So you want to see a therapist. But how do you find the right one? Where do you even start with that? If you have health insurance coverage, you can go to your insurance website and get a list of names, but that tells you little-to-nothing about the actual therapists themselves. How do you know if they’re queer-friendly? Do they understand what white privilege is? Will they get that you do NOT need to just “pray about it?”
Ugh. You’re already having a hard time, and now you’re supposed to sift through all of this online information to find a proverbial needle in a haystack. You can ask around, if you feel comfortable talking with friends, family, your doctor, etc., and that can be helpful. (Therapists partially rely on word-of-mouth to keep their practices afloat.) But just because a therapist was a good fit for your friend’s mom’s cousin doesn’t mean they will be the right one for you. And if you are dealing with issues around sexuality, gender, or deconstructing from religion, you may not want to chat with your neighbor or hair stylist about these issues.
Fortunately, there are some online directories that make it a little easier to narrow down your search. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
1) Psychology Today – Possibly the most popular and well-known online directory out there. A large and very general directory. You can search by insurance type, location, gender, and general issues like “anxiety” or “grief.”
2) TherapyDen – Also a general directory, but has more progressive search filters like “cultural and systemic oppression” as a presenting issue, or expertise in kink or Health At Every Size, for example.
3) Secular Therapy Project – Created to help nonbelievers find therapists who are committed to providing therapy 100% free of religion, spirituality, and supernatural beliefs. No gods, no prayer, no astrology, no angels, no spells. This may be especially important to you if you have experienced religious harm or trauma.
4) Reclamation Collective – Not just a directory, they are “holding space for folks navigating religious trauma, spiritual abuse, and adverse religious experiences.” If you’re looking for a therapist who specializes in this kind of thing, check out their “find a therapist” section. This differs from Secular Therapy Project in that its practitioners may identify as religious or spiritual in some way.
5) ProChoiceTherapists – A fairly new, small-but-mighty directory started by a badass PhD student. Here you can find a therapist who you can be sure supports your bodily autonomy. You can expect this directory to grow in the future.
There are so many more online directories, but now you have a few places to start.
Here is a bonus directory: If you’re low on cash and don’t have good (or any) insurance coverage, for discount therapy check out OpenPath. You pay a one-time membership fee which helps fund the non-profit that connects you with therapists who agree to accept low-fee clients. You can search the therapist directory before you pay to join.
Hope this has been helpful.
If you’d like to explore starting therapy with me, let’s set up a time to talk!