How do find the therapist needle in the haystack?
May 22, 2008 11:17 AM   Subscribe

How do I even start to locate the therapist that I think would be right for me among so many options? The details are inside.

I've read through as many of the archived questions on the topic of therapy as seemed relevant, but there doesn't seem to be an answer to the problem of finding the right therapist beyond "see and talk to a bunch of people and find the one you click with." That, frankly, sounds like waaaay too much effort when one has an immense number of possible therapists available to you. Is there really no other resource to draw upon in narrowing down one's options?

Here are my details: I'm in New York City. My primary desire is a therapist who is a gay male, or who at the very least understands gay men and gay culture enough to speak from a place where advice on the subject is specific, trustworthy, and non-patronizing. I'm also looking for someone who is not endlessly process-based; I have emotional / personality problems that I need fixed, and that's going to require doing more than talking about them -- I'll need some specific advice and solutions on ways to alter my behavior. Preferably non-pharmaceutical ways.

Based on that criteria, where does my search start, beyond cold-calling every therapist my health insurance offers me? Are there tools to narrow this down that I'm not aware of? Does anyone out there have a wisdom-of-crowds or personal recommendation?
posted by logovisual to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I would call Callen-Lorde Community Health Center and set up an initial visit there -- it looks like they would probably refer you to an outside provider for the long term, and they are very well situated to set you up with someone who fits your criteria. I don't have any experience with their mental health services, but they were my healthcare providers for years when I lived in NYC, and I was always really impressed with them.
posted by Siobhan at 11:30 AM on May 22, 2008

Try the custom search function of Psychology Today's find-a-therapist feature. I found my previous therapist this way (then I moved, and found my current therapist through my health insurance's list of providers).

On the Psychology Today site, you can filter by orientation, gender, insurance acceptance, etc. Most of the participants list their Web sites so you can figure out more about them before making a call.
posted by catlet at 12:15 PM on May 22, 2008

Previously, previously, previously
posted by desjardins at 12:24 PM on May 22, 2008

You could look at the ads sections of your local LGbT newspapers/magazines. There are probably some gay male therapists with ads there, which would give you a smaller selection to then call and ask questions about their approach.
posted by overglow at 1:39 PM on May 22, 2008

Seconding looking at LGBT resources as a starting point. Possibly also ask other queer people you know who live around your area or within a reasonable distance. Or go to a LGBT resource center.
posted by kalessin at 1:43 PM on May 22, 2008

Thirding the suggestion to check LGBT resources. Even my smallish town has an online directory of LGBT-friendly doctors and therapists, put together by the local university. Narrows down the list quite nicely.
posted by PatoPata at 2:06 PM on May 22, 2008

The Psychology Today custom-search tool was pretty much exactly what I was looking for -- gives me a place to start, anyway. Thanks all, I'll report back if I find someone who works for me.
posted by logovisual at 5:47 PM on May 23, 2008

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