10 Resources & Steps to Help You Find a Good Therapist

By Dominica

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Last Updated: December 18, 2022

Wanting or needing support from a mental health professional is common.

Life throws all sorts of things our way and it’s tough to manage some of it on our own. I’ve used various therapists throughout my life and still do when I need extra support.

If you would like to find a good therapist, you may not know where to start. This article will help you navigate the path of finding a therapist that you resonate with. There are many resources available to help you find a mental health therapist.

When looking for an online therapy or in-person mental health therapist, here are some resources and steps that can help:

 

 

10 Steps & Resources to Find a Good Therapist

1. Online directories

There are many online directories that list mental health therapists in your area. Many of these sites allow you to search by specialty, location, insurance acceptance, language spoken and more. Some popular online directories include Psychology Today's Therapist Finder and Good Therapy.

Keep in mind that some therapists offer online therapy, including phone and video. If this interests you, simply ask the therapist if they offer these services when you contact them.

In addition, you can also visit Betterhelp.com, as they will be able to assist you in finding the right kind of therapist for your needs. Betterhelp is the world’s largest online therapy platform.

2. Insurance

If you have health insurance, find out what mental health providers are covered under your plan. Your insurance company’s website should have a list of in-network providers that are covered. It’s also important to verify any co-pay or deductible that may be due at the time of your appointment.

If you can’t find this information on the website, give them a call and ask them to send you a list of in-network mental health professionals in your area.  

 

3. Professional organizations

Professional organizations for mental health professionals, such as the American Psychological Association and the National Association of Social Workers, can provide you with lists of local therapists who specialize in particular areas or approaches to treatment.

 

4. Online reviews

You can often find online reviews of therapists, which can give you an idea of the type of care they provide and whether or not other patients have been satisfied with their services.

 

5. Friends and family

Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth referrals from people who know you well and care about your well-being. Ask trusted family members, friends, or co-workers if they know of a therapist who could be the right fit for you.

 

6. Take the time to research

Once you have identified some potential therapists, take the time to do more research on them.

Look up their credentials and any specialties they may have, such as a focus on treating anxiety or depression. They may even have a YouTube channel where they teach about mental health, so you can get a feel for their demeanor and skills.

 

7. Communicate with your therapist

Once you have found a therapist, make sure to communicate openly and honestly with them about your needs and concerns. This will help ensure that your therapist can provide the best possible care for you.

 

8. Prepare for your appointment

In order to make the most of your appointment, it’s important to think about what you would like to discuss with your therapist ahead of time. This will give you a better chance of getting the help and support that you need.

 

9. Follow any recommendations

After meeting with your therapist, follow up on any suggestions they may have made regarding additional resources or further treatment options. Keeping an open line of communication with your therapist is essential for ensuring successful results from therapy sessions.

 

10. Trust the process

It takes some time working with a therapist to get to the root of problems or finding solutions. Be patient and trust the process.

 

 

What Kind of Therapist Should I Seek?

Mental health therapists come in a variety of forms, each with their own specialized training and approach.

Common types of mental health therapists include Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs), Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs), Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners (PNPs), and Clinical Mental Health Counselors.

Psychiatrists

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in mental health care and can provide psychotherapy as well as prescribe medications like antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs. They’ll typically focus on diagnosing and treating mental illnesses, such as depression or anxiety disorders.

Psychologists

Psychologists have a doctorate-level degree in psychology or a related field. They focus mainly on providing psychotherapy to individuals to help them manage challenging behaviors or emotions that may be interfering with daily functioning.

Psychologists are also trained to administer psychological tests like IQ tests or personality assessments.

Clinical Social Workers

Clinical social workers are professionals who hold at least a master’s degree in social work, although some may have doctorates. They primarily address issues like relationship problems, family concerns, substance abuse, and more general mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs)

Licensed professional counselors (LPCs) can provide support through individual counseling sessions or group therapy sessions designed to help people recognize patterns of behavior that might be contributing to emotional distress or personal conflict.

LPCs also help clients develop concrete skills for managing stressors in their lives.

Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs)

Marriage and family therapists (MFTs) specialize in helping couples and families cope with relationship problems by focusing on the entire family system rather than just the individual members.

MFTs help couples explore ways of communicating effectively so that they can better understand one another’s needs and perspectives while working towards improved relationships within the family unit. 

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners (PNPs)

Psychiatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) hold an advanced nursing degree along with specialized certification in psychiatric practice providing diagnosis and treatment for common mental health issues such as depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, PTSD and more serious conditions like schizophrenia.

PNPs combine traditional therapies with evidence-based treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Clinical Mental Health Counselors

Finally, clinical mental health counselors use talk therapy techniques including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy techniques, solution focused therapy interventions along with other approaches tailored to meet each client's unique needs to treat various conditions including depression, anxiety disorders, substance use disorder, trauma/PTSD symptoms, relationship conflicts among other mental health concerns.

By following these steps and seeing what kind of therapist you’re seeking, you'll be well on your way to finding a great therapist and getting started on the path towards getting the support you need.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

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