A Guide to Seeking Professional Help for Your Mental Health
So you’ve decided to see a therapist, but you have no idea where to find a therapist. You’re not alone! Finding mental health services can be a challenging and frustrating experience for people. A quick google search for “therapist near me” will yield hundreds of results – some better than others. So in this article, we’ll walk you through the options, weigh the pros and cons, and hopefully help you find a therapist!
Look for Therapists in Your Insurance Directory
Your insurance directory can be a good place to start if your top concern is finding an in-network therapist. Major insurance companies like Aetna, United Healthcare, Cigna, and BCBS are required to maintain a list of in-network therapists for members to reference.
Go to your insurance company’s website, locate their “find a provider tool,” and search for psychologists, counselors, and therapists that are in-network with your plan and close to your zip code. At the very least, the insurance directory should contain the therapist’s contact information. In some cases, insurance directories will also contain more helpful information like specialties, professional history, and availability.
- Therapists in your insurance directory are guaranteed to accept your insurance.
- Insurance directories are often poorly built and difficult to navigate.
- Data can be outdated, resulting in frustrating roadblocks as you try to find a therapist.
- Insurance may not cover marriage and family therapists.
Use Private Online Directories
Because many people struggle with where to find a therapist, there are many directory services that therapists in private practice use to help patients find them. Some good examples are Psychology Today and GoodTherapy. These directories allow you to filter by insurance plan, therapist specialties, and much more.
- These directories contain more information about the therapist’s specialties and approach.
- These directories often have photos and videos to help you familiarize yourself with the therapist before reaching out.
- Some therapists here offer sliding scale pricing.
- Many therapists on these do not accept insurance.
- You are not guaranteed accurate information on insurance coverage.
Online Therapy Start-Ups
There are many companies in this space that make the question of ‘where to find a therapist’ a whole lot simpler. These companies hire networks of professional therapists who see clients mostly via tele-health. Many have also built robust customer service teams that can help you get scheduled with a therapist, and verify your insurance very easily.
Buyer beware! Not all of these companies are the same. Many of the largest online therapy startups function simply as a directory service for clients, and a gig-work platform for therapists. The therapists are independent contractors and not employed by the company. Furthermore, little to nothing is done to ensure the care delivered to clients is clinically appropriate and compliant with the law.
At WellQor, therapists are employed by the company and work in teams led by a PsyD Clinical Director. The therapist consults with team members for support, and collaborates with the Clinical Director to formulate and adjust the treatment plan for each client. This extra level of quality control means the client is receiving the best care possible. When considering where to find a therapist, look for a company that is primarily a mental health practice, not a tech giant.
- Online therapy startups take the work out of finding a therapist by verifying your insurance and acting as a matchmaker. Companies like WellQor have dedicated patient liaisons to help you sort things out at any point in your therapy journey.
- With mostly tele-health therapists, this type of therapy is more accessible and you can have a therapy session from the comfort of your own home.
- You can often get scheduled quickly – sometimes within 24 hours.
- Gig-work companies have trouble with clinical quality control.
The final answer: The Best Way To Find a Therapist
Luckily, there are many ways to find a therapist. Where to find a therapist is going to depend on what’s important to you. With that said, online therapy startups seem to provide the best experience overall for finding a therapist that has the right specialties, accepts your insurance, and has availability. At companies like WellQor, groundbreaking technology, great clinical minds, and stellar customer service come together to create the best therapy experience in mental health care.