While I personally offer therapy and coaching, both in San Francisco as well as via Skype, it isn’t always an option for people to work with me one-on-one.
If you need to find a therapist local to you, if my fee is not the right fit, or if you would prefer to work with a man, and so on, this page can serve as a resource.
If you’ve scoped it out but still have further questions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will get back to you as quickly as possible to see how we can be of service.
Before we get into information about how to find a therapist or coach, I want to give you a little bit of information about how to choose the one that’s right for you. “Rightness of fit” between client and practitioner is extremely important, and it’s also very personal. In fact, in therapy, evidence shows that the majority of the healing that occurs is specifically attributable to the relationship that’s built between therapist and patient, or client. So it’s important that you find the person who’s right for you.
I also can’t personally speak for the quality of many of the clinicians that you’ll find through these resources, so it’s going to be up to you to “interview” them yourself. This mostly consists of feeling empowered to trust your gut, and to not work with the first therapist or coach that you come across – but there are some articles below if you’d like to learn more about that.
For more information about how to choose the right therapist
I highly recommend this article from Psychology Today, which was written by my colleague, Dr. Jonathan Shedler. I also have some articles on this site about finding and choosing a therapist, and this one may be particularly helpful for you. My bottom line on this topic? It’s OK to be choosy, so trust your gut in the first few sessions. If it doesn’t feel right, mosey on.
Now, let’s move on to how you can actually find a therapist (coaching is addressed at the bottom of this page).
If you’re looking for a therapist in your area
One of the best ways to get a referral is by word of mouth. If you have a friend who has a therapist that he or she likes, that can be a great place to start. If it’s someone you’re super close to (like your spouse), see instead if that person’s therapist has a referral. That way you each get your own experience, and everyone’s practicing healthy boundaries (bonus!)
Similarly, if you know a therapist personally, it probably wouldn’t be appropriate for you to work with that person yourself, but he or she can probably refer you to a trusted colleague.
There are also online list-serves like this one at Psychology Today, where you can search by area of expertise, and you’ll have access to the therapist’s theoretical orientation, gender, and various other search criteria that may be important for you. I personally think that the Psychology Today list-serve is particularly comprehensive and I often recommend it.
Additionally, if you have insurance that covers mental healthcare, you can always check your insurance panels to find a therapist in your area, or you can try doing a web search using a specialty as a keyword.
Just remember: be sure to approach the process of choosing a new therapist with care. Go into the first session, or first few sessions, ready to trust your gut about whether it feels right for you.
If finances are a factor
The cost of therapy is a concern for many people, but I am resolutely convinced that it doesn’t have to be. Many options exist for finding a therapist within your price range.
First of all, there’s a wonderful, new resource called the Open Path Collective. Open Path is an online community of mental health professionals who have agreed to offer sliding scale rates to people in need. You can search for therapists and find one in your area – or you can find someone that you can work with online – for $30 to $50 a session.
Alternately, you can also look in your area for low-fee clinics and University training centers. People sometimes have an automatic, negative reaction to the idea of going that route, but it’s not what it seems. So much of what makes a therapist good has to do with factors that are innate, or are related to that therapist’s own past experience of therapy. Besides, their work is carefully monitored by their supervisors, so in some ways you’re getting two minds for the price of one.
Here in San Francisco, for example, I highly recommend a training center called Access Institute. The trainees are often very skilled, and they’re given excellent instruction. I frequently refer people there with confidence. I also recommend Psychological Services Center on Polk Street. It’s run by colleagues of mine whom I admire and respect.
If you know of a similar site local to you please email us at email@example.com and we’ll continue to grow our referral list.
Finally, I’ll add that group therapy can be underestimated with regard to how powerful it can be, and you can often have a wonderful, deep experience in a therapy group at a fraction of the cost of individual therapy. If you’re looking for a therapy group, I suggest that you look for (key words): a process group, with a here-and-now focus.
In process groups, you can get a lot of the same benefit that you get in individual therapy, but with multiple perspectives instead. It’s powerful stuff.
Perhaps you’d like to find a therapist online?
If you live in an area where you don’t have many (or any) options for finding a therapist local to you, or if you’re disabled and have limited mobility, please know that the miracle of modern technology has provided us with some solutions.
If you live in the US, or some foreign territories, it will be important for you to find a therapist who is licensed in your state, country, or province (depending on where you’re located this isn’t always an issue). An example of a portal for finding online therapists is eTherapy. A web search often turns up many more options like it.
Finally, one resource that I can’t say enough good things about is TalkSession, although that option only currently exists in NY State.
While I haven’t had any direct experience with them myself, I’ve heard great things about this site. If you know of other good resources for finding a coach, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to add it.