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How to Find a Mental Health Professional

Smiling african american psychiatrist talking to young couple

There are things you can do on your own to improve your mental health, including getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising. Meditation also has proven benefits. It can help reduce stress levels, improve mood and outlook, and even increase your pain tolerance.

But self-care practices aren’t always enough. You may also need other kinds of support or health treatments to address mental health concerns, such as talk therapy or medication. Keep reading for tips on how to find the right mental health professional for your needs.

Note: If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, thinking about suicide, or need urgent emotional support, talk to someone now.

What factors should you consider?

Even if you’ve received a glowing recommendation for a therapist from a friend or family member, consider these factors before you decide to work with someone.

Your concern or condition

Therapists usually treat a range of conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. But you should find one who specializes in your specific concern or condition. For example, if you’re having trouble in your marriage or romantic partnership, a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) has special training in helping couples. If you have a diagnosed mental health condition, such as bipolar disorder, you may need someone with addit