Tips for Finding a San Francisco Psychologist
There are over 1000 psychologists in San Francisco and probably twice as many social workers and family and marriage therapists.
Finding the right psychologist among so many requires a plan. Here are some suggestions for finding an appropriate and qualified therapist for your particular needs.
Think About What You Need Help With, and Then Ask Around
You probably have an idea about what is bothering you. If you suspect you are experiencing depression, you might want to look for a depression psychologist. Make of list of specific problems that you’re having; for example insomnia, change in eating habits, lack of interest in normal activities, exhaustion, and overwhelming sense of sadness. You’ll want to refer to this list when you interview potential therapists.
The best referrals come from friends, family, doctors, clergy and other people you trust. They’ve had experiences with therapists, directly or indirectly, and know who is qualified and does good work. They also know you and can recommend a San Francisco psychologist who will work well with you.
Search Online Directories
These days, many therapists advertise in directories, which are similar to the Yellow Pages. Directories often provide a wealth of information about each therapist, including specialties, education, biographical information, therapeutic approach, fees, contact information and website address.
Here is a list of recommended online directories for San Francisco psychologists:
- Psychology Today provides listings for psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists and counselors who have been credentialed by the state of California.
- San Francisco Psychological Association allows you to search for local psychologists by problem, type of service (testing, coaching, therapy for individuals, couples, families), language and age group.
- NetworkTherapy is a searchable database of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and marriage and family therapists.
- GoodTherapists features a list of local psychotherapists, mostly psychologists and psychiatrists who practice psychodynamic therapy.
Conduct an Online Search
While directories can be useful tools for finding therapists, an online search will render more results and give you more choices. If you include details about your problem, you will get even more specific results.
For example, you might suspect that your child has ADHD and want to work with an ADHD psychologist who does testing and can provide a professional diagnosis. Rather than looking for someone who includes ADHD in a list of services, you’d like to find a therapist who specializes in ADHD. A targeted search for a therapist with the expertise that you need will help you find a professional who has the specific background and experience you want.
Get Help from Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company is obligated to help you find a therapist in their network of providers. You will probably receive a long list of in-network therapists with instructions to choose from the list. Working through such a list might prove to be difficult. You can also contact a representative from the insurance company and ask for help locating a San Francisco psychologist. They will work with you to find someone. This way you can get personalized assistance.
Screen and Interview Potential Therapists
Locating a therapist is one thing but deciding on the right therapist is another. You’ll do better if you ask questions of a potential therapist. Inquire about the therapist’s experience, treatment approach, training, fee structure, office policies, even success rate! A clear understanding of the therapist’s services, skills and expectations, as well as your own goals, will go a long way towards ensuring a successful collaboration.
Choosing a San Francisco psychologist can be challenging. By taking time to search carefully and select a good match for your needs and your personality, your success in therapy will be greatly enhanced.
Dr. Kenneth Roberson is a San Francisco psychologist with over 25 years of experience. To schedule a free initial consultation, please call 415-922-1122.