How do I find a therapist near me?

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Photo by Victor Garcia on Unsplash.

Are you looking for therapy in Austin?  Yes?

In that case, the answer to your question is fairly simple.

Pick up a stone, throw it in any direction.  Chances are good it may hit a therapist.  Why?

(Unnecessary sidebar: please don’t actually throw stones at people.)

Well, Austin is a pretty great place to live, honestly.  Not that I’m biased or anything, of course.

But seriously—last I checked, there were more therapists per capita here than in many other major metropolitan cities in Texas.  And the Austin therapeutic community is incredibly diverse.

For trauma recovery, we have EMDRIA – that’s the EMDR International Association—based in Austin.  EMDR is a powerful form of trauma recovery and its international headquarters is here.

So if you’re looking for EMDR therapy in Austin, you’re set.  There are hundreds of therapists in town who can offer that!

We have a community that is incredibly sophisticated in its practice of trauma recovery.  In addition to having EMDRIA here in town, we also have a huge community of trauma-sensitive IPNB-happy therapists studying IFS, NARM, TBRI, and all other manner of alphabet-soup theories that, in spite of my joking, are actually cutting-edge ways of working with trauma and attachment.

Okay, I’m done bragging about my therapeutic community for now.  Back to the matter at hand.

How do I find a therapist near me?

Let’s go beyond the obvious, googling “find a therapist near me.

Well, actually– if you haven’t already done that, go ahead—

Google will pull up a few enterprising therapists who’ve managed how to set up a Google My Business profile for their business.  That can give you a starting point.

But beyond that, here are a few other strategies to try:


Therapist directories.

Like a phonebook, but just for therapists, you can run searches for therapists by zip code, for therapists offering a certain fee, therapists accepting a specific kind of insurance, for therapists who specialize in a particular concern.

This is a quick and easy way to narrow down your search.  The drawback?

Not all therapists are on directories, and some really great folks whose practices are frequently full may not bother listing their practices.  This is why I suggest following up with step #2, even if you find the names of some pretty great folks just with a therapist directory search.

But for the up-and-coming, enterprising therapists who are more tech savvy, it’s a great place to hang out. 

My favorite therapist directory is TherapyDen.  It’s set up by a therapist, sensitive to social justice concerns and the needs of clients in groups that have been historically neglected or overlooked by the therapeutic community.

A portion of monthly membership fees are earmarked for philanthropies that serve marginalized communities and important causes.

I’m a fan!  Check it out here:

Run an in-depth Google search.

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash.

Many people don’t look past the first page of google when they’re searching for something.  Here’s the thing—depending on what you want to work on, you may be in therapy for a while.

Months, maybe even years.  (Take a deep breath.)

So, given this could be a pretty enduring relationship, or at least a person you might be discussing your sex life with, you’re going to want to be picky with the process.  I know if you’re feeling desperate, you may be inclined to book with the first place that has a spot open.

I really urge you to do your due diligence, though.  And due diligence means you’re thumbing through a few pages of results.  Try to be specific with your search terms, if you can.  Are you looking for support with depression?  Ok.  Let’s get a little more specific:

Is your depression caused by something specific and recent, like the birth of your first baby?  Then you might search using terms like these:

postpartum depression therapy Austin, PPD therapy Austin (we therapists love abbreviations), new mom counseling Austin

or is it a chronic depression you’ve felt off and on since childhood because your parents fought all the time and you tried your best to cope with the stress by being too nice to everybody?

people pleasing therapy Austin, codependency counseling Austin, anxious attachment therapy Austin

The more specific you can be, the more likely you are to find someone who feels like a really good fit, because they specialize.

Don’t fret too much about using really technical terms to search.  I cheated a bit and listed some terms people have used to find me in the past, but remember:  part of our job is to help you find us, which means we try to think about how you talk about your problems.  One of our biggest jobs in outreach is to let you know that we’re here when you’re ready.

Meet us halfway and do a thoughtful google search. You’ll be glad you did.

Attend an initial consultation & trust your gut.

If you found this page and you truly are looking for “a therapist near me” – if you’re not in Austin, sorry, I can’t work with you.

But if you are in Austin, here’s some good news—lots and lots of therapists in this town offer free consultations.

Some by phone, some in person, but lots and lots of folks do this.

Take people up on their offer for free consultations.

Yes, it takes time—but it’s an essential part of the match process.  Perhaps you meet someone and feel quite sure it’s a great fit—fantastic.  Ignore this piece about meeting other folks.

But, if after meeting with someone you don’t feel excited about the prospect of therapy (ok, well, maybe excited isn’t a fair word to use when most of us seek out a therapist for the first time)—if you don’t feel maybe a bit more hopeful or curious after seeing a prospective therapist, try meeting with a few.

It could be that you’re just so down in the dumps that it’s hard to have perspective on things ever getting better.  It might also be that the fit with that first therapist wasn’t so great, or you felt like they didn’t really get you.  Maybe they dropped too many f-bombs, or not enough, or the parking was just so wretched that it simply could never be worth it.

Mediocre therapy is very expensive—in money and in opportunity lost.  You’re worth the extra effort—even if you have to be the one to do it.

I can’t overstate how important your relationship with your future therapist is. 

At the risk of sounding really self-important, let me frame it a different way:  I’ve done close to 10 years of therapy with a handful of different therapists.  They were all different.

I had a couple of not-so-great experiences, mostly earlier in my therapeutic work when I was younger, didn’t know what to expect, and hadn’t trained to be a therapist myself yet.

I can tell you, as the client, how big a difference it made to pair up with someone who really got me.  It’s really not about the training or experience in the end, folks.  Those can help, certainly—but it’s the quality of the relationship that makes the experience effective.

Consider distance therapy.

Do you really need to stick to the whole find a therapist near me thing?

I don’t do teletherapy, but I know many fantastic therapists who do.  Teletherapy, also knowing as distance counseling, is becoming more and more popular.  I’m talking here about working with a therapist via secure, HIPAA compliant webcam for weekly sessions.

I can’t speak to the other platforms that have been cropping up lately that offer therapy via email or text—I know less about those and frankly feel skeptical about what lasting change could come from those brief exchanges but hey, your mileage may vary.

Me, I’m very partial to working with people in person.  I’m used to tracking things very closely in the room, and frankly I would worry about losing details by not being able to see the whole person sitting across from me.

But I’ve heard from more than one therapist that this isn’t necessarily as big a problem as I imagine.  In some cases, the distance has actually made it easier for people to open up!

And if you’re in a rural area and have exactly two therapists to choose from?  (Happened to me when I lived in rural Texas once, and I knew both of them on a professional basis.  Fun times.) 

Teletherapy might make loads of sense there.  Or if mobility or mental health challenges make it difficult to leave the house.  Or there’s a specialist clear on the other side of your state and there’s no other way to see them.

So, sometimes teletherapy can help you link up with a really fantastic therapist, one who otherwise wouldn’t be available to you.  Isn’t technology amazing?

Final thoughts

If you’re annoyed because you were just looking for a therapist and you found this article instead, sorry.

I hope it gave you a few ideas to help you in your search.

I know how it feels to go looking online for a therapist. 

Desperate times call for desperate measures—but you know what?  Things really can change. 

With a willingness to try new things and venture to tender territory with the support of an experienced therapist, things can and do change.  I’ve seen it happen many, many times.

Best wishes to you in your search for a therapist!

And if you’re in Austin and actually looking to work with someone passionate about helping people-pleasers and new moms, drop me a line about scheduling one of those free consultations I mentioned up there.  I’d be happy to sit down with you and see if we make a fit.

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