How To Find A Therapist

How To Find A Therapist


Reader, Dee recently asked how I went about finding my therapist. This is an excellent question because that was my excuse for not going to one for a long time.

As frugal as I might be, I do not price-shop when it comes to medical services and prefer personal recommendations. While it is acceptable to ask for my co-worker’s dentist, asking for their therapist is a bit awkward; that is if you even know they are going in the first place.

Unfortunately, therapy is a topic people rarely discuss, especially with those who are not close friends. So, where else should we turn, but to the Internet!

Therapist Personals

Thankfully, I have an amazing friend who shared the following resource with me: Psychology Today’s Find A Therapist. Put in your zipcode and what you would like your therapist to specialize in and welcome to the world of therapist personals.

Just like dating personals, Psychology Today’s therapist directory offers a bio and photo of each therapist along with their specializations, price range and treatment type. Once you picked one you think you will like, you can email them directly through the PT website.

This amazing friend also helped me write my introduction email to the therapist I chose. For those of you who are doing this alone, I know it is difficult, so I have provided a template below to get you started:

Hi there,

I’d like to set-up a time to chat with you about whether you think you could help me with some ____________ patterns and __________ issues I’ve been having. Your profile caught my eye because you sound experienced in dealing with ___________ and __________ issues.

I’m in the process of _______________. I’m worried that I _________________.
My goal is to ______________________.

If you think you can help, I’d love to hear back from you. I work near your office, and the best times for me are _____________________.

Best regards,

I received a response from my doctor later that day. She offered to set up a 30 minute consultation appointment for half-price to get to know each other first. For those of you who may be uncomfortable divulging your skeletons to a complete stranger, this is a good way to loosen up.

Just like dating, the first therapist you choose may not be a right match. Do not be afraid to move on if you find yourself continuously uncomfortable. However, do not use “we don’t match” as an excuse to stop going just because it is difficult. It will be difficult. Go for at least 3 appointments before making your decision.

For Students

Many Universities offer free, but limited, therapy sessions to students who are, in particular, dealing with depression, anxiety, and transition issues. Universities also maintain a list of local therapy offices and can provide a personal recommendation based on a brief consultation within the university.


4 Replies to “How To Find A Therapist”

  1. Thanks a lot for following up with this post! It just makes me so nervous to think about talking about my problems with a stranger (like you said). I think it could be money well spent if I can work up the nerve to go. Thanks :)

  2. I’ve actually seen a therapist before. A good place to begin is actually where your insurance covers. There are a ton of good, talented counselors and most of them accept insurance of many forms. There are so many counselors available everywhere, so I began by checking the places that accepted my insurance. You can just call the number listed and many counselors will call back, completing a quick intake, to set you up with the right therapist, if it is a company, not a private practice.
    I just thought I’d point some people in the direction of insurance because therapy without insurance is oftentimes, extremely expensive. Plus, if you live in a smaller community, many organizations do not have a good website available.
    Oh yes, I’m also getting my Masters in Counseling and you really don’t have to be exact with what problems or what goals you have. You can just say something about having issues with a certain area of your life and say it’s something you want help working on :)
    Good luck and I’m glad so many people are getting help from people who are experienced enough to help :)

    1. Thank you for your knowledgeable comments! I can give nothing but my own personal experience, so it is great to hear from someone in the field!

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