pp 085Yes! Shop Around!

… because finding the right therapist is essential!

It’s not all about credentials and designations, it’s about finding a person you can trust who can guide you through a personal growth process.

So, Yes. Please shop around.

Find a couple therapists who look interesting to you. Go to websites, look around your neighborhood. Ask your friends, professional contacts, coworkers, mentors, neighbors… Ask lots of questions.

If you are looking to apply your insurance to the session fees, call or visit the website of your insurance carrier. Many have copay programs and you can use “in network” or “out of network” therapists.

If you choose to pay privately for sessions, or are open to using a therapist “out of network,” there are a couple sites I would recommend for finding a therapist:

For California therapists, you may want to check on www.CounselingCalifornia.com, brought to you by CAMFT, the California Association for Marriage and Family Therapists. Therapists on this website belong to CAMFT.

For a national list of therapists, you could use www.PsychologyToday.com. Therapists on this website pay for advertising on this website.

If you appreciate personal recommendations for therapists in your area, www.Yelp.com has listings. Please take these recommendations with a grain of salt – from what I understand, there is no screening process in place for the professionals listed on Yelp.

These sites allow you to search for a therapist by geographical location and other criteria. Even if you are very impressed with their narrative and web-presence please remember to check the therapist’s licensure status and ask questions to determine if they are a “good fit” for your needs.


The content below is taken from Therapist Finder:

How to Choose a Therapist

The process of finding a therapist doesn’t have to be anxiety producing. Sometimes when people decide they would benefit from seeing a therapist, it is because they are experiencing significant upset in their lives. It is not the ideal moment to be dealing with the stress involved in finding someone with whom they feel safe to ask for help. All sorts of people may hold themselves out as competent professionals to assist with emotional issues, but, just as in any field, discrimination is critical. An engaging personality is no guarantee of an ethical therapist with a strong set of skills. A therapist who is perfect for one person may not be a good fit for the next. Choosing the right therapist calls for using common sense.

Interviewing Potential Therapists

• Interview more than one possible therapist, and be wary of any therapist who discourages this idea. No one therapist is ideal for everyone.

• Tell the therapist what you want from therapy. Did the therapist hear you and respond appropriately?

• Inquire as to the potential therapist’s education, training, licensure status, and membership in a professional organization. Check online with the Board of Behavioral Sciences to see if the therapist is licensed and if there has been any disciplinary action taken against him or her.

• Find out what type of therapy is utilized by the therapist. Does the therapist focus on helping to change how you think (cognitive therapy)? Does she or he focus on working with the unconscious (psychodynamic therapy)? No single approach to therapy has been proven more effective than any other, and hundreds of approaches have been developed. Many therapists claim that problems you have had for a long time are more likely to require longer term treatment. You can often get relief fairly quickly with short-term treatment for a recently developed problem or a part of the problem.

• Notice how you feel in the presence of the therapist. Is this someone you can imagine seeing repeatedly and feeling respected by and comfortable with? Does the therapist pay attention to you? Is he or she too distant? Too cold? Too effusive? Sufficiently empathic? Too sure of herself or himself? Is she or he defensive about your questions? Does the office have an atmosphere that is appealing to you? Regardless of a therapist’s training or philosophy, the therapist/client relationship is largely what determines whether you will think the therapy will be effective or not.

• Is the therapist experienced in working with issues similar to yours? While it is certainly not necessary for a therapist to have personally experienced whatever you are experiencing, you need some reassurance that your needs are not beyond the therapist’s scope of competence.