So you need a therapist?
Seriously, taking the step to decide that you want to go to therapy is a HUGE deal. There is still a huge stigma surrounding mental health and therapy, especially in the black community. Therefore, I congratulate you on taking a step for you.
Now, you have no idea how to find one? I’m glad I’m here to help!
I found my therapist about four years ago when I graduated from college. Even though I already had a depression and anxiety diagnosis, I stilled hemmed and hawed on whether or not I wanted to go to therapy. Now I know it is one of the best decisions I ever made.
However, finding a therapist is not easy! Especially if you are looking for a therapist that specializes in certain things. For example, I knew I wanted my therapist to be black, a woman, and Christian. I live in Connecticut so I thought that would never happen but I found her!
Finding your perfect fit may take some time, but it is possible. If finding a therapist seems daunting, check out my tips below on how to find the best therapist for you and how to know you found your perfect fit.
Therapy for Black Girls
I have to start with this resource because it’s just too gold. Therapy for Black Girls is an amazing website that specializes not only in finding you a therapist but also in giving you amazing guidance in your everyday life via their podcast and blog. Their website is just a beautiful space for black women to feel safe. In order to find a therapist via their website, just click “Find Therapists” at the top of the page, follow the prompts, and BOOM! You are presented with a list of qualified therapists in your area. There even is an option for virtual visits right now! Once you click on a therapist, you are presented with their small bio and information. They even have what insurance they accept! Even if you are just looking for a great mental health resource for black women without wanting a therapist, Therapy for Black Girls is for you!
This is actually how I found my therapist! At the time she was listed on the last page so I am so happy I clicked all the way through! I do have to say that Psychology Today does not feature (at least in my area) as many therapists of color, so if that is a major requirement for you, I would probably check out Therapy for Black girls first. However, this is still a great resource to use, especially if you are looking for a male therapist. If you click “Find a Therapist” at the top of their page, you can enter your location and be presented with a list of therapists in your area. Similar to Therapy for Black Girls, when you click on a person you are interested in, you will see their small bio and what insurance they accept! Psychology Today will have MANY people from you to choose from so don’t feel overwhelmed. Take your time, apply some filters, and click through!
Your Insurance Website
I honestly think this is the best thing on insurance websites. If you only want to see a therapist in your area that you know carries your insurance, I would go straight to your insurance website first. Many of them feature a “Find a Provider” section where you can enter what you are looking for, and be presented with a list of therapists in your area. Insurance is very important if you have it, so finding a therapist that accepts your insurance is equally as important. Similar to Psychology Today, you may be presented with a really long list and you may not have the option to sort by nationality. However, finding a therapist takes time, so be patient in your search and don’t give up!
How Do I Know They Are My “Perfect Fit”
Once you have found a therapist and have an appointment, you probably wonder “well how do I know if this is MY therapist?” And the answer is annoying and simple.
You kind of just know.
Before I met my Perfect Fit, I had another therapist a few years prior, who I thought was great until she wasn’t. Not only was she extremely judgmental, but she also randomly stopped contacting me and left me without a therapist right after I received my depression diagnosis. While I was seeing her, she also would not provide notes and documentation to my school so I could receive extra support on my hard days.
However, when I met my current therapist, from day 1 there was a very big difference. Over time, she has proven to be kind, supportive, ethical, moral, and goes above and beyond for me as a client within ethical standards. I never have to question if she will miss an appointment and not call me and I never have to worry about my growth and goals because we communicate about them often.
When you meet your Perfect Fit, you will know in your gut that that is where you are supposed to be. You won’t feel weird over time, you will feel comfortable. You won’t feel like you need to hide parts of yourself, you will feel open and able to be yourself freely. You will truly just know. And when you know, it’s a wonderful feeling.
So again, congratulations on wanting to take a step to improve your mental health! I pray that this process is a fulfilling one, that you find your Perfect Fit, and that you truly gain all that you desire on your therapeutic journey.