Ways to find a therapist

If you want help managing a specific mental-health diagnosis (as I do), or if you need to pay for support using health insurance, then you need a clinical mental-health practitioner — not a coach like me. Here are some suggestions for finding a clinician that works for you.

Ways to find a therapist
A small orange cat reclines next to an iPad with the inclusivetherapists.com homepage, which says "Care from a therapist who gets you" and then has search fields.

Making the most of insurance

If you want or need to pay for therapy using private health insurance, Medicare or your state Medicaid plan, you’re limited to the list of clinicians your plan is willing to pay for, which can be frustrating. To avoid needless heartache, I suggest working in this order:

  1. Start by looking up all the mental-health professionals your insurance plan covers. You can do that by visiting their website or calling the number on the back of your insurance card. It will probably be a very long list that it’s hard to make sense of.
  2. Next, put that long list aside. Now look for therapists you might actually want to work with by asking folks in your communities, searching the directories below, or both.
  3. Now, once you have a few clinicans in mind that might be cool, you can cross-reference them with the list of covered therapists from your insurance. From there, you can schedule consultation calls to find the best “in-network” clinician for you.

Two excellent directories

  • Find an IFS-trained therapist. Tens of thousands of mental-health professionals worldwide have been trained to use the Internal Family Systems approach in their practice. If you like the IFS approach and you need a mental-healthcare provider, an IFS-trained clinician is your best bet. Search the IFS Institute’s directory here to find one who can practice where you are. The directory includes both therapists and non-therapist practitioners like me, so look at the “credentials” section on profiles you find to make sure you’ve got a therapist, not a coach.
  • Find therapists who share your values. If you don’t want to look for IFS-trained therapists specifically, search for a good fit on Inclusive Therapists, the best mental-health practitioner directory I know of. Here again, you can also find non-clinical coaches — including me! — so make sure the professional you find is the kind of clinician you need.

More questions? Not sure if therapy or coaching is right for you? Want a referral for something specific? Just get in touch, and I’ll do what I can to help.