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5 Places to Find a Therapist

The term therapist generally refers to a mental health professional that engages in talk therapy or psychotherapy. They are also identified as counselors, therapists, psychologists, and social workers. These professionals generally have either a master’s or doctorate level of training. Master’s level trained therapists include Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT), and Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW). Psychologists have doctorate level training and can have a Doctorate in Psychology (PsyD) or a Doctorate in Philosophy (PhD).

Psychiatrists, such as myself, are physicians who specialize in mental health. We are also therapists who utilize psychotherapy along with medication management in our treatment.

Keeping the above in mind, where can you find therapist who is accepting new patients? Here are 5 places to start your search.

1. Insurance Panel

If you plan to use your health insurance to cover the cost of treatment, a good place to start is at your health insurance website. There you can search for providers who are covered by your insurance and are accepting new patients. Unfortunately, that is generally all the information you are given about the particular provider. Also that information may not be the most up to date.

2. Psychology Today

Psychology Today is a better choice for looking for a therapist. There is a search feature where you can use specific filters in your search including insurance coverage. Listed therapists have a profile where they explain their philosophy and approach to treatment. This can help you determine which therapists maybe a good fit for you.

3. Residency Programs/Graduate School Programs

Many resident physicians and graduate students have student clinics. There these student therapists engage in psychotherapy with clients while having supervision from faculty. Look for your local psychiatry residency program or graduate school programs in counseling and psychology to learn about their student clinics.

4. Community Mental Health Clinics

Most cities or counties have community mental health clinics that are run by county/city government and/or nonprofit organizations. They provide many services, including medication management and psychotherapy.

5. Primary Care Physicians

Many patients first see their primary care physican for mental health issues. While primary care physicians can help with medication management, they often refer to mental health providers for psychotherapy. If your primary care provider is part of a large medical system, such as Kaiser Permanante or Providence, they often have therapists and psychiatrists within their health system.

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