How to Find a Therapist Near Me

Catrina Cowart
Last updated:
Brindusa Vanta, MD, DHMHS
Medical editor
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Catrina Cowart Finding the Right Therapist For YouHow to Find a Good...

  1. Finding the Right Therapist For You
  2. How to Find a Good Therapist
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Finding the right therapist makes a big difference for people seeking support for their mental health. A good therapist makes patients feel comfortable and relaxed. They also help them feel more empowered to take control of their health.


There are steps to finding the right therapist. The right therapist will be licensed in the state, and health insurance will cover their services. They’ll make their patients feel comfortable and assist them on the path to healing. One of the most important factors when choosing a therapist is if they feel right for you.

Whether the services provided are online or off, a good therapist will put in the effort to help their patients grow and learn to cope with their mental health challenges.

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Finding the Right Therapist For You

There are simple steps to help people find the right therapist. First, prospective patients should check with their insurance providers to find out which therapists’ services fall under their healthcare coverage. Another tip is for patients to check the location of the therapist’s office and their office hours.

Patients should also ask prospective therapists what they specialize in. For example, some therapists specialize in cognitive behavioral therapy, while others specialize in eating disorders or family counseling. Selecting a therapist with the right experience and tools may reduce the timeline of the treatment. It can also help the patient make improvements more quickly.(1)

Online Therapy Services

Online therapy services provide resources for people who can’t go to an office or who would rather seek support from home or the workplace. It occurs via video conferences, text messages, mobile apps, email, or other platforms specific to the healthcare provider’s office.(2) Online therapy services support all kinds of mental health concerns, from relationship trouble to stress and depression.

People may choose to go through online therapy instead of in-office therapy because they feel more comfortable at home. Some can’t make it to an office during regular hours but can make time for therapy on their lunch break or while they handle other responsibilities at home. Sometimes, counselors may offer after-hour counseling services via telehealth that would not otherwise be available in person. There are several online therapy providers available, including BetterHelp, Amwell, ReGain, Talkspace, and Cerebral.

Before choosing online therapy services, potential patients need to determine whether it’s covered by their insurance provider. They should also take the time to discuss their condition with their mental health care provider to make sure digital sessions are appropriate. Virtual meetings aren’t always enough to assess or treat certain mental health issues. If the provider believes an in-person meeting would work better, they may require them to work together in the future.

Woman with therapist in the luxury office

In-Office Therapy Services

In-office therapy services take place at the therapist’s place of business. They may have an office within a hospital or in their own clinic. In-person therapy sessions usually take around 45 minutes to an hour when scheduled weekly.(3) In-person therapy has several benefits. The first is that it allows for nonverbal communication. Therapists have an opportunity to read nonverbal cues to learn more about the patient.

The second benefit is that in-office therapy takes place in a neutral location. The location pulls the patient out of their normal surroundings, which can help improve their comfort level. A third reason to consider in-office therapy is that some mental health concerns require in-person support. Certain therapies, such as play or art therapy, work better when used in person.

While there are positive reasons to use in-person therapy, there are also downsides, including longer wait periods, trouble with accessibility, and higher costs. In-person therapy averages $100 per session, and wait periods for in-demand therapists may lead to delays.(3) Some people may also prefer the privacy of online sessions since the stigma of seeing out mental health care could lead to discomfort.


How to Find a Good Therapist

To find a good therapist, it’s important for patients to think about their needs. They should consider the kind of therapy that would work for them, such as relationship counseling or family therapy. Patients should also consider the educational background of the providers and the level of care they’re interested in receiving. For example, a counselor may have a master’s degree in counseling, but a psychologist has a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) in psychology.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors (MD) and are licensed to prescribe medications. In most cases, psychologists don’t prescribe drugs. However, in some states, trained psychologists can be granted the right to prescribe medications. A long education isn’t necessary for all types of therapy, but finding the right person to help is the key.(4)

Seek Out Therapy Options That Meet Your Specific Needs

Before choosing a therapist, people looking for mental health support should identify their specific needs. Not all therapists have the same training or background. They may have different kinds of experience or work with different people.(4) Some counselors may work with children, while others might specialize in working with adults.

Some may offer art or music therapy, while others may focus on couples counseling. The right therapist has experience in the specific area the patient needs help with, whether that’s anxiety, depression, an eating disorder, bipolar disorder, or another mental health disorder.

Family Therapy

Family therapy provides support to family members dealing with a crisis or conflict. Therapists, clinical social workers, and psychologists all work in this area, but patients should look for someone credentialed by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).(5)

Family therapy takes place over the short term. It usually involves only the family members who want to participate. Treatment plans for family therapy vary based on individual needs. Many treatment plans include steps to learn to cope with stress, loss, mental health disorders, substance use disorders, and other common conflicts a family may have to deal with.

Relationship Counseling

Relationship counseling helps people work through problems in their relationships. It can help them learn more about themselves and their partners to gain a better understanding of the situation they’re dealing with. It may also help resolve conflicts or relationship difficulties.(6)

Relationship counseling teaches different ways to resolve conflicts, how to communicate effectively, and more. It supports people in all kinds of relationships, from dating to married couples. LBGTQ+ relationship counselors exist, as do those who work with roommates or housemates in conflict.

Mental Health Therapy

Mental health therapy, or psychotherapy, includes a variety of treatment options that help individuals identify and change behaviors, thoughts, and emotions that lead to problems in their lives. Sessions can take place in person or online, depending on the specific issues the patient has brought to the provider’s attention. You deserve the best possible mental health. Take a mental health test online and take control of your journey today.

People try psychotherapy for many reasons, including learning more about newly diagnosed mental health conditions or having physical symptoms with no real explanation. Some people try psychotherapy when dealing with burnout and stress or supporting loved ones with diagnoses that affect their mental health.

Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, may include cognitive behavioral therapy, an approach to changing self-defeating patterns, or exposure therapy, a way to learn to tolerate uncomfortable situations.(7)

Therapy for Dealing with a Chronic Illness

People living with a chronic illness may have physical or mental symptoms that therapy can help with. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) provide support to those living with chronic and terminal illnesses.(8)

ACT aims to help people accept difficult emotions and get “unstuck” from them, so they can move forward. CBT challenges feelings and thought patterns, focusing on changing them to improve how people feel. ACT and CBT both work in complementary ways, so it’s possible to do both to set expectations and overcome distressing situations and feelings.

Young woman having online session with psychotherapist sitting on sofa at outdoor terrace at home.

Decide Whether You Want Online Therapy or In-Person Talk Therapy

Before patients go to therapy, the first step is deciding if they want it in person or online. Online and in-person therapy has benefits, such as giving the patient someone to talk to and finding a therapist or professional with specific licensing.(9)

People often choose online therapy for its convenience. They don’t have to drive to the therapist’s office or take extra time away from work to attend a session during office hours. Instead, they log in from anywhere and may fit a session during a lunch break or when a therapist has late hours.

They may also choose online therapy because of the privacy it provides. Instead of going to the office location, they can do their sessions in the privacy of their own home. Online counseling offers protection through the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) so patients maintain their right to privacy.

Sometimes, people choose to go to the office to see their therapists instead. Some people may appreciate seeing another person for a short time or prefer breaking away from their normal day-to-day activities to go to a therapy session.

In-person therapy also works better for certain treatment plans, such as those that require more intensive care. Therapists working with patients in person have an opportunity to observe their patients more closely, which can give them more insight in some cases.(10)

Online and in-person therapy offer similar benefits. Studies have found that teletherapy is as effective as in-person sessions, making the choice of therapy to participate in up to the client.(10)

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