One of the best ways to find a therapist is by word of mouth. When another individual has had a positive experience with a counselor, they can share information about the counselor that google or a phone call doesn’t necessarily offer.

Many psychiatrists hear good and bad reports about therapists that their patients see. Because of this, your psychiatrist can be a great source of help in finding an appropriate referral to a therapist. Generally, they can provide a couple potential referrals, and if those don’t fit your needs, they may likely have more names to offer.

Sometimes the local Mental Health Association or the local inpatient psychiatric hospital will have some referrals to therapists. They may or may not have personal knowledge of these therapists, but probably have a list of names available. Sometimes they offer general referrals to counseling centers and community mental health centers in their area.

Another way to locate referrals are through the professional associations such as the American Counseling Association, or the American Psychological Association. Many agencies such as this offer “Find a Therapist” links through their web page, which consists of those who are members of their associations. There are specialty associations as well. Most of these can be found on the website. Some general and specialty associations that might be helpful are as follows (they will open in new tabs).

If none of these options are available, has a search engine that you can look for therapists and treatment programs by city and state, as well as insurance, price range, if they offer sliding scale, what they provide services for, and if they are currently accepting new patients or not.

One question frequently asked, is how to screen a therapist. We have some thoughts on that. See our page here for some guidelines and questions.