This is the final article in the series and it will focus on how to find a therapist using the Internet.
If you want to use your favorite search engine to find a therapist, here are some helpful tips: Use search terms like therapist, counselor, your issue (depression), and the city or town you live in or near.
There are some very good therapist referral websites that do all of the work for you. Listings on these sites provide you with information regarding the professional’s qualifications, what areas of expertise they may have, how long they’ve been in practice, etc. They should also have practical stuff posted like phone numbers, where their office is located, office hours and whether or not they accept your insurance. Psychology Today (PT) probably has one of the more comprehensive listings in the U.S. They contract with other trustworthy sites like Web MD and Psych Central to provide their list to their readers. A therapist cannot be listed on PT unless they can prove they have a legitimate advanced degree in their discipline and an up to date professional license or certification. Google searches will often bring up listings on the PT website but you can go directly to the PT website and search for a therapist there.
Some other referral sites are Theravive.com, Therapist.com, Find-a-Therapist.com, and GoodTherapy.org. I am listed on the PT website and Theravive.com. These sites charge the therapist a monthly or annual fee to list with them so there is no charge to the client. Please don’t look for a therapist on Craigslist. Beware of sites that don’t look professional or want to charge you for a referral to a therapist. When you find a therapist listed on one of these sites, they may have a link to their own website where you can learn more about them, their experience, education, training, and what their fees are. You can even email a therapist from their site and ask questions to help you decide if they are right for you.
I suggest you gather at least two or three names from any given source. That way you can cross-reference, and have choices if one doesn’t work out, has moved out of town, retired or just doesn’t suit you. Take your time in your search and be choosy. It’s your money, your time, and your life. The therapeutic relationship is a real relationship so find someone who you feel you can connect with. Don’t be afraid to ask them how they will help you address your specific issue. If you are interviewing a prospective therapist and they can’t work with you for some reason, ask them for a referral. Most therapists refer to other therapists on a regular basis. If a therapist cannot help you with your specific issue, they should give you at least one referral to someone who can.
If you live in an area where it is difficult to find a mental health professional locally, you can always turn to tele-sessions using the telephone or Skype. While Skype is a specialized service on the cutting edge, there are therapists world-wide providing on-line counseling. Skype sessions are available to anyone anywhere as long as the technology is available and a common language is spoken. This service has been a particular boon to Americans over-seas who crave counseling from a familiar voice stateside.
I hope these articles have been helpful to you. I would recommend you print them out and keep them handy when you are in need of counseling or make copies for a friend who is seeking counseling. Good luck in your search!
Written by John Johnson