Illustration of woman riding bike, wondering, “how to get a therapist?”

Questions About Therapy:

How to Get a Therapist

Maybe you’ve been thinking about getting involved in personal growth work for a while or maybe you’ve been having a bit of a tough time recently and decided that you might benefit from therapy. Congratulations! This is a huge first step. Things are going to get really exciting from here. 

The fact that you’ve decided to get involved in therapy is evidence that you’re already going in a new direction. The good news is that there is no shortage of options for types of therapy and types of professionals offering personal growth work. The less good news is that it can feel really overwhelming to find a therapist (especially a good therapist) who has both the competence, “goodness of fit” factor, and the availability to take on a new client. But don’t worry, I’m your friend in the industry here to help you navigate your options and figure out how to get a therapist.

Throughout this article, I’ll share what I’ve learned over a period of decades in the “therapy world,” so to speak. I’ll share things to be thinking about, where to look for a therapist, how to find the right therapist, potential pitfalls, and more. By the end of this article, you’re going to have a lot more clarity about how to get a therapist. So let’s dive in.

What are your goals for therapy?

Before you search for therapists, having some clarity about what you’d like to talk about in therapy. Having at least a basic idea of what your goals are can be very helpful for informing your search. If you have a pre-existing mental health diagnosis that you know you need help with, for example, the ideal therapist for you is going to have a different background and approach than a therapist that specializes in helping you with your career.

Before you even start your first Google search, ask yourself some basic questions:

  • What, specifically, am I seeking therapy for?
  • Does my core concern seem like a mental health issue?
  • Am I (currently) more concerned with my own individual needs? Or are my concerns related to my family and/or romantic partner?
  • What’s my biggest pain point? Is it figuring out what to do with my career? Feeling more secure with myself? Or my relationship with my partner?

Your answers to these questions will help you narrow your search down considerably. If you have a mental health diagnosis, you can tack that on to your “how to get a therapist” Google search, in order to increase the chances of finding a therapist who specializes in the treatment of that specific issue. 

But in addition to having different areas of practice, there are also different kinds of therapists with substantially different types of education, training and professional experience. Professional credentials are a shorthand way of communicating how therapists specialize in different things, and it’s important to find one with expertise in your concern.

For example, if you’re looking for help to improve your relationships you can look for marriage counseling or even dating coaching with a therapist or coach who has a background in marriage and family therapy. This means that, compared to other “generalist” therapists, they specialize in relationships.

Similarly, if you’re seeking help with a substance use disorder, you’ll want to look for a licensed addictions counselor. Here is more information that I put together for you about “How to Find a Good Therapist,” and “How to Find a Good Marriage Counselor” with a run down of the different types of credentials, educational experiences, and specialties of different kinds of therapists.

Do you need therapy?

But here’s another curveball for you: Do you need therapy? In my experience, many people seeking to work on themselves, improve their relationships, or create positive changes in their life reflexively seek out “therapy” because that has become the verb for personal growth work. “I’m working on myself, I’m in therapy.” 

But what many (non-therapist) civilians don’t understand is that therapy, aka, “psychotherapy” is a form of healthcare: Behavioral healthcare. Psychotherapy is, at its core, a system for the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. If you want to use your insurance for therapy you’re going to be given a psychiatric diagnosis, and your therapy will be for the purpose of treating your symptoms. You’re the patient. 

Mental health issues are very real, and very common. If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, trauma, or other serious things you absolutely should get into evidence-based therapy. It can really help you.

But a lot of people wanting to get into therapy are not doing so in order to get help, or “treatment.” They want to do therapy in order to work on themselves, figure themselves out, get direction in life, figure out their career, learn and grow, improve their relationships, feel more confident and secure in themselves, develop healthier boundaries, make positive changes in their lifestyle, and more. These are excellent personal growth goals, and definitely worth pursuing. But “therapy” may not be the most direct route or the most helpful path to attain them. 

For example, if you have these kinds of personal growth goals and get involved with a therapist who’s only there to diagnose and “treat” you, they’re going to be focused on what’s wrong with you and how to resolve your “symptoms.” If you don’t have symptoms, digging around for months or years in talk therapy that turns over stones and dredges up the past may not be helpful for you. It’s always kind of interesting to talk about yourself and develop new insights, but insight is not enough to change anything. I’ve worked with many clients that accidentally got involved in insight-oriented talk therapy that made them feel stuck and discouraged, rather than clear and empowered.

That’s why I became a board certified life coach in addition to a licensed psychologist (and licensed marriage and family therapist). I have found, in my practice, that many of my clients benefit from a strengths-based, evidence-based coaching approach than they do from psychotherapy. This is especially true for people who are there to achieve personal growth goals, or have better relationships. This is NOT true for clients who show up with symptoms of depression, anxiety, or trauma. For them, therapy — good, effective, focused therapy — is essential. A coaching approach would be counterproductive, and potentially more harmful than helpful.

So, it’s important to have at least a basic sense of what you’re looking for so that you can get connected with the right type of therapist (or coach) to help you. But I’d also like to validate the fact that many people interested in getting involved in therapy or coaching really and legitimately do not know what “the problem” is, or what, specifically, their goals are for this. 

That is okay! It’s more than okay: It’s normal. I believe that all personal growth starts from a place of dissatisfaction. The moments that we think to ourselves, “I don’t like this. I want this to be different” are the moments that catalyze our growth when they lead to thoughts like, “I need to do something. I think I need to get a therapist.” Yes! Just having those thoughts, and exploring your options, doing your own research and reading articles like this are super helpful and valuable. You’re informing yourself, you’re in the process of getting clarity, and this in itself, is a growth experience. 

Let’s keep going. Not all therapy is the same. Not all approaches are equally beneficial for everyone. Next, let’s talk about how to really figure out what type of approach would be most helpful for you, so that you can connect with the right therapist.

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Therapy vs. Coaching: Symptom Resolution vs. Growth

Generally speaking, therapy works for the resolution of symptoms related to mental health issues, while coaching is for the express purpose of personal growth and attaining goals. There’s a great deal of overlap between therapy and coaching – and some professionals are trained in both – but again, generally speaking, this is the important difference.

So, if you can say with some clarity that your immediate issues are related to your mental health, therapy may be the better choice. If, instead, you’re more focused on improving specific things in your life and achieving your most ambitious goals, coaching might be for you.

Reading about these two possibilities – between improving your mental health and achieving your goals – you might feel torn. You might feel that you’d be better able to achieve your goals if only you were able to go after them with more energy or if you were better able to manage your daily life. Valid! You might want both of these things for yourself, which is fantastic.

But here’s some free advice from a therapist who is also a coach:  If you’re really struggling, you should be in therapy — not coaching.

Whenever I meet with a prospective client who wants to do coaching with me, I ask a bunch of questions in order to determine what’s going on, and what approach would be best for them. The most important thing I’m listening for is the answer to this question, “Are you dealing with something that’s significantly impairing your ability to function?” 

For example, are you…

  • Having trouble getting out of bed?
  • Having trouble sleeping?
  • Feeling anxious to the point where you can’t take action?
  • Doing things that you know are bad for you – but you can’t seem to stop?
  • Feel like painful or scary things you experienced in the past are impacting your present?
  • Feel like it’s difficult to manage your behaviors or emotions to the degree that it’s negatively impacting your relationships, or threatening your job?

If the answer is yes, then you need to deal with that first, and therapy is going to be the best way to do that. Then, once you’re in a better place, you can work on other personal goals. In fact, one way to think about therapy is that resolving your symptoms is the first step to achieving your goals.

When you’re dealing with thoughts, feelings and / or behaviors that are negatively impacting your life in significant ways, it’s the biggest sign that there may be a mental health issue that you need to resolve before you can start working towards more practical life goals. In any case like this, I’d urge you to seek therapy to create a good space for yourself mentally before looking towards coaching for achieving goals.

On the other hand, a more strengths-based coaching approach may be much more helpful and effective for you if you’re dealing with situational factors that are impacting you and causing stress.

For example, same questions, but with the answers I’d hear from a coaching client: 

  • Are you having trouble getting out of bed?
    • Yes, on Monday mornings especially, I dread going to work because I’m so unhappy with my job right now.
  • Are you having trouble sleeping?
    • Not usually, but lately I find myself up late worrying about this situation at work and feeling stressed about it.
  • Are you feeling anxious to the point where you can’t take action?
    • I feel like I might need to find a different job, but I don’t even know if I want to stay in the same industry. It’s overwhelming to figure it out, especially after I put so much time and effort into the education and career path that got me to this point. I have no idea what to do.
  • Are you doing things that you know are bad for you – but you can’t seem to stop?
    • I feel burned out and exhausted after work that I just sit there and watch Netflix instead of doing more productive things. I know I should exercise more but I’m just feeling so drained I can’t even.
  • Do you feel like painful or scary things you experienced in the past are impacting your present?
    • I tried to talk to my boss about how I felt and it didn’t go well. I was at a previous job where there were layoffs, and I am worried that if I am perceived as a “squeaky wheel” my job will be on the line.
  • Do you feel like it’s difficult to manage your behaviors or emotions to the degree that it’s negatively impacting your relationships, or threatening your job?

So, in this case, the imaginary person I’m describing is not dealing with a mental health condition. While they are certainly feeling stressed, anxious, and low, these are actually healthy, appropriate feelings that they need to listen to — not try to make go away. They  need to connect with a therapist who specializes in career coaching, and who can help them figure out an action plan that will carry them to a new, better feeling place and get ahead in their career. They might work on emotional intelligence coaching, career exploration, and/or creating a plan to find a new job. What a disservice it would be to them if they connected with a therapist who conceptualized their feelings as pathological anxiety or depression!

Sometimes bad, hard thoughts and feelings are signs of a mental health issue. For example, people with depression often can’t stop beating themselves up, and they may feel unworthy of love and respect from others. Sometimes bad, hard thoughts and feelings are actually your emotional guidance system telling you that you’re not in a good situation, and that you need to do something about it.

One rule of thumb that I use to help people figure this out is to see to what degree their internal distress is being caused by difficult circumstances, rather than a consistent, negative internal experience that they feel in pretty much every situation. 

For example, if you are functioning well and feeling okay most of the time, but feel bad in certain situations (your relationship, at work, etc,) that’s a sign that you need to make an external change in order to feel better on the inside. These can then become your “goals” and coaching can be a great way to help you start acting more effectively and with greater purpose. Some examples of goals you might be looking toward include things like…

Here is more information about the distinction between therapy and coaching, if you’d like to learn more.

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Assessments Define Goals

If you’re unsure about your goals, or are still trying to sort through all this to figure out what you feel and what you need, don’t worry. Many people are and, actually, the first stage of any good therapy or coaching will be an assessment that will help you figure all these things out.

While we’re on the subject of assessments, you should know that any good mental health professional – therapist, coach, etc. – should offer a first free consultation for a number of reasons. Primarily, you need to be sure that the professional you choose is a good fit for you. So, as you search for the right therapist, be sure to exclude anyone that does not offer a first free consultation.

Find a Therapist With a Thoughtful, Integrative Approach

Then, expect a period of time that you’re working with your therapist to sort through what’s going on and figure out why. Meaningful, effective coaching or therapy is always based on a true, nuanced understanding of your unique situation, life experiences, and complexities. I’m very skeptical of any therapist or coach who advocates for a systematic, cookie-cutter approach that they claim works for everyone (and usually attached to marketing efforts to sell you a course or invest in a package). 

You are not a cookie! You’re a complex, unique individual, and you deserve to have a thoughtful, meaningful experience that helps you heal, grow, and evolve into the best version of yourself. Everyone is different. All of my clients need different things, and even that evolves over time. A good, thoughtful therapist or coach will evolve with you: Changing their approach to meet your needs, given the stage of the work you’re in.

So, given that, one additional thing to consider when you’re trying to get a therapist is to look for one with an “integrative” approach. This means that they are well versed in a number of different therapeutic modalities, and can flexibly draw from the ideas and techniques that will be most helpful to you. For example, I personally, consider myself to be “integrative” in that I may use ideas from cognitive-behavioral therapy, emotionally focused therapy for couples, attachment theory, or a coaching framework, depending on the needs of my clients.

Pro Tip: “Integrative” is different from “Eclectic.” When I meet therapists who say they have an “eclectic” approach, it generally means that they pull together all kinds of techniques and do their own thing rather than utilize a specific modality. It’s haphazard and not connected to a big picture plan. This tends to be less effective than an integrative approach that strategically uses different modalities for intentional purposes, at different states in the work.

It’s Okay To Ask Questions: You’re In Charge

When you’re trying to get a therapist, it can be easy (and common) to think, “Well, they have a degree so they must know what they’re doing,” and become more passive than you should be. This is your personal growth work, your mental health, and your life. I’d like for you to feel empowered to ask questions, and make informed decisions about finding the right therapist for you. 

When you’re trying to find a therapist, I’d encourage you to interview prospective therapists and ask them about the kinds of approaches they use, and what kind of approach they think would be most helpful for you. Look for a therapist who uses a range of evidence-based approaches, who has training and expertise in helping people resolve issues similar to yours, and if you’re not sure whether therapy or coaching is right for you, I’d advise you to find a therapist who offers coaching services. That way, you can talk through everything, they can conduct an assessment, and make personalized recommendations about the best course of action for you. 

Good therapists will usually offer a free consultation meeting so that you can both determine goodness of fit before deciding to move forward with them or not. And lastly, it’s absolutely okay — necessary, even — to cross prospective therapists off your list if it feels like they’re not a good match for your personality. You could connect with the most experienced, educated, credentialed therapist ever… and not like them, personally. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your therapist (or your coach) therapy with them just won’t be helpful. 

Get a therapist that is 1) competent but 2) also someone you can have a good, authentic, and positive relationship with. The quality of your relationship with your therapist or coach is the foundation for everything else in the work, and it matters!

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The Nuts and Bolts of How to Get a Therapist

I hope that the above discussion helped you get a better understanding of the type of therapist you need, the type of work you’d like to do, and some of the questions to consider as you’re vetting a therapist

With that in mind, let’s talk about how to actually connect with a therapist!

Regardless of the type of therapist, coach, or other mental health professional you decide to choose, there are a number of different ways to go about making an appointment with someone. This section will cover the easiest and most popular ways of how to get a therapist.

Doctor Referral

Quite commonly, people find therapists through other medical professionals like an OB-GYN or general practice doctor. 

Especially for people dealing with things like anxiety or depression, their general practitioner is often the first stop. They’re the first point of contact that they might ask, “I’m feeling this way. Do I need medication?” General practitioners may not specialize in mental health in the same way therapists do, but they often have networks of therapists that they work with.

And if you do see your general practitioner and they ask you how you feel, always be as honest as possible with them. You might feel that your mental health symptoms aren’t worth mentioning because they’re not physical per se, but again, your general practitioner will be able to help you in the right direction.

If you’ve got a primary care physician already, you can ask them for a referral for a therapist and they should have a name or even a list of names ready for you. Your doctor may ask for a bit of information about what, specifically, is troubling you – or they might just go ahead and make a referral based on what you tell them. 

Note that this type of therapy will be in the “behavioral healthcare” realm, but if you’re having symptoms to the degree that you’re talking with your doctor about them, this is absolutely appropriate. This avenue works really well for many people, and especially if your doctor is part of a managed care system, it can be very easy to get connected to a therapist in their practice, and through your existing healthcare benefits. You may even be able to meet with your therapist at the same office that you see your doctor. Additionally, with your consent, they may be able to share information about you back and forth, in order to be able to best support you as a team.

Insurance Companies

Many people, especially those who are very concerned about the cost of therapy, find therapists and other mental health professionals through their insurance companies. If you decide to go this route, you can simply call your insurance company or possibly visit their website to see a list of the therapists that work with them.

You should be aware, however, that, like finding a therapist through your doctor, if you use insurance for therapy, it’s quite likely that the entire course of your treatment will be affected by this decision. (i.e., it will be “treatment.”)  In order for therapy to be covered by insurance, your therapist will have to make a formal diagnosis, disclose it to your insurance company, and then declare that the purpose of your sessions is to treat that diagnosis. 

Of course, this can be totally fine and it may be exactly what you’re looking for. Going this route, however, may close off certain options and avenues for your personal growth. Especially if you’re seeking therapy to attain goals, attending sessions that are explicitly for the purposes of treating a mental health diagnosis may not be particularly helpful.

For example, if you want to talk about your relationship or your career and your counselor keeps trying to steer the conversation back to some sort of dysfunction that you’re not even particularly sure that you suffer from, that is not helpful. So once you’re coming from a better place, you may benefit from a growth professional that appreciates, recognizes, and empowers you. If this is what you’re looking for, you might not find it from someone who accepts insurance.

Referral from Friends, Family, Coworkers, and/or Acquaintances

If you know someone who is either currently in therapy or has been in therapy previously, you might think to ask them for a referral – provided that their therapist is competent and effective. For many people, seeing a therapist based on a referral from someone they know might be more comfortable than seeking out an entirely unknown professional.

However, this idea of seeking out a referral from someone you know comes with a very important caveat. Conflicts of interest arise when a therapist sees two people who are very important in each others’ lives simultaneously. For example, if you and your close friend see the same therapist and frequently talk about each other to that therapist, it affects everyone involved. Ethical, competent therapists know to avoid situations like this. For this reason, you won’t want to waste your time booking an appointment with the therapist that currently sees your significant other, mother, or best friend, for example — they’ll refer you out.

Online Search

We use Google to find recipes, movie theaters, and pretty much everything else – it shouldn’t surprise you that Google is one of the best ways to find therapists, too. The one drawback of searching for a therapist online is that you’re doing the search yourself. With an online search, the responsibility of narrowing down your search criteria is on you. Some people find themselves paralyzed by the huge variety of options that online searches offer, too. This is one good reason why trying to gain some clarity about your goals before your search – as discussed in the beginning of this article – can be so helpful.

Clarity about your goals – whether they be something more mental health related like symptom resolution or more personal growth related like improving relationships or career – can help guide you to choose the correct keywords. 

As we talked about at the very beginning of this article, you will find no shortage of options for whatever you’re looking for. For this reason, it helps to be as specific as possible. To help inspire you in your online search, take a look at some examples of what you might search for:

You might notice that these search terms are not grammatically correct and they might not even make sense to you. That’s OK! Just give Google as much relevant information as you can and you might be amazed by what it gives you back.

Then, settle in to do some research. Dig deep, go past the first page of search results, and read the fine print in order to understand what type of therapist you’re looking at, their qualifications, training and credentials, and how they might be helpful to you.

Read on for a quick tutorial on how to vet potential therapists (or coaches).

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Vetting Potential Therapists

It should go without saying that your choice of who to do therapy with is critical. The difference between a competent, effective therapist and a bad therapist could be the difference between beautiful personal growth and possibly even personal decline. In the worst cases, unethical therapists take advantage of their clients, push their own personal beliefs on them, or just charge them huge sums of time and money for no results. Obviously, you want to avoid this. You want to find a good therapist. 

That means you need to vet potential therapists.

The ideal therapist for you is going to meet a number of criteria. In this section, we’ll list the most important criteria before briefly explaining each of them. Without further ado, here is the list of the most important criteria that your ideal therapist will meet:

  • Education from reputable institutions
  • Training in relevant fields
  • Experience working with clients
  • Utilization of evidence-based approaches

These criteria may seem self-explanatory, but actually there are some important landmines you’ll want to avoid in the minefield of unqualified therapists. For that reason, we’ll start diving into each listed criteria.

Education from Reputable Institutions

First of all, you need to be aware that the simple fact that someone is a therapist or coach does not necessarily mean that they have any real, solid education. The field of “coaching,” particularly, is unregulated. This means that anyone can call themselves a coach and start seeing clients without any education – at all.

Additionally, there is no shortage of “educational institutions” these days that give out diplomas so easily that attaining one isn’t necessarily impressive or indicative of any real knowledge or skill. Trust me, I interview a lot of therapists interested in joining our practice, and am dismayed by the number of applicants with master’s degrees from online schools that did not prepare them well.

I have also had professional colleagues who have taught (briefly) at some of these for-profit, online schools that offer a master’s degree in counseling, and have heard some troubling things about both their programs and the competence of their graduates. One thing I really appreciate about high-quality, accredited counseling programs is that the faculty is dedicated to professional ethics, and serve as professional gatekeepers as well as educators. (This is a good thing). 

So when you’re looking into potential therapists, make sure you verify their educational background and do a bit of research to ensure that they studied at legitimate, accredited (APA, COAMFTE, or CACREP) institutions.

Training in Relevant Fields

As mentioned just above, there is huge variability between educational institutions. Some programs that produce therapists require large numbers of hours before graduation; others have no such requirements. Training of this nature will involve supervision from experienced individuals and can be extremely valuable for budding therapists. You’ll want to make sure that anyone you work with has had substantial training.

Experience Working with (Similar) Clients

Although it’s totally fine to give a new therapist a shot as long as they seem knowledgeable and enthusiastic about helping people, you’ll want to seek out a therapist that does work with your specific situation, at the very least. For example, if you’re dealing with depression, you should find a therapist that frequently treats depression.

Utilization of Evidence-Based Approaches

One of the first things you should ask potential therapists is how they would approach your situation. While there are a variety of different approaches that might be effective for any individual situation, what you’re looking for is the utilization of evidence-based approaches.

Believe it or not, there are many therapists out there with their own unique spiritual beliefs that try to push their ideology on their clients, assuring them that it is the cure. Then, there are all sorts of other therapists and coaches that just kind of wing it with their clients.

The best, most effective and ethical therapists, however, use evidence-based approaches. This means that they utilize methods and approaches that have been backed up by science. For example, CBT (aka Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is a known evidence-based technique used by competent therapists because of its proven efficacy over a long time period.

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First Free Consultation

As I mentioned above, you should consider a first free consultation as mandatory for any therapist you even consider working with. The truth is that even if you find a therapist with great education, training, skills, and approaches – you still won’t know if it’s a good fit for both of you until you meet and talk. To really give yourself the best shot at finding your ideal therapist, you can even consider the first free consultation as part of your vetting process.

During your first free consultation, you can ask the professional the professional you meet more detailed questions. Most importantly, you can advocate for yourself. Be upfront with why you’re seeking therapy and what you hope to get out of it. 

Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion and if something feels off, trust your instincts.

Managing Expectations

Any personal growth work with a professional should be looked at as a process. You’re not going to go into your first session with major issues and come out “cured.” Any meaningful growth will take time. Still, though, you should have an idea of whether or not it feels right with the therapist you choose fairly quickly. If it’s a good fit, you should feel that something productive is taking place.

If you’re seeking therapy for mental health reasons, you can know that a competent therapist should be able to provide some relief to your symptoms inside of 8-10 sessions.

Getting a Therapist Online

These days, many people are finding that working with a therapist online can be just as beneficial as meeting one face-to-face. In some cases, results from online therapy are even superior to its in-person counterpart. Some of the reasons that online therapy can be so effective include:

  • Accessibility: Anyone with an internet connection can start online therapy very quickly. This is especially useful for people in more rural areas as well as those who travel a lot.
  • Consistency: The ability to meet in a virtual space means that you don’t have to be in the same place at the same time on a week-to-week basis. 
  • Comfort: Having sessions from the comfort of your own home can actually help you feel more comfortable and facilitate deeper, more intimate conversations.

These are just a few of the top reasons that make online therapy effective. Please understand, however, that if you choose to find a therapist online, you should go through the same vetting process outlined earlier in this article. The online space is rife with ineffective “professionals”. Similarly, while an online video call can be as beneficial as meeting face-to-face, conducting therapy via text or chat might not be such a good idea.

Beware the “Therapist Mill” Online Platforms

There are tons of online platforms that now offer “therapy” via texting and online chatting. These options might seem attractive to people for some of the same reasons that online therapy is attractive in general – accessibility, consistency, and comfort, most notably. However, there are some things you should know about these online platforms.

Some online platforms like this make the vetting process difficult or even impossible. They scoop up any willing “therapist” they can find to service hundreds or even thousands of clients. They are not picky about things like whether a therapist came from an accredited program, the type of therapy they provide, or whether or not they are a wierdo. This lack of a vetting process makes the chances of connecting with a really good therapist on these platforms a little dicey. If you can’t vet your therapist personally before moving forward with them, I’d stay away.

Furthermore, the huge demand for therapists on these online platforms means that they often have enormous caseloads. Especially if they’re dealing with clients via text and chat, they’re able to carry on “therapy” all day long with countless people simultaneously! Obviously, nobody can do this. It’s cutting and pasting basic advice and responses all day long. This is sold to consumers as therapy or coaching, but it’s absolutely nothing like having a relationship with a therapist who knows you, and who has the time and energy to provide you with meaningful and authentic assistance.

All of this is not meant to discourage you from seeking therapy online, but to warn you to exercise caution when seeking out therapy, in general. After all, your mental health and personal growth is at stake here. You deserve the very best.

You’re on the Right Path!

We’ve talked about a lot of different things and I genuinely hope that this article has been helpful for you in narrowing down your seemingly endless options. Whether or not you’re still feeling overwhelmed or confused, though, I want to give you my sincere encouragement: You’re doing a great thing by seeking help. 

Whether you’re hoping to resolve mental health symptoms, wanting to improve your relationships, or seeking help in achieving your goals (or all of the above!) you’re making the right choice to invest in yourself. Working on yourself is courageous and noble. It’s what smart, healthy, happy people do. (That’s why they’re so healthy and happy!) So keep going. 

Learn everything you can, do your own research, and ask questions. You are in charge of this, you can advocate for what you need, and knowledge is power. The effort you put into getting a therapist, coach, or other professional specializing in growth work — and connecting with the right one — is valuable and important. It can literally change the trajectory of your life! 

Your partner in growth, 

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

P.S. If you have more questions about the logistics of therapy and how all this works (and I hope you do!) I’ve put together a ton of hopefully helpful articles for you in the links below. Of course, if you have questions specific to you and your situation, you can also just get in touch with us by phone, email or chat. You can also get some quick help and a feel for what coaching is like through our one-time solution sessions. We’re here to help! 

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It has been life changing already. I was on the fence for a long time and let myself get too far past where I should have originally seen someone. I wish I had done this sooner.
— Therapy Client

The therapists and life coaches of Growing Self have specialized education and training and years of experience in helping people achieve their personal and professional goals. We use only evidence based strategies that have been proven by research to help you get clarity and direction, have better relationships, feel happier, and design your ideal life.

This website is devoted to your wellbeing, and offers loads of free information and actionable advice that you can start using today to create positive change in your life. Browse around to meet our experts, get free advice on our blog, listen to a podcast, or take our “How Healthy is Your Relationship” quiz.

Or, if the time is right, you can schedule a free consultation with any of us to talk about your situation — and, most importantly — your hopes for your future.

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Therapy Questions, Answered.

Our expert therapists have generously created an entire library of articles, activities, and podcasts to support you on your journey of growth. Please visit our “Happiness Collections” to browse our content collections, and take advantage of all the free resources we have for you. Or, if you’d like to educate yourself about the process and logistics of therapy, please help yourself to our “therapy questions” knowledge base below. It’s all for you!

Wondering if your issues going to work themselves out, or is it time to talk to a professional? Here’s how to tell when it’s time for therapy.

Great therapy can feel like magic, but it’s actually not. Learn how meaningful and effective therapy works.

What is therapy like? Learn what happens in therapy in order to feel empowered and confident.

There are many different kinds of therapists and many different types of therapy. What kind of therapist do you need? Find out!

Not sure what to talk about in therapy? Here are some tips to ensure you get the most out of your therapy sessions.

How to prepare for your first therapy appointment, and learn what to expect in therapy sessions.

What’s the difference between coaching and therapy? Find out which approach is right for you.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the “gold-standard” of effective, evidence-based therapy. Learn about CBT.

How does talking about something help you make changes? Or… does it? Learn the pros and cons of traditional talk therapy.

Effective therapy is life-changing, but some therapy is a waste of time and money. Evidence-based therapy makes the difference.

Not all therapists are the same. Learn how to find a good therapist (and spot the warning signs of a bad one).

Therapy For Healthy Relationships

Working with a true relationship expert helps you learn, grow, love, and be loved.
Learn about our approach to helping you build healthy relationships.

Online therapy is just as effective but even easier than in person therapy. Here’s what to expect from good online therapy.

Explore your options for a Denver therapist who specializes in personal growth and healthy relationships.

Ready to try therapy? Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to get a therapist who is competent to help you.

Curious to know more about what working with us is really like? Browse Growing Self reviews / “best online therapy reviews” from our clients.

Good therapy is priceless, but not all therapy is valuable. Learn the cost of therapy that’s affordable and effective.

Yes, insurance covers therapy… but only sometimes. Learn when (and how) health insurance covers therapy, and when it doesn’t.

If you have a loved one who is struggling in their relationship, you can help them get help by “gifting” therapy. Here’s how…

Losing a relationship is uniquely painful and challenging. With the right support, you can heal, grow, and move forward. Learn about our divorce and breakup recovery services.

We’re available by phone, email and chat, and happy to answer any of your questions personally. Get in touch, anytime.

Start your journey of growth today. Get personalized recommendations, and have a free consultation meeting with the therapist of your choice.