Mental Health Match Therapist Directory Review

The directory removes barriers to finding and securing mental health counseling

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 Mental Health Match Therapy

Mental Health Match is a user-friendly directory of online, licensed therapists that can be filtered based on an individual’s needs. We recommend Mental Health Match for therapy seekers who are struggling to find the right fit.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Facts
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Free for therapy seekers

  • Free 60-day trial for therapists

  • Software algorithm to match therapists and potential clients

  • Can search therapists by zip code

  • Therapists available in all states

  • Therapists offer services in 30 different languages

  • Therapists vetted by the directory

  • Will follow up with therapists for you if they don’t respond to your inquiry

Cons
  • No accessibility features on the website 

  • No information on handling user complaints (although a contact form is available) 

  • No formal requirement for affordable or sliding scale services

  • No extra support for therapists offering discounted sessions

  • No way to search for therapists by keyword

Key Facts
States Served
50 states + D.C.
Number Of Therapists
4,000 therapists, 2,100 of which have active profiles
Types Of Therapy
Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling
Insurance Accepted
Yes, by some therapists
Sliding Scale Prices Available
Yes, by some therapists
Why Trust Us
25
Companies reviewed
4862
Users Surveyed
18
Zipcodes Tested
To review 25 online therapist directories, we surveyed 180 users who'd used the service, interviewed with 358 therapists listed on the site, and sent each company a questionnaire. Then, we tested the directory's ability to serve 37 therapy seekers's needs across 18 zipcodes and evaluated the results with the help of three professional therapists.


Roughly 50 million Americans have experienced a mental illness this year; but, as recorded by the National Council on Mental Wellbeing, 42% of those who need mental health care haven’t been able to get it due to cost, stigma, and the difficulty of navigating a challenging system. It will take a lot to fill these overwhelming gaps in care, but there are some online therapy directories, like  Mental Health Match, working to at least help relieve some of this unmet need. 

The directory tackles the complexity of finding the right therapist by offering one of the most comprehensive matching tools available in online therapy directories. The wide range of questions within the matching survey and various filters result in better matches between therapy seekers and therapists.

“[Mental Health Match] simplifies the process in a way that is easy to navigate,” says Nic Hardy, licensed clinical social worker and one of the subject matter experts who helped us evaluate the company. “For individuals who are experiencing anxiety about the process, this can ease the tension along the way.” 

We evaluated Mental Health Match against 24 other therapist directories by surveying 180 users who had used the platform and 86 therapists listed on Mental Health Match. We also tested the directory ourselves across 18 zip codes for therapists who cover 37 different issues of concern to clients and sent a questionnaire to the company. Here's how Mental Health Match fared in our research.

What Is Mental Health Match?

After the death of his mother in 2013, Ryan Schwartz began to look for a grief therapist. This was his first time seeking therapy and, as such, he was overwhelmed with the task of trying to find someone with whom he clicked and frustrated by how difficult the process was. 

“I couldn’t navigate endless lists, figure out jargon, or understand complexities like out-of-network billing or having to ask therapists for their fees if they weren’t public,” Schwartz says. “I would ask friends, and they would tell me they gave up the search for a therapist because it was too difficult and overwhelming.” 

His eventual inspiration for Mental Health Match came from the most unlikely source: a friend who was setting up a dating profile. While his friend was being matched with potential romantic partners in a matter of minutes, Schwartz hadn’t gotten any closer to finding a therapist who met his needs. It was at this time that he realized the mental healthcare field needed to change drastically—and his work could be a part of the solution. 

Schwartz founded Mental Health Match in 2019, and his goal was two-fold: simplify the individual’s search for a therapist and ease the burden of marketing for therapists. 

The online directory is designed to have universal relevance, meaning Mental Health Match is not targeted toward a specific population. However, the About page acknowledges the need for access and inclusion in mental health care, and that connecting with a therapist (and subsequent healing) only occurs when we feel seen.

In responding to our questionnaire, the company also told us that 40% of therapists listed on the directory identify as BIPOC. In addition, it offers optional filters for the gender, age, race, religion, and sexual orientation of your desired therapist (more on that below), so you can easily look for a clinician with a particular identity, background, or language if that is important to you. 

Therapists listed in the directory offer a wide range of services, including:

  • Individual talk therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Couples/marriage counseling
  • Sex therapy
  • Financial counseling 
  • Teen counseling
  • Premarital counseling
  • Divorce/discernment counseling
  • Religious-based therapy
  • Psychiatry
  • Substance use counseling

Mental Health Match does not include life coaches in its directory, which adds to the credibility of this company, as coaches are not required to go through the same licensing and training as mental health professionals. 

The company also does not collect payment from clients or bill insurance–it is not a financial intermediary, just an online tool. This puts the company at a bit of a disadvantage compared to some of the other therapist directories we reviewed, including Headway and Alma. 

States Served

Mental Health Match Providers by State

Mental Health Match has therapists listed in all 50 U.S. states plus Washington D.C., giving it an edge over some of the other 24 directories we reviewed. Around 58% of users surveyed rated the availability of therapists in the directory licensed in their state as good or very good, while almost 14% rated it as bad or very bad. 

Of the users we surveyed, 39% live in an urban area, 47% live in a suburban area, and 14% live in a rural area (which, coincidentally, is the same percentage as those who rated the availability of therapists poorly). While this correlation doesn’t mean that only those living in rural areas rated the availability of therapists poorly, we found it interesting because many "mental health care deserts" (a term given to areas that have no psychologists, psychiatrists, or counselors available) are also in rural areas. 

It’s also worth noting that although Mental Health Match lists therapists in every state, the number of listed therapists in each state varies widely. The largest number of therapists (333) are in Texas, whereas the least—just three—are in North Dakota. 

Mental Health America ranks Texas last in its 2022 measure of access to mental healthcare, meaning that access to insurance, access to treatment, quality and cost of insurance, access to special education, and workforce availability are especially low in this state. Texas also has the most counties considered mental health care deserts. It is therefore encouraging that Texas has the largest number of therapists listed on Mental Health Match, suggesting that the company is working towards its goal of making therapy more accessible to those struggling to find it. 

However, North Dakota is ranked 27th by Mental Health America—certainly better than Texas, but still not within a comfortable range. So while the state’s ratio of population to therapists registered on Mental Health Match is significantly higher than that of Texas, having just three therapists licensed in North Dakota listed on Mental Health Match is still a bit discouraging. 

As a result, while Mental Health Match is certainly taking strides to make therapy more accessible in certain states where access to mental health care is greatly needed, there are other states where it seems to fall short. 

First Impressions

The home page of Mental Health Match features a large image of sunlight falling on a path with the dark shapes of trees on either side. This imagery is evocative of relief coming during a difficult time. Directly below these are the words, “The right therapist makes all the difference. Built on years of research, our matching tool finds you licensed therapists best matched to your needs.” 

The home page also offers user testimonials, insurance providers taken by some therapists, and a step-by-step guide to how Mental Health Match works. A search bar where you can type in your zip code and a “Find Therapists” button remains at the top of the page throughout scrolling, emphasizing the main feature. Ultimately, I found the site to be welcoming and easy to understand.

A navigation menu in the top right corner will pull up the pages “Match with Therapists,” “Mental Health Tips,” “Guide to Therapy,” and “Are You a Therapist.” Clicking on “Guide to Therapy” will take you to a page broken down into question and answer-style information on all the details associated with therapy: what it is, types of therapy, how to find a therapist, etc. This feature is well-liked by Dr. Amy Marschall, psychologist and one of the subject matter experts who helped us evaluate the directory, who says the site is “user-friendly and intuitive.” 

The users we surveyed seem to agree: 63% of users surveyed rated Mental Health Match as easy or very easy to navigate, with only 9% rating it as difficult or very difficult.

However, unlike some of the other directories we reviewed, the Mental Health Match website doesn’t have any accessibility features, such as color contrast options, on its website. 

Clicking on “Mental Health Tips” takes you to the company’s blog, which is comprised of short articles written by a wide array of licensed therapists. Each post offers advice on particular mental health topics, such as stress, anxiety, depression, and more.  

A caveat is listed at the end of each article: “The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your mental health professional or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding your condition.” This offers credibility and adds to the professionalism of the blog.  

The company has a modest following on Facebook and Twitter, but a large presence on Instagram (20k+ followers as of July 2022). Instagram posts range from educational (one type of therapy vs. another, for example) to encouraging (suggestions on navigating therapy) to lists of mental health resources for different communities (see their post on mental health resources for Black people).  

Mental Health Match does not appear to post on a regular schedule and only sporadically engages with comments. When it does, it appears willing to address issues raised (although Verywell Mind did not follow up with the user shown above to gauge whether Mental Health Match helped them). 

You can also subscribe to the company’s monthly mental health tips in the form of an email newsletter. Blog posts are sometimes linked to Mental Health Match’s social media as well. 

Mental Health Match seems to have good word of mouth: 56% of users surveyed heard of Mental Health Match from a family member or friend, indicating the directory has positive word of mouth with users.  

Finding a Therapist at Mental Health Match

The process to search for therapists at Mental Health Match is simple and clear: 42% of users surveyed rated the process of finding a therapist to meet their needs as easy or very easy, while 39% rated the process as average. 

To start, simply click on “Find a Therapist,” and you will be taken to a page where you can use the match feature, or browse manually through therapists in your area. 

Matching Feature

If you select the match feature, you’ll be asked to fill out a short questionnaire. First, it will request your zip code, then ask you about yourself, how you identify, what you’re looking for in a therapist, and whether you have a preference for a therapist of a specific gender identity or a preferred racial, ethnic, or cultural background. 

You can also select what language you want your therapist to speak; unfortunately, however, selecting a language aside from English does not necessarily mean there will be therapists who speak that language. When I chose Spanish as my preferred language and set my location as Iowa, none of the therapists shown to me actually spoke Spanish.

Next, you’ll be asked if there are any specific concerns you would like to discuss with your therapist, such as how you feel, your identity, your relationship, specific behaviors you’d like to change, or a diagnosis you’d like to treat. Once you select your concern, you’ll be prompted to fill out more information about your therapy goals.

Next, you’ll be asked about the types of therapeutic activities you’re interested in exploring during your therapy sessions, including music or art therapy, hypnosis, or yoga. You’ll also be asked what skills you’re interested in learning, such as stress management, communication, healing from trauma, or something else. 

As a final step, you’ll note if your insurance provider if relevant. You can also set a limit on how much you are willing to pay for a session. Once you finish the questionnaire, you’ll see how many potential therapists matches you have and will be shown profiles of those who meet your criteria.

It will also tell you if there are therapists in your state who accept your insurance or cost criteria, but who aren’t considered matches based on your answers to the rest of the questionnaire. For example, when I put $100 as my maximum cost per session, the site told me that 10 total therapists met my budget, including one of my top five matches. This is nice because it allows therapy seekers to adjust criteria based on these initial results if they do not find someone they want to work with. 

Search Filters

If you decide to browse for therapists yourself, you can also apply filters such as specialties, approaches, insurance taken, languages spoken, race, and gender. However, you are unable to filter in the browse function by sexual orientation, age, or religion, which are all characteristics you can filter with the matching function. 

It is worth noting that there is a lack of disability and chronic illness-related search filters (both in the “browse-yourself” section and the matching questionnaire section), which is a shame because several of its competitors, including Inclusive Therapists, offer this. 

You can also just browse all the therapists in your area by searching your zip code. Ultimately the results will show you all therapists licensed in your state, not just your city. However, this is not explicitly clear from the search bar, which requires a valid zip code to proceed (you can’t, for example, type in your state). 

If you scroll down to the bottom of the website, there is also a small clickable link that will allow you to browse by state, but this is easily overlooked. 

While browsing a list of therapists may relieve some of the pressure of answering questions about yourself, filtering through therapists could be cumbersome if you live in a state that has hundreds listed. 

Therapists are shown in a list, and it takes a bit of digging to determine where the therapist is located. If someone is looking for in-person therapy within a certain distance, showing results on a map would be more user-friendly. 

The clunkiest part about the search function is that you are unable to search by keyword. Thus, if you are looking for a therapist specializing in an area not listed in the side filters, you have no way of searching for them.  

However, checking boxes on the left side of the screen does allow you to narrow the results as you browse. For example, you can filter therapists based upon what language they offer services in, and unlike the matching function, selecting a specific language gives you accurate results, even if that means there are no therapists in your state who qualify. 

A preview of each therapist’s page appears in search results, including a photo, focus areas if they’re accepting new clients, and their format for therapy sessions (online, in-person, etc.). The preview also has two prompts—“Together, we will:” and “Something to know about my approach is:”—for therapists to answer.

Therapist Bio Pages

Clicking on each therapist takes you to the therapist’s full bio page. The number of details here depends on how much work the therapist put into it. Some may not show much more than what is shown in the preview; others will display very detailed information, such as:

  • Licensure year
  • Credentials
  • Languages spoken
  • Therapeutic approaches
  • Insurance accepted (if any)
  • Rates
  • Their website
  • Videos about themselves and their practice

From our research, it appears that the only required details a therapist has to include on their bio are a photo, the type of therapy they offer, their focus areas, language(s) spoken, whether or not they work with insurance, and if they’re accepting new clients. It’s also worth noting that while they may list they’re open to new clients, this information is not always accurate. Over 40% of the users we surveyed indicated that this status is inaccurate and the therapists they contacted do not actually have any availability. 

It also appears that some therapists list ranges of costs, rather than one set rate; there is no explanation of ranges directly beneath the fees, so it’s unclear if those are sliding scales or denote fees for different types of therapy. It would be helpful if the directory allowed therapists to clarify. 

It’s also worth noting that you can’t search for therapists who only offer sliding scale fees (even though 65% of the therapists we surveyed said they offered this option)—and this only adds to the confusion around rates on the bio pages. It appears you’d have to reach out to the therapists to confirm that they do, indeed, offer this. 

Of the 86 therapists we surveyed, around 63% take insurance, but only 12 (or 14%) accept Medicaid or Medicare, which means individuals with lower income and fewer resources have few options when it comes to mental healthcare within this directory. 

Still, 63% of user survey respondents were pleased with the number of therapists who offered payment options (such as insurance, sliding scale, etc), while 22% rated this as average. 

Some therapist bios list multiple ways to contact therapists, including phone numbers, links to their website, and social media, while others just offer a way to contact the therapist through a form on Mental Health Match. 

According to the website, if someone takes this route and reaches out through the form but a therapist doesn’t respond to their inquiry, Mental Health Match will offer to follow up with the therapist or help individuals find a new one. This is a fantastic feature, as subject matter expert Hardy noted, because limited responsiveness from potential therapists can be “discouraging and extend the time that someone can access the help they need.”

Overall, 63% of the users we surveyed said it was easy or fairly easy to search for a specific provider on Mental Health Match, while 28% rated it as average.  

How Useful Is the Directory for Therapy Seekers?

Given its emphasis on matching therapy seekers with a therapist who is well-suited to meet their needs, this directory seems most useful for someone who is frustrated by the searching they have done thus far, or overwhelmed by the whole process and unsure where to start. 

Data from user surveys support this: 70% of users rated the overall helpfulness at connecting them with a therapist as good or very good. In addition, the majority of users surveyed (58%) reported being satisfied or very satisfied with therapist options provided in Mental Health Match’s directory.

The company can help you find a therapist both in-person and online. Of the 86 therapists we surveyed, just under half (45%) offered both formats, and only one therapist didn’t offer virtual options. However, there are some states where in-person is not an option. For example, in Iowa where I live, the 20 therapists listed only offer virtual sessions.

Over 54% of the users we surveyed are still using the therapist they found on Mental Health Match. Of those that are not, most stopped because they simply discontinued therapy. However, some said they found a different therapist at a different company or that they found a therapist who accepts insurance. The vast majority (89%) of the Mental Health Match users we surveyed had health insurance, but as a whole, almost 70% said that insurance did not help them pay for the therapist they found on Mental Health Match.

Over 61% of users surveyed rated therapist diversity within the directory as good or very good, while almost 32% ranked this as average. In addition, all but seven of the therapists we surveyed have received cultural competency training in the past five years. Of the seven who haven’t, four received training more than five years ago, two plan to seek it out, and only one indicated they have no plans to receive this training.

However, over 15% of users reported conducting therapy in a language they are not most comfortable in, suggesting that more recruitment of therapists across the country who speak lesser-known languages is still needed.

In addition, almost 49% of respondents indicated they had to compromise on some of their needs when choosing a therapist through Mental Health Match and 7% said they couldn’t find a therapist who met any of their needs. Most users had to consider one to three therapists before choosing one to go with.

When we asked survey respondents what they wish Mental Health Match did better, most said having wider availability of therapists who accept insurance was their top priority. Others, meanwhile, said they wished that Mental Health Match had more therapists with experience and specialized training working with the LGBTQIA+ community or treating eating disorders and addiction. 

Mental Health Match could also take concrete steps to ensure its directory is more accessible for users with disabilities by offering clearer and more accurate search functions. 

How Useful Is the Directory for Therapists?

Mental Health Match is geared towards therapists looking to substantially build their practice by picking up new clients. From our research, it appears that those who found this directory most useful were therapists early in their careers. 

The vast majority of therapists we surveyed are pleased with Mental Health Match—the directory is a good value for what it offers and it functions the way they expected it to. Over 66% said they are likely or very likely to remain listed in this directory in 12 months, and they cited an increase in clients as the main reason. 

While there are no guarantees of more clients when signing up with Mental Health Match, the company does offer therapists unique advantages. Because of the detailed matching survey and search filters, therapists are more likely to receive inquiries from clients who are aligned with their niche focuses and approaches, and who can afford their fees—in fact, 69% of therapists we surveyed had an increased caseload after registering with the directory, while only 27% reported a caseload which stayed about the same. Most therapists listed wanting to find new clients as their top reason for joining. 

Mental Health Match also helps market therapists by offering all members guidance on filling out their About page. The company advertises across many platforms (TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, online ads, and articles), giving therapists more exposure to potential clients.

The vast majority (91%) of therapists we surveyed are also likely or very likely to recommend this directory to other therapists if they haven’t already. 



Only five therapists reported being unlikely to recommend this directory to colleagues, and of these five, four of them had been in practice for more than five years. As a result, it seems likely that Mental Health Match is best suited for therapists new to the practice and looking to build their client base. Therapists with a wide range of approaches or sliding scale fees also generally report more success finding clients through this directory.

It’s worth noting that compared to the other 24 online therapy directories we looked at, the cost for therapists to join Mental Health Match falls in the low to mid-range, making it an affordable career-builder. 

Although Mental Health Match does not offer financial aid or sponsorships to therapists, it does have a free 60-day trial period for therapists to join the directory. 

After the trial period, therapists pay a monthly fee of $24.97 plus tax, or an annual fee of $199 plus tax. As noted earlier, the vast majority of therapists surveyed (75%) rated the value of the directory good, very good, or excellent. 

How Does Mental Health Match Compare to Online Therapy Companies and Directories?

The benefit of using an online directory over an online therapy company or private practice is the sheer range of options. Online directories allow users to filter therapists based on their needs, wants, and budget, whereas choices are much more limited in company practices. In addition, most online directories (including Mental Health Match) are free for therapy seekers to use, whereas online therapy companies often require subscriptions. 

Of the therapists we talked to, 45% rated Mental Health Match as much better or somewhat better than other directories they are listed in. Many therapists reported that they liked this directory’s matching function more than matching tools on other platforms and that the number of detailed questions on the questionnaire results not just in more matches, but better ones. 

In general, users also reported Mental Health Match as being favorable to other platforms. Of the 41% surveyed who had tried a different online therapy service prior to using Mental Health Match, 57% rated Mental Health Match as better or much better, and 29% rated it as about the same. 

Final Verdict

Mental Health Match is a company that provides therapy seekers personalized results and it offers therapists the advantage of clients well-matched to them. 

“This site has the potential to be a contender with larger directories,” Hardy says. The different search options available, along with the presence of a wide range of filters, make for an individualized, user-friendly experience. 

Still, there are places where Mental Health Match could improve. For example, it is less friendly to people with disabilities since it doesn’t offer many of the accessibility features its competitors do. There is also a lack of consistency and detail in therapist profiles, which detracts from some of its benefits to users. Additional recruitment of therapists in states with very few listed would also set this company on the path to fully realizing its full potential as one of the best directories.

Methodology

To compose this review, we conducted original, data-driven research in order to get a full sense of how Mental Health Match helped therapy seekers and therapists connect and how it compared to other popular directories. We started off evaluating around 180 users at each company (4,862 respondents total) and collecting data and research on the company, such as when it was founded, the number of therapists it lists, which states it serves, and more. We also interviewed or surveyed a minimum of 10 therapists listed on each directory about their experience using the directory, including how it has affected their caseload and whether they’d recommend it to their colleagues. 

Next, we tested each directory ourselves by searching for therapists who might be appropriate for 37 different but common reasons why someone might be looking for a therapist, looking at the website's accessibility, cultural sensitivity, and ability to address condition-focused needs.

We then asked our three subject matter experts, Amy Marschall, Nic Hardy, and Hannah Owens, to score the testing results to determine the directory’s search functionality and ease of use for users. We also sent a questionnaire to each company, though not all companies responded. Read our full methodology here.

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.
  1. More than 4 in 10 u. S. Adults who needed substance use and mental health care did not get treatment. National Council for Mental Wellbeing.

  2. Prevalence Data 2022. Mental Health America.

  3. Ranking the States 2022. Mental Health America.