Searching for a therapist

Advice on searching for a therapist on your own

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Step 1: Start by searching online directories and your insurance company's website

Start by visiting, an online 'Yellow Pages' for therapists. You can filter based on factors such as your need, insurance and location, and send therapists messages through the website. *PRO TIP*: It takes on average 8 phone calls to get one response. This is because many private practice therapists are full and/or don't have the administrative capacity to return phone calls when they are busy. Be persistent. Contact more therapists than you think is necessary in the first round of outreach.

You can also visit your insurance company's website. Note that you could also call your insurance company, but usually their websites have the same information that the call center representatives can access.

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Step 2: Tell Your Story

Tell your story: Your story will motivate people to help. Please highlight it in the voicemails you leave and the emails you send. It may be uncomfortable to share with a stranger, but the more details you can share about the issues you are facing and your life story, the more someone will feel compelled to help.

If it is helpful in your self search, we would be happy to email you the text that you submitted in our form. Just email us at




Step 3: Use Networks and Don't Take No For a Final answer

Use networks: Even a therapist who does not have availability may be willing to send your story to therapists in their networks. Most therapists are on multiple listservs, and it is common for anonymous descriptions of clients looking for help to be send on those listservs. If a therapist gets back to you but doesn't have availability, ask if they would be willing to check with their colleagues.

Also, if you can afford to wait a little bit, therapists sometimes maintain waitlists. You could express interest in getting on a therapist's waitlist. Be sure to ask how long the list is and how quickly it moves, on average. If you go this route, we recommend getting on multiple waitlists and checking back every few weeks with the therapist to see how it has progressed.