How To Find A Therapist
In 2020, due to the “fun” combination of COVID-19 and two young children at home, I wanted to see an (individual) therapist. At the time I was employed by GitHub, which had a program where I could get up to six sessions paid for by them. After five of these, I’d found some benefits but wanted to try a different approach with a therapist of my choice. Based on my experience finding a therapist, I’ve outlined how I (and several friends at this point) went about doing so.
- 1) Go to the Psychology Today “Find Counselling” page for your location e.g. Edinburgh, London, Dublin, New York, etc.
- 2) Filter by “Issues” relevant to you or that you want to address, process or seek help with.
- 3) Filter by “Types of Therapy” if you know enough already to have an opinion. In my case, my free work sessions were Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and, through my research, I thought psychotherapy would be a better fit to explore some childhood issues.
- 4) Filter by “Gender” if you have a preference. I struggle with talking to men about some issues so picked “Show Me Women”.
- 5) Filter by “Insurance” if you have health/medical insurance that you want to use to pay for your therapist. I have never had health insurance so paid directly.
- 6) After exploring their profiles, select 3-8 therapists that align with your requirements.
- 7) Email them to ask about availability. Bear in mind that not all of them might have immediate openings.
- 8) Arrange one-off meetings (which may be paid or free, depending on the therapist) with 2-4 of them. Let them know you are trying to find a therapist, are meeting multiple and the first session is a mutual evaluation for fit.
- 9) Pick one, email them arranging a first session, and email all the others thanking them but letting them know you’re going with someone else. If you didn’t find someone: go back to Step 6 and see if anyone else fits. If you still didn’t find someone: go back to Step 2 and consider loosening your filters.
- 10) All your problems in life will be instantly fixed. Ok, not really but: some of them will get better, I promise!
If you’re still on the fence about seeing a therapist at all, you might find these anonymous therapy podcasts to be informative and interesting:
- Esther Perel’s “Where Should We Begin” podcast and “How’s Work?” podcast
- Lori Gottlieb’s and Guy Winch’s Dear Therapists podcast
If you’re still on the fence: try it and see if it helps.