Tips for Choosing a Psychotherapist:
Indirect Referral Sources

Other sources for referrals can be found by advertisments. Web searching by Googling keywords will bring you to many therapist web pages and competing online therapist directories. Ads in the yellow pages, local newspapers, and other free community magazines and directories available at restaurants and shops around town are also plentiful. Keep in mind that all these advertisements are designed to catch your attention and do not necessarily provide any assurance that the person is qualified, experienced or reputable.

If you have the time and intererst, attending public lectures, presentations or workshops offered by therapists in the community, is another way to get introduced and learn about a practitioner's personality or practice style.

Psychotherapist directories or referral services may at first appear to be a good way to find help, but they typically only give out names of therapists who have paid a marketing fee to the company or get a commission for making the referral.

Also, if you call an agency or large group practice for a referral, you may be assigned to a therapist solely on the basis of who has an opening in their schedule.

If you have a health insurance plan with preferred benefits for an "in network" provider, you may get referred to a therapist selected solely because their zip code location is nearest to yours. You may also find that a therapist in your provider network is restricted to the kind and number of sessions allowed, due to contractual limitations of managed care network agreement.

After asking around, you may find that the same person is recommended from several different sources of referrals. That may be a good sign that you have found someone competent. But, are they compatible? Regardless of which method you ultimately use to get a particular therapist's name, it is essential to follow up with a personal interview. Only then can you better assess for yourself if working with this person is a good match for your needs and the right therapist for you.