Network Therapy Therapist Directory Review

Network Therapy doesn’t serve marginalized communities effectively

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Network Therapy

Network Therapy is one of the oldest directories we reviewed, but it has not aged well. Its most profound flaw is that it is ill-equipped to serve the needs of marginalized populations, including people of color, disabled folks, and those with less common mental health conditions. It also uses outdated terminology to refer to some mental illnesses and doesn’t have enough therapists for some specific conditions.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Facts
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Wealth of information available regarding mental health conditions and treatment options

  • Enables therapists to provide detailed information regarding their approaches and background on therapist bio pages

  • Broad range of therapeutic techniques available

  • Filters are useful and intuitive

Cons
  • Website uses outdated terminology regarding specific conditions

  • Limited number of therapists

  • Dated website design 

  • Lack of racial diversity among therapists 

  • Blog has not been updated since 2021

  • Doesn’t serve all 50 states

Key Facts
States Served
36 + DC
Number Of Therapists
There are over 4,000 according to the site, but we could only count 600 when browsing through the site
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.

Since 2020, America’s mental healthcare system has been facing an extreme surge in demand.  In 2021 alone, treatment demand for anxiety disorders increased by eighty-one percent, leading many people—including children—to struggle to find a therapist to help them. There simply aren’t enough therapists with the capacity to treat everyone. 

As a result, people are turning more and more to the internet to find therapy. Some have looked to full-service sites, like BetterHelp and Talkspace, while others are using therapist directories like Network Therapy so they can choose a therapist, rather than have an algorithm match them. But is Network Therapy as useful as other therapist directories in the face of unprecedented demand?

To find out, we evaluated 25 directories, including Network Therapy, by surveying 180 users who had used each platform, interviewing 10 therapists listed on each directory, testing the therapist search capabilities across 18 zip codes, and sending each company a questionnaire. Here’s how Network Therapy held up against its competitors.

What Is Network Therapy?

Network Therapy was founded by two brothers, Dan and Gregory Generaux, in March of 2000. While the company’s founders declined to be interviewed or answer our questionnaire, Dan’s LinkedIn profile says that they founded the company to make therapy more accessible by providing the highest quality tools and information via leading-edge Internet technologies. 

However, while the directory may have been “leading-edge” in 2000, it’s no longer living up to that name. From the website’s dated design to its use of outdated psychology terminology on the site (more on that below), it simply hasn’t kept up with the times. As our subject matter expert Amy Marschall, a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in trauma and neurodiversity, says, “The website looks like it was designed in the 90s,” despite its 2000 release. 

States Served

While Network Therapy’s “About Us” page says it has 4,000 therapist members, we weren’t able to find that many when we tested the site. Our count only found around 600 profiles total, suggesting that the number displayed is inaccurate or out-of-date. 

The company also only serves therapy seekers in 36 states—a disappointing number considering it has been in operation far longer than newer directories that serve all 50. You will not be able to use the directory if you live in AK, AR, ID, ME, MT, NM, ND, SD, UT, VT, WV, or WY.

In addition, our research found that nearly two-thirds of those 36 states had fewer than 10 therapists listed—meaning your options are pretty limited even in the states it supposedly caters to. The only state that had over 100 therapists listed was California. 

This complete lack of mental healthcare workers listed in rural states specifically, such as Maine and Iowa, means that Network Therapy isn’t truly fulfilling its mission of making therapy more accessible to those who lack access to it. For example, one study found that there is only one psychiatrist available for every 30,000 people living in rural America—and Network Therapy isn’t really helping bridge that gap in care. This is evident in the fact that there isn’t a single provider in most rural states such as Iowa, Maine, or Wyoming. 

Although 83% of our survey respondents said that the number of therapists available in their state was “good” or “very good,” this is likely because the vast majority of our survey respondents live in urban or suburban areas—and most were in California, too. Had we been able to survey more users in states that have fewer therapists per capita, we suspect we would have had a different result—that's because the number of survey respondents who live in rural areas (15%) correlated with the percentage of respondents who were either unsatisfied or merely “somewhat satisfied” with the therapist options (17%). 

Therapist Qualifications and Specialties

At Network Therapy, you can use the site to find:

  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Life coaches
  • Certified massage therapists

That said, it’s important to note that there is no licensing required to become a “life coach” so these individuals may not actually be capable of actually delivering adequate mental health care. And while massage therapy can aid in relaxation, it is also not a substitute for actual psychotherapy.

Of the therapists who are licensed, you can find the state license number in the therapist’s profile, giving you a way to vet the clinician. Most therapists on Network Therapy offer individual therapy, but many others also serve children, couples, and families. Some also offer group therapy options. Therapeutic techniques used and specialties beyond that vary quite a bit from one therapist to another, and due to the small number of therapists on the site, users may struggle to find a therapist who specializes in what they’re looking for. 

The directory also displays whether providers take insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, and whether they offer sliding scale fees. This is a plus of this directory and does help make care more accessible to those who might otherwise struggle to afford the cost. Seventy-eight percent of our survey respondents said that the payment options available on Network Therapy were “good” or “very good” and 80% said they used insurance to pay for therapy with the therapist they found on the site. 

However, unlike many of the other directories we evaluated, Network Therapy lacks a social justice mission. This is also apparent in the demographics of the therapists listed on its site because therapists of color are grossly underrepresented. For example, our researchers were unable to confidently find a single Black male therapist.

This is another sign of how ill-equipped the directory is to truly address current mental health disparities in America. According to a survey completed by the APA regarding the demographics of psychologists, 84% of psychologists are white, even though only 61% of the U.S. population is white. In addition, only 4% of the psychological workforce is Black. This makes it incredibly difficult for BIPOC therapy seekers to find culturally sensitive therapy—and Network Therapy does not appear to be trying to make it any easier. 

First Impressions

When you first visit NetworkTherapy.com, you’re bombarded by blocks of text. Between the section descriptions, multiple menus, and sidebars, I felt as if I was reading a poorly designed textbook with extra small print—not a directory that would help me find my mental health care provider.

Network Therapy Homepage

The landing page features four main sections: 

  • The “provider directory” that enables users to find a therapist or treatment center 
  • A “mental health library” that includes information on various mental health conditions and treatments
  • A “resource center” pertaining to support groups, hotlines, and related media
  • A “for providers” section that directs providers to the various ways they can connect with the site

However, there are also several boxes surrounding the main content, including one highlighting recent scientific publications and another highlighting a featured mental health professional. All of this information can be quite overwhelming, making it hard to know what to read first. Our expert Nicholas Hardy, a psychologist with over a decade of experience, worries that the site’s design may turn away potential clients. 

“The site is very wordy and feels overwhelming, especially for someone in the market for a therapist for the first time,” Hardy says.

I couldn’t agree more. Unlike other more streamlined directories that immediately present you with a search function or a navigation bar at the top, Network Therapy displays all of its offerings on the first page so your eye doesn’t know where to look. While this may benefit more experienced users who know what they are looking for, folks new to the mental healthcare world may find themselves on a random news update page long before identifying a potential therapist. 

Still, despite the site’s lack of visual appeal, our survey results indicated that 87% of respondents found it “easy” or “very easy” to use. And when we tested the site across 18 different zip codes, looking for therapists who fit 37 different scenarios, only one of our testers had trouble with pages loading slowly or incorrectly. 

There are also no annoying pop-up ads—and if you take the time to truly explore the site, you’ll find several links that guide you toward the “find a therapist” page. 

In addition to the crowded homepage, its educational resources leave much to be desired. After digging around the site for a few minutes, you will find a blog that hasn’t been regularly updated since mid-2021. In addition, the website uses outdated terminology throughout the site, such as “gender identity disorder.” 

Network Therapy Gender Identity

Aside from some of this language being offensive or triggering, these errors imply that information on the site may not be scientifically sound anymore, which may make users wary. 

For example, the site also uses the term “Asperger’s syndrome,” which is no longer considered a condition separate from the autism spectrum and hasn’t been an official diagnosis since 2013. In addition, the term itself is considered controversial and triggering; it was named after a German pediatrician and Nazi sympathizer who played a role in identifying children with disabilities and sending them off to Spiegelgrund, a Children’s ward in Vienna that euthanized or experimented on teens for the Third Reich.

Asperger's Disorder

In terms of social media, Network Therapy isn't up to date and doesn’t seem to engage much with its users. It only has a Twitter account, which features a single tweet.

Network Therapy Twitter

Finding a Therapist at Network Therapy

On the “Find a Therapist” page on Network Therapy, you’ll find a relatively thorough search function. First, you’ll decide if you want to find a therapist in your local area (which requires entering your zip code or county) or one available via telehealth. 

Then, you can narrow your search with the help of eight different filters:

  • Practice Specialty
  • Age Specialty
  • Session Format
  • Treatment Approach 
  • Accepted Insurance
  • Demographics served
  • Service Provided
  • Additional Language

While these search filters may help you find a therapist who meets your basic needs, they aren’t really enough to help marginalized populations find culturally-sensitive care. The demographic filter doesn’t help you find therapists of a specific race, gender identity, or religion—it refers to the demographic areas the therapist feels comfortable working with. This is not how search filters work on other directories we reviewed.

It’s also worth noting that some search filters simply do not work. For example, there is an American Sign Language (ASL) search filter but none of our testers across 18 zip codes were able to find a single therapist who knew it. I also went one step further and searched for an ASL-proficient therapist under the zip code 20002—the zip code of Galludet University, a Deaf university in Washington, DC. Not a single result emerged. 

ASL 20002 Network Therapy

It’s also clear that because there are a limited number of providers on the site, using filters vastly diminishes the number of results you’ll see. To compensate for this, the site has a feature whereby if your search criteria eliminates all therapists, it automatically drops some of the criteria you put in or broadens your search radius beyond your zip code. It does tell you which criteria it dropped, though. 

When search results appear, they are presented as a list of provider profiles. The user can see the therapists’ photos and the first few lines of the therapists’ bios, as well as their addresses and whether they offer telehealth. 

Network Therapy search results

However, the brief snippets of information you see in your search results don’t really provide users with enough information to judge whether a provider will be a good fit—for that, you’ll need to click and read the therapist’s full profile.

For example, while you are able to filter your results by language—and our user testers were able to quickly find therapists who spoke a language other than English—you have to actually click on the therapist’s profile to confirm what languages they speak. (Still, 96% of our survey respondents said that they found a therapist who knew a language they were comfortable using.)

Therapist Bio Pages

Network Therapy Bio

Clicking on a therapist’s profile page reveals a wealth of information about the provider—though clearly some fields on a bio page are optional as not all therapists' bio pages contain the same amount of information. 

Still, most bio pages include:

  • A profile photo
  • A personal bio
  • Treatment specialties 
  • Whether their office is wheelchair accessible
  • Contact information
  • Rates for sessions
  • Whether they take insurance
  • Whether they’re taking new clients

If you decide you want to contact a therapist, you’ll have to either call them with the phone number listed or email them through the site. There is no scheduling feature as there is on some of the other directories we reviewed. 

A little under a third of our survey respondents found the information on a therapist’s page, including whether they were taking on new clients, to be outdated—which is frustrating, to say the least. Most survey respondents told us that on average, they had to reach out to two to three therapists to confirm availability. 

Still, 87% said it was “easy” or “very easy” to find a therapist who met their needs on the platform, which is comparable to other sites we reviewed.

How Useful Is the Directory for Therapy Seekers?

Most of our survey respondents who were able to connect with a therapist via Network Therapy found their therapists helpful. 

Seventy-six percent said they stayed with the therapist they found on the platform—and of those who stopped seeing the therapist, most said they stopped not due to an issue with the therapist but because they were ending therapy altogether. Furthermore, 71% said they were “likely” or “very likely” to be with the same therapist a year from now and 88% thought the directory’s overall helpfulness was “good” or “very good.” 

Still, there are a number of issues with the directory. Not only does it not serve users in 14 states, but the number of therapists in the ones it does is limited. The search filters aren’t as helpful as you’d like—particularly if you’re looking for a BIPOC therapist—and you have to click into most therapists’ profiles in order to actually find out if the therapist can serve your needs. 

With the help of our subject matter experts, Hardy Marschall and Hannah Owens, LMSW and mental health editor, we scored our user testers’ ability to find therapists who fit 37 different therapy seeker scenarios (such as a parent seeking help for their non-binary child or someone needing treatment for their OCD) in 18 zip codes. Our results found that it was most difficult to locate therapists who specialized in specific therapeutic techniques on Network Therapy. The company also scored relatively poorly in scenarios related to specific conditions, relationships, parenting, and cultural sensibility, though it scored all right in accessibility—its highest rated category.

How Useful Is the Directory for Therapists?

It is possible that Network Therapy really did have 4,000 therapists at one point—but due to attrition and therapist dissatisfaction with the platform, that number dwindled down to 600. Thus, we felt it was very important to look at what the directory offers the therapists who join its platform. After all, therapists who aren’t benefitting from the platform are less likely to update their bio pages with accurate information and check their messages for potential clients. 

The overall sense we got from the 11 therapists we spoke with was tepid. None of the therapists were blown away by the site’s performance, though eight said they were still “likely” or “very likely” to recommend Network Therapy to a colleague. When asked why, most said it was simply worth the minimal effort and cost it required.

“I don't do mediocre, but also I can't speak to [Network Therapy’s] excellence,” Talal H. Alsaleem said when we asked how they did in terms of referrals. 

William Pikarz, LCSW, appeared to share the same sentiment. “As long as I get enough clients to cover the annual fee, I'll stay on,” he says. 

Therapy charges professionals $179 per year to have a profile on the platform, which is about average for a directory. They also have a 90-day satisfaction guarantee. If a therapist is unsatisfied with the service for any reason, they can cancel within three months and receive a full refund, making it worth trying for most therapists. 

Tammy Lesniak, LMSW, also believes that it’s worth the price “I tend to get quite a few referrals through the year, which seemed to help make it worth the [fee] that I pay," she says. 

Network Therapy also offers therapists performance tracking, enabling professionals to evaluate the performance of their profile over time, so they have a pretty good idea if their investment is paying off. Setting up the profile itself is quite straightforward. Clinicians simply provide the mandatory contact and specialty information along with their license number, fill out the additional information they want on the profile, and supply a payment method. When asked what she thought about the process, Mary Leopold, LCSW, said it was, “Yes, very easy. And if I need to go in and make changes, I can do that really easily too, you know, just through the provider login."

Most therapists told us they generally got a referral from the site within six months of signing up and most also said that it did increase their caseloads. However, the directory does seem to be less effective than several of the other directories we researched in doing so. 

Marcy Abramsky, LCSW, believes that much of Network Therapy’s value to therapists comes from its mental health library: “It's really a wealth of knowledge for providers and for clients because they have resource centers and a mental health library, and they really pack a lot into what they're offering people in general… having that wealth of information before you're choosing a professional to work with is really important.”

One of the therapists, Kate Schroeder, M.Ed., LPC, NCC, told us she used to work for an online therapy company in the past. Although she valued the company’s accessibility, she worried about whether it actually helped her clients since many didn’t stay with the company long enough to make progress: “It felt more transitory to me,” she says, “and really, for therapy to be helpful, you have to build a relationship.” 

Final Verdict

Ultimately, Network Therapy is an outdated platform that fails to reach those who are underserved by the mental healthcare system. 

The biggest downside to the platform by far is that Network Therapy fails to effectively serve marginalized populations, especially people of color and the Deaf community. The few providers of color on the site are difficult to locate due to the lack of appropriate search filters, and there are apparently no providers on this directory who know ASL. There simply are not enough therapists on the site to serve most of the country, especially therapy deserts where people struggle to access care the most. Many states don’t have a single therapist listed. In the end, the platform’s limited selection of therapists makes it a less effective resource than other directories we reviewed.

To be fair, Network Therapy is potentially a good choice for therapists and clients looking for a platform that serves general mental health needs, especially in urban areas. The search function is easy to use, and the lengthy profiles give therapy seekers a sense of what services are available. Of the 180 users we spoke with, 89% rated the directory’s overall quality as “good” or “very good,” despite its flaws.  

In addition, mental health professionals seem relatively satisfied with the directory and its value to them as clinicians. They told us that they benefit from the reasonable amount of traffic the platform receives and its low barrier of entry. 

Methodology

To compose this review, we conducted original, data-driven research in order to get a full sense of how Headway helps therapy seekers and therapists connect and how it compares 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 business, 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 it, 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 meet condition-focused needs. 

We then asked our three subject matter experts, Amy Marschall, Nic Hardy, and Hannah Owens, to score these 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. Headway did not reply. For additional details, read our full methodology.

5 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. American Psychological Association. "Worsening mental health crisis pressures psychologist workforce 2021 - COVID-19 Practitioner Survey."

  2. The New England Journal of Medicine. "Neglected — Cancer Care and Mental Health in Rural America."

  3. APA. 2007-16: Demographics of the U.S. Psychology Workforce

  4. National Library of Medicine. "A Concise History of Asperger Syndrome: The Short Reign of a Troublesome Diagnosis."

  5. Autism Society. Asperger's Sydrome.

Edited by
Simone Scully
simone-scully-verywell

Simone is the health editorial director for performance marketing at Verywell. She has over a decade of experience as a professional journalist covering mental health, chronic conditions, medicine, and science.

Learn about our editorial process