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 (Redondo Beach)
Whitney Dicterow (Westwood)
Katie Flores (Pasadena)
Robert Glass (Pasadena)
Michelle Harwell (Eagle Rock)
Gary Hayashi (South Pasadena)
Martin Hsia (Glendale)
Peter Huang (Pasadena)
Broderick Leaks (Glendale)
Hanna Lee (Cal Poly Pomona Student Health and Counseling Services*)
Angela Liu (Pasadena)
Jennifer Shim Lovers (Pasadena)
Jeremy Mast (Sierra Madre)
Shauna McManus (Westwood)
Loretta Mead (Whitter)
Ani Vartazarian (Westwood)
Jessica Eldridge (UC Irvine Counseling Center*)
Lindsay Golden (Newport Beach)
Negar Shekarabi (Irvine; also UC Irvine Counseling Center*)
Jennifer Hung (Corona)
Loretta Mead (Riverside; also UC Riverside Counseling Center*)
Ya-Shu Liang (Fresno State Student Health Center*)
Katie Byron (San Jose)
Sarah Kasuga-Jenks (Berkeley)
Danielle Vanaman (Castro Valley)
New York City
Eunia Lee (Naperville)
Tracy Leman (Hinsdale)
Maechi Chue (Troy)
Tim Hogan (Detroit)
Dan Zomerlei (Grandville)
* Therapists working at university counseling centers can be seen only by students enrolled in that university.