How to Find a Therapist in New York City: The Ultimate Guide
New York City's fast-paced lifestyle is one reason so many people are drawn here.
You hustle to work in the morning, brave the subway to meet your friends for dinner, and if you’re lucky, squeeze in a quick workout before bed.
Somehow, you also find time to get your laundry done, pick up some groceries, and catch up with that relative you haven’t spoken to in forever.
By the end of the day, you’re exhausted – and you realize you never got around to googling those therapists your friend recommended.
Here at KMA Therapy, we know how valuable your time is – and we know how to help you find the right therapist fast.
For over 14 years, we’ve been helping our clients find the best therapist for their goals, needs, and personality to thrive in their life and relationships.
We’ve compiled our Ultimate Guide to Find a Therapist in New York City to help you find the therapist that fits your lifestyle, budget, and goals.
After reading this article, you’ll know what to consider when researching therapists, and how to quickly find the best therapist for you.
4 Criteria for Finding a Therapist in New York City
Before you choose a therapist, you need a good list of options. To make your search more effective, here are four things you should know when searching for a therapist.
1. How Do You Want to Pay for Therapy?
Whether you have an insurance policy that covers in-network therapists, or you’re looking to pay out of pocket, the cost of therapy will be a big factor in deciding which therapists you can see.
If you’re paying out-of-pocket, explore sliding-scale therapy options – where therapists will adjust their fee based on your income.
If you’re paying with insurance, ask your provider:
- If your insurance covers out-of-network therapists
- How much of the therapy cost your plan will reimburse
- If you have a deductible (an amount you need to pay yourself) before coverage starts
Remember that HMO, Tricare, Medicare, and Medicaid do not cover services for out-of-network mental health costs.
Everyone’s budget and insurance plan is different, so do your research to find what works for you.
Now that you know what you can afford to spend on therapy, it’s time to explore what type of therapist you want to see.
2. What Type of Therapist Do You Want to See?
The three most common types of therapists in New York are Psychologists, Mental Health Counselors, and Clinical Social Workers.
Psychologists can diagnose and treat people with a range of mental health conditions. Psychologists undergo years of training and often have more specific and extensive expertise. However, they often also charge higher fees than other therapists.
Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC)
An LMHC is a therapist with a Master’s level of education. They often have specific areas of expertise, like relationship counseling, counseling for anxiety and depression, and other mental health issues. They tend to charge lower rates than psychologists.
Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW)
An LCSW will have similar experience as a mental health counselor, and often charge a similar fee. They may be the easiest to find, as there are more Licensed Clinical Social Workers in New York than other types of therapists.
If you are looking for medication, you will need to see a Psychiatrist. Many people see a therapist and a psychiatrist at the same time – read our article What Type of Therapist Should I See to explore if this would fit for you.
After choosing what type of therapist to see, you’ll want to consider what type of therapy you’re interested in doing.
3. What Type of Therapy Do You Want to Do?
While your therapist will help you choose what’s best for you, if you’re interested in a specific type of therapy, this can help you narrow down your search.
Common types of therapy include:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works by helping you to gain control over the thoughts and feelings you have daily.
If you normally have negative thought patterns, CBT can help you rewire this into more positive cognitions.
It can be a great choice if you enjoy having tangible goals, are interested in gaining and applying new skills to your life, and have specific behaviors or feelings you’d like to change.
Existential Therapy investigates your values and sense of self. It challenges you to explore ways to live a more meaningful life.
It’s a relationship-driven form of therapy that focuses on how your personal choices impact your life.
It can be a great choice for you if you’re seeking to find meaning in life, looking to find a greater sense of self, or are experiencing anxiety related to death.
Psychodynamic Psychotherapy emphasizes how your past experiences can impact your present life.
It can help you resolve difficult emotions from past experiences, like healing from hard relationships or overcoming traumatic experiences.
It may be a great choice for you if you have a lot of unresolved feelings about past situations and are looking to understand more about how your past could be influencing your current behaviors.
Explore our Therapies page if you’re interested in learning more about the different types of therapy available to you.
4. Do You Have Any Specific Qualities You’d Like in a Therapist?
It’s important to have a therapist who understands you and who can challenge your thought patterns while understanding who you are as a whole person.
Many clients may find it helpful to see a therapist who has similar lived experiences to them, for example seeing an LGBTQ+ therapist, or seeing a therapist who has a similar cultural background.
You may also prefer seeing a therapist who has the same gender identity as you, or who is around the same age as you.
Everyone’s therapy experience is different, so it’s also okay if you don’t have any of these preferences! Be mindful of what you want and make it your priority – you don’t have to settle for a therapist who doesn’t check your boxes.
Where to Find a Therapist in New York City
Now that you know what kind of therapist you’re searching for, the next step is to start looking.
There are many places you can find a new therapist, ranging from referrals to independent research.
Here are three great places to start:
You’ll hear this one a lot, and that’s because it works.
PsychologyToday allows you to search for therapists by their location, so you can find someone great who is close to you.
You can filter therapists by gender, age, insurance, and more.
You’ll get an extensive list of therapists, along with their qualifications, areas of expertise, and endorsements from previous clients.
Most importantly, you’ll be able to see if they’re accepting new clients or if there’s a waitlist, so you’ll know whether you want to spend time reaching out to them.
2. Your Insurance Provider
If you have mental health insurance through work, check out your insurance provider’s website.
They’ll offer a list of in-network therapists who will take your insurance.
You can even take some names from this list and research them on PsychologyToday to get more information.
3. Ask for Referrals
Sometimes, all you have to do is ask to find a great therapist for you.
When finding referrals, try:
- Asking your doctor or another healthcare provider
- Asking online (Reddit has threads on great therapists in NYC)
- Asking a friend or family member to ask their therapist for other recommendations
Ready to start your therapy journey? Read How to Reach out to a Therapist in NYC.
Next Steps for Starting Therapy in New York
After reading this article, you know what criteria to look for when choosing a therapist, and where to look when finding the best therapist for you.
Here at KMA Therapy, we know choosing a therapist is one of the most important steps on your therapy journey.
We’re here to help make that step even easier.
In your first session with us, you’ll meet with one of our talented introductory therapists, discuss what brought you to therapy, receive a customized therapy plan, and get matched with the best therapist for you.
Connect with our team if you have any questions about the therapy process.
Book your introductory appointment today, or read these articles to keep learning:
- To learn more about what your first session will look like, read: What to Expect in a Therapy Introductory Appointment
- If you’re on the fence about your new therapist, read: How to Know if Your Therapist is the Right Fit
- To learn more about why therapy costs what it does, read: Is Therapy Worth the Cost?