Finding a Therapist
Updated: Mar 10, 2021
Finding a therapist can be really challenging. This is a super quick and general overview to help you get linked up with someone. An important note, this is different than finding therapist fit. Therapist fit takes more time and research. This post will help you discover therapists to choose from.
The first and most important thing to think about is why you are seeking therapy! What are the challenges that you need help with? What are you seeking out of therapy (even if it feels unrealistic)?
The next questions to ask yourself are around what you hope therapy will be like. What type of person would you like to help you with those challenges? What do you hope that they would talk about with you? What sort of world view do you hope that they have? What would it be like to be in their office or online?
Questions like these will help you when you search profiles, call your insurance company, and speak with therapists that you find.
The next thing is to consider your budget. How much often do you want to see someone and for how much? If you have insurance that you want to use, then it is very important to talk with your insurance first so that they can help you find people in-network. Note: You may have to ask them to help you find someone. You can ask them to call people for you!!
The internet is another great place to find therapists. Psychology Today is by far the largest bank of therapists and they have many filters so that you can pair down insurance, rates, interests, specialties, even identity. Good Therapy is another great site to find people.
To find therapists for a lower-cost is through sites like Open Path Collective, or looking at Free Clinics in your area through google.
There are also many sites that have therapy for specific groups and specialties such as Therapy For Black Girls, Inclusive Therapists, Multi Cultural Counselors, National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network, and GALAP (there are so many others as well).
There are some good apps as well such as Better Help, however these apps are short term, track and can sell your information and often are great for in the moment skill support but are not suggested for long-term treatment. I would ALWAYS suggest reading your fine print and reading the therapist side of the contract. Many applications such as Better Help require therapists to only see the client on the platform and penalize the therapist if the client wishes to continue on in the therapists' practice. They also require therapists sign as education coaches and not as counselors so we are not able to act in our full scope.
Another great way to find a therapist is through friends and family. This also can allow for new and more open conversations about mental health and wellness. Some therapists do not like to work with individual family members but some (like me) have no problem with it.
If you are running into roadblocks or you find a therapist who seems perfect but they are full, you can ask them to help you find a therapist. As therapists we have friends, colleagues, and referral networks that we are happy to tap into. We are happy to send you referrals!
Remember, no matter where you go you can always choose your care. If you are low income you may also qualify for Medicaid so that you can get free counseling in our community mental health centers. While this can be a luck of the draw at times if something does not work out ask for someone new!