7 Tips for Finding a Therapist in Los Angeles

Finding a therapist in Los Angeles can be confusing and sometimes overwhelming. There is an easier way, and it involves making the right connections. By contacting a treatment center and providing basic information, they can connect you with the best therapist. You can spend less time searching and more time focusing on the benefits of treatment.

Finding a therapist in Los Angeles can be overwhelming due to the city’s vast size and numerous options.

This uncertainty and multitude of choices can lead to frustration, especially for those already dealing with mental health challenges. Navigating this process without guidance can feel like an insurmountable barrier to receiving care.

This article provides seven tips for finding a therapist in Los Angeles.

Finding a Therapist in Los Angeles

Finding a therapist in Los Angeles presents a unique challenge due to the city’s sheer size and the overwhelming number of available professionals.

It is not just about locating a therapist; it is about finding the right therapist who meets your specific needs and preferences.

The diversity in therapeutic approaches, specializations, and personal styles can make this search daunting. Additionally, location, availability, and compatibility are crucial in decision-making.

Without proper guidance, it is easy to feel lost and unsure how to proceed. Fortunately, we have several tips to help you get started and keep going until you find the right therapist for your needs.

Here are seven tips for finding a therapist in Los Angeles.

1. Define Your Individual Goals

Setting goals for therapy helps prioritize the areas to work on with a therapist. When defining goals, it is easier to keep them simple and realistic. They should also be measurable to see if you are making progress. If your situation changes, it is okay if you and your therapist change the goals along the way.

To set goals, think about the reasons you are seeking therapy. What is a problem you need help fixing? Remember that you are the only person you can change, so make sure the goals focus on what you can do to improve your situation.

You may want to follow the SMART format for setting goals. The “S” refers to making your goals specific, the “M” to making goals measurable, and the “A” to making goals attainable. The “R” is for making goals relevant, and the “T” is for completing your goals in a specific timeframe.

2. Contact a Mental Health Center

A mental health center in Los Angeles is a network of mental health treatment providers, including psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed therapists, and more. Rather than making calls to multiple individual providers, which can be time-consuming and frustrating, you can connect with the right therapist in one call.

Mental health centers can answer any questions about treatment options, the process, insurance coverage, geographic location, specialties, qualifications, and which providers meet your needs. You can also learn more about online and in-person treatment options and the types of therapies providers use to treat your symptoms.

3. Review Therapist Qualifications

Mental health and substance abuse therapists must have appropriate credentials to provide mental health treatment. You should review the therapist’s qualifications before agreeing to an initial session. Specific criteria of a qualified provider include the following:

  • Master’s degree or higher in social work, psychology, marriage and family, educational psychology, or other professional counseling from an accredited university.
  • Licensure in the state in which they work. Some may have additional certifications in specialty areas.
  • Two to three years of supervised experience as a therapist.
  • Specialty training in treating your symptoms.
  • Volunteering, writing, and research are also ways they use their expertise.

Good therapists are happy to share their credentials and explain how they can help you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You may even ask for referrals from former clients.

4. Consider the Therapist’s Area of Expertise

An area of expertise is a mental health disorder or behavioral treatment where the therapist has extra specialty training and experience. Some therapists’ education focuses on specific rather than general areas, such as social work, substance abuse, or education.

Common areas of expertise include the following:

  • Marriage and family or Couples
  • Eating disorders
  • Addiction
  • Anxiety and depression
  • LGBTQ+
  • Trauma
  • Family
  • Mindfulness
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Many therapists are experts in more than one area, as their extensive training and supervision cover various treatments. You can ask a therapist to explain how they have worked with similar cases to yours in the past, what worked, and what didn’t work.

5. Location Accessibility

Telehealth options are available if you prefer to meet with a therapist online. When you call the mental health center for help connecting with a provider, it’s essential to tell them your preferences.

There are therapists for those who prefer to meet in person or want a hybrid schedule of online and in-person meetings. When connecting with a therapist, double-check their geographic location to ensure you can get to and from appointments at a time that is convenient and not too costly. Factors such as the number of miles away, driving options, and public transportation can affect your decision.

6. Schedule a Consultation

Consultations are opportunities for you to meet your therapist before the first session. They can be done online or in person and are a great way to see if you and the therapist are a good fit. During a consultation, you can get to know each other briefly and discuss expectations of therapy sessions.

After the consultation, you can reflect on whether you feel comfortable, safe, and open to trusting the therapist. Did you think the therapist takes your issues seriously, wants to help you overcome them, and is eager to help you? If so, move forward with the first session. If not, be honest with the therapist and let them know you will seek treatment from a different provider. Therapists realize they may not connect with every person and may even help you find the right one.

7. Ask About Therapy Techniques

The techniques a therapist uses during treatment are what will help you improve skills and overcome mental health symptoms. There are hundreds of techniques, but the most effective include behavioral therapies like the following:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT)
  • Trauma-focused CBT (TF-CBT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Motivational enhancement therapy (MET)
  • Family therapy

Every therapist has a toolbox full of therapy techniques that they adapt to meet your needs. Therapists also collaborate with psychiatrists and other professionals, so you have a team of providers helping you achieve better mental health.

Find a Therapist in Los Angeles

Are you ready to find a therapist in Los Angeles who can create a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs?

The Mental Health Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Towers can help you find a therapist in Los Angeles who is committed to providing a personalized treatment plan.

Contact us today to learn how we can help connect you with a therapist in Los Angeles today.


Finding the right therapist doesn’t have to be complicated, and you don’t have to make such an important decision alone. Let the Mental Health Center help you find a therapist in Los Angeles. Contact us today.