Self-love

5 Ways to Find a Therapist and Get The Help You Need

Therapy can be life changing. We know that sounds dramatic, but it’s true! The benefits of therapy are numerous – and they usually extend far beyond what you initially sought out therapy for. When you find a therapist, they can help you manage any mental health conditions you may be facing (such as an anxiety disorder, depression, or PTSD, to name a few), but at the same time, therapy is certainly not just for folks battling mental health conditions. Therapy can also help you build self-confidence, create healthy habits, learn anxiety coping skills, and so much more.

So, if you’ve decided you want to pursue therapy, where do you start? Fortunately, there are plenty of places to look and no shortage of options. Here are our tips for how to find a therapist.


Decide What's Most Important in Finding a Therapist

Before you set off on your hunt to find a therapist or find a psychologist, decide what’s most important to you in a provider. Here are some examples that you might consider when you are trying to find a therapist.

  • Do you want someone the same gender as you? 
  • Do you want someone younger or older? 
  • If you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community, do you want a therapist who is as well?
  • If you’re a POC, do you want a therapist who is also a POC?
  • Do you want someone faith-based? 
  • Do you want someone who specializes in a specific type of therapy?
  • Do you want someone who is a social worker, mental health counselor, or psychologist? (All of these are considered therapists, but they have different types of training)

Ask yourself all of these questions when you’re looking to find a therapist. It can help to make a physical list of all the qualities that you want.


Ways to Find a Therapist or Psychologist:

Luckily, there are many ways to find a therapist or psychologist. Here are 5 ways to find a therapist that we will be outlining for you:

  1. Using Psychology Today or other databases
  2. Contacting your insurance provider
  3. Asking your primary care doctor for a referral
  4. Asking friends or family members for recommendations 
  5. Using popular therapy apps or websites


Use Psychology Today to find Therapists with Specializations 

Psychology Today’s website is one of the best databases you can use to find a therapist or psychologist, especially if you want to search for specifics. Reference the list that you made of what’s important to you in a therapist and use the website’s filters to find your perfect match! For example, you can filter for:

  • Insurance
  • Issues treated
  • Sexuality
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Language
  • Faith
  • Type of therapy
  • Ethnicity served

If you have (or suspect you have) a mental health condition, the “issues treated” filter is especially important. You want to make sure when you find a therapist that they have experience treating your issue, or even better, if they specialize in your issue. For example, if you struggle with depression, you need someone who has experience with depression counseling.

Aside from Psychology Today, there are a few other databases you can use to find a therapist, such as:


Find a Therapist or Psychologist that Accepts Your Insurance

For many people who want to find a therapist or psychologist, cost is a big factor. Some therapists accept insurance, and others don’t. If cost is a factor for you, it will be important to find a therapist who accepts your insurance. One way you can go about doing this is by filtering by insurance on a website like Psychology Today. However, you can also directly contact your insurance provider and ask them, “Is there a therapist near me who accepts my plan?” Or, you can use your insurance website’s find a provider tool if they have one.


Ask Your Primary Care Doctor for a Referral

Although your primary care doctor likely does not specialize in mental health, they should have general knowledge about mental health conditions. If you discuss your symptoms with them, they may be able to point you in the right direction of a therapist they know who can help you out. While primary care doctors can prescribe psychiatric medications, they are not qualified to provide patients with therapy. So while they may provide prescriptions for antidepressants, they can’t provide extensive depression counseling.

Ask a Friend or Family Member for a Therapist Referral

Chances are, you have friends or family members who are in therapy or were in therapy in the past. So, if you’re feeling open about the fact that you want to find a therapist, ask friends or family members for referrals. If they have a therapist that they’ve seen in the past or currently see that they love, you might love them too! However, keep in mind that this doesn’t guarantee you’ll be a perfect fit with the therapist.

Use Popular Therapist / Psychologist / Counselor Apps

When on your hunt to find a therapist or psychologist, consider therapy apps. Usually these do not accept insurance, however, they can be more cost effective than in-person therapy depending on your copayment and whether you would be seeing a therapist that was in-network or not. There are various types of plans you can get with these apps, ranging from text based therapy to voice memos or video chatting. The two leading therapy apps are Talkspace and BetterHelp. These apps will match you with a therapist after you answer some questions about what you’re looking to get out of therapy as well as your preferences.

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Take your time as you work to find a therapist. Don’t just spring for the first one you come across. Choose a few therapists you think might be a good fit and have a phone or email conversation with them to get a better idea if you would mesh well. Ask questions about the factors that are most important to you. Then, make your first appointment with the one you like the best. Keep in mind, if you feel like they aren’t the right therapist for you, you can move on to another one. Finding a therapist can be a bit like dating at times!

If you’re looking to make even more positive changes in your life alongside therapy, check out our app which can help you build healthy habits every day. You can also give our 21 day challenge a try, which will help you reset your life and better yourself physically and mentally.

Now, go out there and find a therapist who’s right for you!

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