists with open availability, and two that were not accepting patients at that time. I booked a free consultation the same week with one, and told the other I would get back to her if I wanted to book an appointment. I went to my first appointment with no idea what to think.

Why I Chose My Therapist:

Now that I found someone to talk to, I had to decide if I thought she was the right person to work with. After our 1-hour consultation, I knew I wanted to keep seeing her because I immediately felt very comfortable and welcomed by her. It was a gut-feeling thing more than anything else. She made me feel as relaxed as I possibly could in a situation like that but did it without making me feel pressured to feel relaxed.

After two more sessions, I knew I had made the right choice and wanted to keep seeing her because she was very good at taking the lead of a conversation when I needed her too, or letting me control the session when I wanted to. The conversation never lulled, and every single moment felt productive– which was huge to me. It also helped greatly that she laughed at my stupid jokes, which happened a lot because I make bad jokes when I’m uncomfortable.

Finding the right fit will feel different for everyone, so my biggest piece of advice is simple: just go with your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, then try someone else. And there is no shame in telling someone you try out that it doesn’t feel like a good fit– if they are a professional, they will completely understand! It may take time, but it is soooo worth it in the end to have someone you can speak candidly with.

Any questions? Do you see a therapist yourself and have other tips to offer about finding one? Put your recommendations in the comments!

 

signature

Things That Happen When You See A Therapist

A few unexpected things that will happen when you start seeing a therapist. // CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

I’ve been seeing a therapist for a few months now.  I felt like I was no longer effectively managing my anxiety on my own, and needed help– so I got it. I’ve been seeing her weekly, and so far it has been really great. And despite the fact that there is no leather chaise lounge for me to lay on while we talk, I have relatively few complaints. (Though her heather sofa is super cute and comfy.)

I’ve seen a therapist before, but this was my first time seeing someone consistently. And although I had some expectations for how it would go when I started, I had no idea how much seeing a therapist would affect areas of my life outside of just my anxiety coping skills. For example:

  • Talking about yourself will get easier. I don’t like talking about myself, unless it’s to make someone laugh, so talking about “bad” things was really hard. At my very first session I really struggled with effectively explaining myself, and repeatedly second guessing myself when I spoke. Now I am much more comfortable with it.  I don’t always feel like the most effective communicator in general, but I feel like I am greatly improving on that just by spending an hour a week trying to properly articulate my feelings.
  • You look at your everyday habits differently.  I talk a lot about my social anxiety with my therapist, and we focus a lot on how I behave and feel in social situations. Becoming aware of those behaviors has made me aware of other things I do in my life– like preferring the bus to the train because of my anxiety, or diverting attention from myself when I’m in a new situation, etc. I am starting to understand my preferences and actions in other situations, even though those never get talked about in my actual sessions. Without meaning to, I am taking the tools I am learning from my sessions into other areas of my life.
  • You will gain confidence. Hearing that my anxiety is validated felt like a huge weight off my shoulders.  I had already been diagnosed several years ago, but regularly being told by a professional that I am not just “worrying”, and that “snapping out of it” is not an option makes me feel better. My thoughts, and feelings are real, and being told that feels liberating. I feel less and less self-concious about my anxiety as time progresses.
  • You will LOVE having a space to focus only on yourself. Having one hour completely devoted to ME without guilt is fantastic. It is a space to talk through the overwhelming internal monologue that builds up every week with another person, and I always leave feeling more relaxed and refreshed having done so. It’s almost like getting a mental massage. For this reason alone, I would recommend everyone to try therapy at least once just to experience the relief of the release.
  • You will struggle with how to refer to your therapist in regular conversation.  His/her impact on your life doesn’t stop when you leave the office, and sometimes you have to refer to them to others who may not know the details of your situation. I have made professional connections through my therapist, and had to think fast about how to answer the “So how do you know ___?” question. (Hint: “I know her through her work” is a good way to stop that question cold and illicit a somewhat embarrassed reaction from the other person– I don’t recommend it.) Relaying a restaurant recommendation, or funny story from a session has been replaced with “My friend” instead of “My therapist” just to avoid having to have that awkward conversation.

Obviously, these revelations won’t fit every single person, but they are things that have become very true for me.  The tools I am taking with me from each session are wonderful, and have improved my life very much, for my anxiety and for just life in general. If you’re at all on the fence about seeing someone, please just take the plunge.  Finding the therapist you connect most with won’t be immediate — it honestly felt a little like trying on jeans: feeling upset and let down until you find your perfect fit– but it is so worth it when you do find it.

By the way, I have another post planned on how I went about finding a therapist, and (a little bit more serious) review of my experience so far. BUT if you have questions, please feel free to comment or reach out to me in another way and ask! I already have gone through the process of finding one, so that post is not for my benefit, it’s yours! Help me make sure I’m helping you!

Got any questions? Have you ever seen a therapist and have some noticed some unexpected changes in your life? Share them!

signature

OFRA Cosmetics NEW “Beverly Hills” Baked Highlighter

OFRA Cosmetics Beverly Hills Baked Highlight is a gorgeous 5-color highlight that is SUPER pigmented, and gives a gorgeous shine to the cheeks! // www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com
I’ve been on the highlighter struggle bus for some time now. I just can’t seem to find one that is affordable, and also shows up on my skin. I want that semi-blinding, you-can-see-my-cheeks-from-space kind of glow.  Though I do love the Mary Lou-Manizer from theBalm, it’s not my perfect match, and I’ve been on the hunt for better.

Those who know me know I swear by OFRA Cosmetics liquid lipsticks.  I posted about my favorite “Havana Nights” but have since acquired a few more colors.  So when OFRA announced their new baked highlighter with FIVE different shades… y’all.. I JUMPED on that (using MannyMUA’s discount code of “MANNYMUA for 30% off).

I finally got the gorgeous little beauty today and I am NOT disappointed.

OFRA Cosmetics Beverly Hills Baked Highlight is a gorgeous 5-color highlight that is SUPER pigmented, and gives a gorgeous shine to the cheeks! // www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.comOFRA Cosmetics Beverly Hills Baked Highlight is a gorgeous 5-color highlight that is SUPER pigmented, and gives a gorgeous shine to the cheeks! // www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

The OFRA Cosmetics Beverly Hills Baked Highlighter is gorgeous in itself, but OFRA has stepped up the game overall.  The first thing I noticed was the packaging is gorgeous. Since my first OFRA order–which had just a sicker on the lipstick tube and was very underwhelming– they have stepped up their game. The box it came shipped in is adorable, and when I opened it was presented so nicely inside the box that I felt like I was truly having a lavish experience.

For the product itself, I will admit that some colors are more creamy/pigmented than others. The peachy/rose pink, and true pink with gold flecks don’t have near the creaminess of the champagne, white and gold.  The gold is the buttery-est of them all, as I’m sure you can tell in the swatch.

I have applied a mix of the white and peachy-pink color to my cheeks and am very excited to use this for a full face of make-up.  I will update this post with a picture of said full face when I do so you can get the true effect. It has the perfect shine/reflect, without looking like a stripe of glitter on my cheek.  I can’t wait to have an excuse for a full-face so I can wear this bad boy out!

Overall, for the price tag and the fact that you get FIVE colors in this one, 6g compact, I’m a happy camper. Even with two less-than-perfect products, I have zero regrets about buying this product.

If you have been on the fence about getting it, looking for a new highlighter, or haven’t tried OFRA Cosmetics yet, I would give this my stamp of approval. Blind your enemies with your beautiful cheeks! Go forth and get you an OFRA Cosmetics Beverly Hills Baked Highlighter!

Got any other favorite highlighters I should know about? Let me know!

 

signature

10 Ways To Fight Blogger’s Block

Don't get discouraged when you have no original thoughts. Here are 10 super simple ways to right the dreaded blogger's block. // www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

I’ve had blogger’s block for months, and fighting it is starting to get reallllll tiring.

The mind is a mysterious thing. Creativity is a muscle*, and it can tire just like a regular muscle.  Use it to much, it gets sore and won’t give you the results you want.  Use it too little, it will atrophy and it still won’t give you the results you want.  If you ask me, creativity is a finicky little motherf*cker.

My blog has been almost silent for months.  Words just weren’t coming to me, and it stressed me out to try to produce content that I was proud of.  Eventually I just stopped, because it was making me anxious to try to worry about it.

But then today (after a conversation with my therapist, of all things) I decided to just lean into the blogger’s block. Why not write about that? How many other bloggers get blogger’s block? It’s a universal thing. Everyone can relate, so everyone will get this post. How can that possibly go wrong?

Bingo. So here is a post you definitely didn’t ask for.

10 Fool-Proof Tips To Fight Blogger’s Block

  1. Throw your computer out the window. It may not help you write a post, but at least it will give you an excuse as to why you don’t have a post.  The dog ate your homework. Whatever.
  2. Write about what you ate for breakfast. Who doesn’t want to read a 500 word essay about your Cheerios? I know I’d be riveted.
  3. Interview your cat. I’m sure he/she has great ideas. When the cat is no help, interview the dog.
  4. Spin around in a circle with your laptop clutched to your chest until the words just come to you. It especially helps if you have Bloglovin’ open on the screen while you do it.
  5. Copy and paste another blogger’s post. Copy their pictures too. Just remove the watermark, it’ll be fine.
  6. Look up those super helpful blog posts about needing blog post ideas. Because reading about writing about your worst nightmare, or everyday make-up routine for the 40th time is definitely bound to spark some creativity. It’s like flicking a switch.
  7. Cry.
  8. Organize your house. Quit halfway though, then think of a great idea to blog about as a procrastination tool while you avoid the mess you’ve made while organizing your house.  You can’t find your cat, or your child (if you have one) but who cares because now you have MOTIVATION.
  9. Listen to Lemonade. Feel her words move you. Becky with the good hair is bound to spark some ideas.
  10. Have a glass of wine. Or six. Totally forget about how you can’t think of a story, and just enjoy your night.

Or, you can just take a break, realize that it’s not that big of a deal, and just write what seems to come out of your hands. And I’m only sort of kidding on #10. Sometimes the glass of wine really does help.  Just be careful not to take it to an extreme, or you’ll end up completing #1.

Do you have blogger’s block? How have you combated it? Share your tips — real or silly– in the comments!

 

*Alright, scientist. No it’s not a real muscle, it’s a metaphor. Get off my back. Gosh.

signature

MannyMUA x Makeup Geek Palette Review & Swatches

MannyMUA x Makeup Geek Palette Review & Swatches // www.candidlykelseyblog.com

If you haven’t heard of MannyMUA on Youtube yet, then you need to escape the rock that you live under.  He’s the cutest make-up man I’ve ever seen, and he has awesome taste.  Which is why I knew that I would have to have the palette he created with Makeup Geek– even before I saw the shades.

Thankfully, I was not disappointed. The MannyMUA x Makeup Geek collaboration is a  9-shadow palette is my first purchase of Makeup Geek shadows, which worked out in my favor.  The palette is a mix of existing shadow shades, and a few that Manny created himself.

From the bottom up, the shades are: Luna, Beaches & Cream, Artemis, Frappe, Sora, Cosmopolitan, Aphrodite, Mars and Insomnia.

 

MannyMUA x Makeup Geek Palette Review & Swatches // www.candidlykelseyblog.com

Frappe, Beaches and Cream, and Cosmopolitan are all permanent shades at Makeup Geek, and Insomnia is a loose shadow pigment that is pressed for this palette only.  Luna, Artemis, Sora, Arphrodite and Mars are all shadows that Manny designed.

My favorites are Beaches & Cream, Luna, Artemis, and Aphrodite.  Aphrodite is a gorgeous brown-purple that I love using to darken up a neutral eye and give a look more depth.  And I’m sure I’ll run through Beaches & Cream first, and have to buy it in a single very soon. It’s the perfect peachy transition shade for someone of my skin tone.  It pairs so nicely with Sora if you want a warm look. Artemis is my current favorite highlighting shade, while I find myself reaching for Luna for an all-over lid color if I want a more glam look.

Basically, I’m obsessed. Not only am I super impressed with the quality of Makeup Geek shadows, but I am in love with how many different looks I can get out of this palette. Neutral, natural, fun, glam, vampy, you name it.  I reach for this palette at least every other day, if not everyday. Definitely an amazing purchase for the money.

Also, points to Manny for the packaging.  I have strong Gatsby-esque vibes whenever I look at it, which makes me incredibly happy, and am in love with the giant mirror on the inside. Bravo, Manny.

MannyMUA x Makeup Geek Palette Review & Swatches // www.candidlykelseyblog.com

You can pre-order the palette here, as it supposedly comes back into stock in about a month or so. If you’re new to Makeup Geek, I highly recommend this gorgeous palette as your intro to the brand. The shadows are creamy, incredibly versatile, and well worth the $45 dollar price tag for 12 quality shadows.

Do you have the MannyMUA x Makeup Geek palette, or already an existing Makeup Geek fan? What MUG products should I try next? Let me know!

signature