Starting therapy isn’t easy; once you’ve made the decision to go, you then have to find a therapist, which is no small task. As I’ve written previously, finding a therapist isn’t like finding a dentist or a mechanic; how you feel about your therapist has everything to do with how well your therapy will go, which isn’t the case for most people who provide you services.
So if you’re in the market for a therapist, here’s what I recommend:
1. Ask around. If you know someone who’s been in therapy and you feel comfortable doing this, ask who they see and if they like working with them.
Since you may not know anyone who’s seeing a therapist — or at least is public about it — this may not be a viable option. But if you do, having someone you know and trust vouch for a therapist is a huge deal.
2. Psychology Today has a Find a Therapist directory; you can enter your zip code and find a list of therapists in your area. Each therapist’s profile usually includes a blurb about how they work, areas of specialty, fees, and the like. Do a search, find a few who fit your needs and whose profiles resonate with you, and give them a call. Almost every therapist I know in private practice has a profile there.
3. Below is a list of therapists I would recommend. Since I went to school in LA, my list is disproportionately skewed toward Southern California and where my classmates have dispersed around the country, so I apologize if your city/state/entire geographical region is neglected. But for those who do live in these areas, every person on this list is someone I would be willing to see myself.
A few things to keep in mind in the process:
– Just as medical doctors have different specialties and techniques, so too do therapists. It may be helpful, as you look for one, to inquire how they work and if they have experience working with the kind of issue you’re dealing with.
– Since finding a therapist who’s a good fit is so important, you might need to try a few before you find one you like. It can take some time, but many therapists offer free consultations, either in person or by phone, which is helpful. The extra time and effort is worth it.
I wish you the best on your search, and if there’s anything I can do to help, feel free to shoot me an email.
Los Angeles County
Mackenzie Abraham (Hermosa Beach)
Lauren Ahlquist (Santa Monica)
David Choi (Santa Monica)
Whitney Dicterow (Los Angeles)
Tara Fairbanks (Santa Monica)
Katie Flores (Pasadena)
Michelle Harwell (Eagle Rock)
Gary Hayashi (South Pasadena)
Martin Hsia (Glendale)
Peter Huang (Pasadena)
Jennifer Kung (Los Angeles)
Broderick Leaks (Glendale)
Eunice Lee (Alhambra)
Hanna Lee (Cal Poly Pomona Student Health and Counseling Services*)
Angela Liu (Pasadena)
Jennifer Shim Lovers (Pasadena)
Jeremy Mast (Ventura)
Shauna McManus (Pasadena)
Nikki Rubin (West LA)
Ani Vartazarian (Los Angeles)
Tim Wong (Santa Monica)
Linda Yoon (Los Angeles)
Jessica Eldridge (UC Irvine Counseling Center*)
Lindsay Golden (Newport Beach)
Negar Shekarabi (Lake Forest)
David Wang (Fullerton)
Hana Carmona (UC Riverside Counseling Center*)
Jennifer Hung (UC Riverside Counseling Center*)
Loretta Mead (UC Riverside Counseling Center*)
Ya-Shu Liang (Fresno State Student Health Center*)
Katie Byron (Redwood City)
Jennifer Chen (Oakland)
Sharon Coles (Oakland)
Sarah Kasuga-Jenks (Berkeley)
Stephanie Lai (San Francisco)
Danielle Vanaman (Castro Valley)
Chris Waters (The Dalles)
Eunia Lee (Chicago and Lisle)
Tracy Leman (Hinsdale)
Tim Hogan (Plymouth)
Jennifer Tang (Ann Arbor)
Grace Wong (Southfield)
Dan Zomerlei (Grandville)
Sam Lee (Austin)
Ryan Spencer (Austin)
Jenny Wang (Houston)
* Therapists working at university counseling centers can be seen only by students enrolled in that university.