Because there isn’t Tinder for finding Therapists
September 9, 2018 12:38 AM   Subscribe

Do you have a mental heath therapist that you really like? How did you find them?

Like it says on the tin. How do you find a therapist that feels like a good fit for your needs? The only way I know how to find one is via the “Find a Therapist” feature on Psychology Today or asking a doctor for a referral. Other than just looking under therapists who take your insurance, how do you find someone great? Living in a big city, it seems like there are endless options. Personal reccomendations, setting up a bunch of appointments before deciding? Let me know how you’ve found a therapist who is right for you!
posted by Champagne Supernova to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I sent email to three local therapists I found on the APA site. Two got back to me fairly quickly and while neither one of them were good fits, after a phone chat the second one gave me the name of a therapist he thought would be to my liking. And he was right.

The general plan was:

1) Start with three people who generally matched

2) Lead with emails explaining what I wanted to address in therapy and things I had liked about therapists in the past. End the email by asking if they thought they might be a match or if they could recommend someone they thought might be

3a) If they think they might be a match, set up a phone call
3b) If they have a recommendation, return to step 2
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:34 AM on September 9, 2018 [4 favorites]

Sometimes getting a referral from a past therapist can be a good way to get connected.
posted by gemutlichkeit at 5:10 AM on September 9, 2018

There kinda sorta is.
Philip DeFranco, who puts out a daily Youtube News show, highly recommends BetterHelp (video should start at 5:09) and admits to using the service - affordable online private counseling with licensed, accredited professionals - himself. He finds it convenient and it supposedly does a great job at matching you up with a person just right for you. Phil's a solid, stand-up guy and isn't selling snake oil.
Here's the link from Phil.
posted by NoraCharles at 5:40 AM on September 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

I went on Yelp and called the five top rated therapists that worked in the kind of modalities I was looking for and scheduled a phone consult. I picked one based on the consult and I've been very happy with my choice.
posted by ananci at 1:58 PM on September 9, 2018

Specific to trauma work, I looked at the EMDR certification listings instead of a catch-all directory. I live in Singapore, so that narrows it down pretty quickly - YMMV, but substitute [EMDR] for whatever school of therapy you want.
posted by ahundredjarsofsky at 8:37 PM on September 9, 2018

I have a pretty good relationship with my primary care physician. I contacted her, explained what I was looking for, and went with her recommendation. So far I've been pretty happy with the results.
posted by slogger at 8:14 AM on September 10, 2018

Ask around in your friend network (assuming you're comfortable doing that). That's the only way I've ever found someone I clicked with.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 6:24 PM on September 10, 2018

Try reaching out to mental health centres at local colleges and universities. They likely have a short list of local therapists and are likely to spend some time understanding your needs and wants before making a recommendation. Many of their own therapists probably have private practices.
posted by bkpiano at 8:33 PM on September 10, 2018

I'm a therapist in a big city as well as a long-time client, and I can sympathize with how difficult this problem is! I've always used Psychology Today's therapist listing when I move to a new city. I search for my zip code/insurance and read bios for people who seem like they might be a good fit. If you have a particular type of therapy you know you want, you can filter for that. If you're not sure or you see a therapy you're not familiar with, you can get a helpful overview here.

Once you do see somebody, be mindful of your reaction to their approach. Do they feel like someone you can open up to? Do they have a treatment plan in mind that fits with your goals? If you've done therapy before, feel free to tell them what's worked for you in the past and what hasn't, and ask them whether they think they're the right fit for you. If any of those things aren't true, there's no shame in moving on to someone else. Good luck!
posted by soonertbone at 10:48 AM on September 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Check out Appendix C (especially p 266) in this book for some helpful questions to ask and ideas to consider:
posted by dancing leaves at 11:42 AM on September 11, 2018

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