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Are you searching for a therapist to meet your unique needs? We’ve collected some of the best resources for finding a therapist.
Every person’s needs are different. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to therapy.
That’s why there are hundreds of mental health services out there — including therapists, organizations, nonprofits, and support groups — that understand the specific challenges you may face and the kinds of support that could help the most.
Many therapy services are tailored to meet the needs of specific communities, people with certain mental health conditions, and to provide support for all kinds of personal challenges.
The right therapist for you is out there. You just need to know where to look.
If you’d like to talk with a therapist without a specific specialization, either locally or online, you can visit Psych Central’s Find a Therapist resource. You’ll find search tools to help you find a therapist in your ZIP code, plus information on how to find the therapy that’s right for you.
You can also check out these find-a-therapist search tools for local mental health resources:
- psychologist locator: American Psychological Association
- psychiatrist locator: American Psychiatric Association
- behavioral treatment services locator: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA)
- healthcare professional finder: Healthline’s FindCare resource
People of Color are underrepresented in the mental health workforce. In 2019, 83% of psychologists were white.
While this can make it difficult to find a therapist who looks like you and who you’re comfortable seeing, you can still find a culturally competent or anti-racist therapist with some of these resources:
- Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM)
- Black Mental Health Alliance
- Therapy for Black Girls
- Therapy for Black Men
- Therapy for Latinx
- Latinx Therapy
- Inclusive Therapists
- Indian Health Service
You can also find out whether a therapist is culturally competent beforehand or during your first session. Consider asking them:
- “What’s your experience treating People of Color?”
- “How do you approach treating issues like racial trauma?”
- “How do you practice cultural competency and anti-racism?”
Not having a therapist who understands the unique issues you face as LGBTQIA+ can be detrimental to your mental health.
You may be able to check with your health insurance provider or put the criteria in an online directory to find a LGBTQIA+ competent therapist. Many online therapy apps also let you make this part of your therapist choice.
Here are some organizations that can get you started:
- National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network
- Association of LGBTQ+ Psychiatrists (AGLP)
- Therapy for QPOC
- Pride Counseling
- Human Rights Campaign
- World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH)
Need an LGBTQIA+ friendly crisis or support hotline? You can find one here for trans, nonbinary, and gender-expansive folks.
If you’re a U.S. veteran and looking for a list of verified counselors, the Department of Veterans Affairs provides a list of certified counselors by state.
For more resources, consider:
Therapy for children and teens may help for neurodevelopmental or mental health conditions that start in childhood. But counseling services can help for anything from school and family problems to bullying and low self-esteem.
You may want to get a referral through your pediatrician, but you can also find support through:
- American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
- Child Mind Institute
- Children’s Health Council (CHC)
Whether you’re currently managing a substance use disorder or in recovery, seeing a therapist can be beneficial for gaining tools to cope.
While you can talk with most therapists about addiction and substance use, you may want to specifically seek out someone who specializes in these areas, such as an addiction therapist or someone who can provide family therapy.
Therapy is also available for family members of people with substance use disorders.
Here are some resources to get started:
- SAMSHA in the United States
- United Kingdom National Health Service’s finder tool.
- American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
Community support is often a big part of substance use and addiction recovery. Here’s a list of the best online sobriety support groups.
It’s not uncommon to need extra support during or after pregnancy, or if you’re a new parent (whether you were the one who gave birth or not).
You can start by seeking help from your OB-GYN, a mental health professional, or one of these resources:
Domestic violence doesn’t just include physical violence or violence against women. It includes sexual, emotional, and psychological violence against people of any gender.
If you’re experiencing or have experienced violence of any kind, finding a therapist can help you gain support, heal, and work through challenges.
Here are a few resources to get started:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
- Pathways to Safety International
- STAND! For Families Free of Violence
- Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services (ADWAS)
- StrongHearts Native Helpline
- Eldercare Locator
- The Initiative
People who experience violence of any kind may need additional assistance. A few more resources may help:
- WomensLaw.org has a search tool for finding local domestic violence programs or shelters, legal assistance, and courthouse locations to file a protection order.
- Battered Women’s Justice Project offers consultations for people dealing with intimate partner violence related to the criminal and justice system.
Coping with the effects of sexual violence can be challenging, so working with a mental health professional can help you heal in a nonjudgmental space.
Consider these resources for finding a therapist:
- Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
- The Network/La Red
- Just Detention International
When looking for a therapist, you may want to find one who:
- has experience or specializes in sexual assault recovery
- you feel comfortable with and can connect with (this may mean someone of a specific gender or population)
- practices specific types of therapy, such as:
Many mental health professionals can help when you’re facing grief or loss. Talking with someone can make a big difference in how you cope and move forward with your grief.
You can find a therapist or other mental health professional with any therapy directory, or you may want to check with your primary doctor for a referral to a grief counselor.
Here are some other resources for specific types of grief and support:
You can find help through:
- Sidran Institute
- EMDR International Association
- International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
- International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD)
- Veterans Affairs
You may also want to look for a therapist who specializes in types of therapy that can help for PTSD, like:
- cognitive processing therapy (CPT)
- prolonged exposure
- EMDR therapy
Many mental health counselors will have experience and knowledge treating bipolar disorder. You can often start by getting a referral from your primary doctor.
You can use many of the same tools to find a therapist as any other mental health condition, but you may want to ask some of these questions when finding a bipolar disorder therapist:
- “Do you have experience treating bipolar disorder?”
- “What types of therapy methods do you use?”
- “Will you be able to work with the rest of my healthcare team?”
- “What’s your availability? Can I reach you after hours? Who do I call in an emergency?”
There are several types of therapy that have shown promise in bipolar disorder treatment. You may want to specifically look for a therapist who uses one or more of these methods:
- family focused therapy
- interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT)
- dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
If you’re living with schizophrenia, you’ll likely want to have a professional who can prescribe medications and one who can work on coping therapies.
When looking for a therapist for schizophrenia, consider one who specializes in therapies such as:
- supportive psychotherapy
- acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
- cognitive enhancement therapy (CET)
- family or group therapy
Some resources for support include:
While many mental health professionals will have some knowledge and experience with eating disorders, finding someone who specializes in eating disorders may be what you need or prefer.
When reaching out to a therapist, you can ask them about their experience treating eating disorders, or your specific type if you’ve received a diagnosis.
You can also find support from:
- National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)
- Eating Disorder Hope
- National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD)
- The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness
Neurodevelopmental conditions like autism and ADHD
You may want to get started with a referral from your child’s doctor, or your own if it’s for you. There are resources available for adults and for children.
Other resources that can help you find a therapist include:
Support groups can make a big difference in mental well-being, because you’re able to find community with people who are living with similar conditions and symptoms as you.
Whether online or in person, a support group can help you avoid loneliness and isolation. Not to mention, most are free. Your group may even help keep you on track with your treatments.
You can find a support group that matches your needs at any of these orgs:
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
- Anxiety & Depression Association of America
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
- International OCD Foundation
- Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)
- Postpartum Support International
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Narcotics Anonymous
- Overeaters Anonymous
- Gamblers Anonymous
- Sex Addicts Anonymous
- Survivors of Incest Anonymous
If you’re in crisis, you can reach out to a hotline that meets your needs to get help right away:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- The Trevor Project
- Veterans Crisis Line
- Trans Lifeline
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
- StrongHearts Native Helpline
- Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline
- National Sexual Assault Hotline
What does a crisis look like?
- intention to self-harm or harm others
- suicidal thoughts or intentions
- experiencing an episode of mania or psychosis
- any point in time you think you need medical help, can’t be alone, or feel like a danger to yourself
You can reach out to someone you trust, a psychiatric care facility, or your local emergency room in case of an emergency. Consider putting together a crisis action plan.
Depending on your circumstances, calling 911 should be considered with caution. If you do decide to call 911, NAMI recommends you specify it’s a mental health crisis and request a crisis intervention training officer.
The right therapist is out there for you. We hope these resources help you find one who works for your specific needs.
Remember that you don’t need to have a mental health condition to seek therapy. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so consider reaching out if you need the support.