How to Find a PTSD Therapist

Exhausted mid adult man listens to unrecognizable female therapist
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If you're like many people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you may feel unsure about where to find therapists for treating your PTSD symptoms. Depending on the severity of their PTSD, some people may find the search for a PTSD therapist an overwhelming and stressful task.

Fortunately, there are now there are a number of websites with free search engines to help you find mental health providers in your area who treat PTSD. Of course, you'll also need to consider the cost of therapy, insurance, location, treatment orientation, and whether the therapist is a good match.

This article discusses what PTSD counseling is and some popular websites to help you get started in your search for a PTSD therapist.

What Is PTSD Counseling?

PTSD counseling often involves a variety of treatments for PTSD that can relieve symptoms and help people learn coping skills to better manage their symptoms. In addition to medications, mental health professionals may utilize different types of psychotherapy such as cognitive processing therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR), and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT).

If you have symptoms of PTSD, you should start by talking to a doctor or mental health professional to determine which type of treatment may be most effective for your specific situation. You might also consider utilizing the following resources in your search for a PTSD therapist.

American Psychological Association (APA)

The American Psychological Association's Psychologist Locator can help you easily find mental health providers in your area. All you have to do is enter your zip code or your city and state. You will then be provided with contact information for psychologists who provide mental health services near where you live.

This search engine doesn't list therapists' specialties. It does, however, provide a telephone service where you can obtain a referral to a psychologist in your area. When you call, the operator will use your location to help you connect with the referral service of the psychological association for your state.​​

Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America's Find a Therapist tool can help you find mental health providers in your area that specialize in the treatment of anxiety disorders, including PTSD. To find a therapist, all you have to do is enter your city and state. You will then be provided with a list of providers in your area as well as their professional credentials.

The Find a Therapist tool also offers additional suggestions on how to find a therapist in your area.

International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD)

The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation provides a search engine that can help you locate mental health providers in your area who specialize in the treatment of trauma and dissociation. All you have to do is enter your city and state or zip code. You will then be given a list of all treatment providers in your area as well as their contact information.

Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS)

The Association for Contextual Behavioral Science provides a search engine that can help you find a mental health professional in your area who specializes in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) for PTSD.

Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been extremely successful in the treatment of PTSD. The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies' Find a CBT Therapist service can connect you with PTSD therapists in your area who specialize in providing CBT. A benefit of this search engine is that you can identify exactly the type of therapist you're looking for.

For example, you can identify their specialty and narrow your search to therapists who provide specific treatments (for example, group therapy or individual therapy).

Your State Psychological Association

Looking a mental health provider for your PTSD may be as easy as going to your state psychological association's website. Most state psychological associations have ways of searching for local PTSD therapists as well as information on treatment programs in your area. The American Psychological Association provides links to all of the state psychological associations.

Online Therapy Platforms

Online therapy platforms can also be a great place to look for a PTSD therapist. These services can often offer a convenient way to access therapy, particularly since research has shown that many people lack access to traditional, in-person therapy.

These online therapy services include sites such as BetterHelp, Talkspace, and ReGain. Each platform differs in terms of what they offer and how they work, so you might begin by exploring some to see which one might be right for your needs.

While research suggests that online therapy can be effective in the treatment of a number of conditions, it may not be appropriate on its own if your symptoms are more severe. Online therapy can be a helpful supplement to more traditional treatments and can often be a useful first step toward finding relief from the symptoms of PTSD. 

Recap

There are many places to look for a PTSD therapist including online therapist directories, your state's psychological association website, and online therapy platforms. Spend some time researching your options to determine which might be right for you.

A Word From Verywell

Finding the right PTSD therapist is an important part of your treatment since research has shown that your relationship with your therapist plays an important part in the efficacy and outcome of treatment.

As you are looking for a therapist, there are a few options that you can try. Online directories can be a great place to start your search for a qualified, experienced PTSD therapist in your area. Another option is to utilize an online therapy platform to locate an online therapist. If neither of these options seems right for you, consider asking your primary healthcare provider for a referral.

If you or a loved one are struggling with PTSD, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

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3 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Sagui-Henson SJ, Prescott MR, Corcoran JB, et al. Effectiveness of evidence-based telecoaching delivered through an employer-sponsored mental health benefits platformTelemedicine and e-Health. Published online June 30, 2021. doi:10.1089/tmj.2020.0555

  3. Norcross JC. Conclusions and Recommendations of the Interdivisional (APA Divisions 12 & 29) Task Force on Evidence-Based Therapy Relationships. Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy. Published 2014.