When it’s time for an assist
There are many different reasons why someone might want to see a therapist: a break-up, job woes, better relationships, debilitating anxiety or depression. Scouring the Internet for a therapist is like swiping through a dating app looking for the perfect match; you’ve got to sift through a lot of not-so-great options first before you find the real deal. And the real deal needs to be someone you’re comfortable with, someone who’s experienced in treating your type of challenge as well as someone who is licensed and credentialed. Sound confusing? It doesn’t have to be. Here are ways to identify the right mental health professional for you. (And here are signs that therapy is working.)
Ask someone you know for a referral
Therapists are a dime a dozen, but finding a good therapist is a diamond in the rough. Referrals from people you trust may be one of the best ways to help you eliminate the duds and find your therapist-in-shining-armor. Feel free to ask your friends, family, or even your doctor because no one knows you better than they do. The American Psychological Association (APA) points to two websites that can help you find a psychologist (if that’s the type of expert you need): the Psychologist Locator on the APA website and the National Register of Health Service Psychologists. You can also try your state psychological association. You can also ask a nearby university for a referral, or check out your insurance provider’s website, says Beverly B. Palmer, PhD, professor emeritus of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills and author of Love Demystified: Strategies for a Successful Love Life. Try these tips for finding a doctor you can trust.