How to Find a Therapist: Part II

The second part of finding a therapist is the more important of the two, but also the more difficult, because it involves finding someone you are comfortable with. It cannot be made into a science, just as finding a friend or mentor cannot be made into a science, but there are a few practical steps that can make the process easier. The first is a matter of where, as in, “Where can I find a therapist?”

By and large, the best way to find a therapist is through a referral. This guarantees that the person has provided a quality service to at least one person, a person whose opinion you probably trust. Sometimes, organizations you are a part of (e.g., a church, or a school) will have their own referral networks.

If you do not feel comfortable asking for a referral, however, or if nobody you know has ever been to therapy, then I would recommend searching online through common directories like Psychology Today or Good Therapy.

If you plan on using insurance (see the article “Pros and Cons of Using Insurance”), then your insurance company should provide you a list of credentialed providers in your area.

Whether searching through your insurance panel or an online directory, look for things like degree, years of experience, price per session, et cetera, to find yourself a good deal. However, remember that this process is as much art as it is science. The most important thing you should be looking for is how the person conceptualizes mental health, and how they come across to you in their photos, writing, and/or videos.

If you like what you see online, give them a call. Then see whether it is easy to talk to them. Do they give you time to speak? Do you have the sense that they “get you”? Finally, many practitioners will offer a free consultation, so you can go and see the place, meet the person, and ask any questions you might have before committing any money.


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