National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network Therapist Directory Review

Making therapy more available and inclusive to marginalized communities

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nqttcn
Verywell's Rating
4.0

We recommend NQTTCN to anyone seeking help from providers who are able to relate to their experiences as queer and trans people of color. We also recommend it to therapists who value “giving back” to the community and who will find fulfillment in helping the LGBTQIA+ and QTPoC communities. 

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Facts
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Detailed provider bios

  • Easy to search directory based on therapist qualifications and experience

  • Queer and trans therapists provide affirming services to their community

  • Therapists offer various services including marriage counseling and individual therapy

  • Therapy seekers receive services that are culturally sensitive

  • Many therapists speak different languages besides English

  • Directory is free to use for therapy seekers

  •  Some therapists offer a sliding-scale fee

Cons
  • Not all therapists in the directory accept insurance

  • Of those who do accept insurance, they only accept certain types

  • Not all therapists offer sliding scale fees or financial aid options

  • The directory does not help therapists process insurance

Key Facts
States Served
27, plus D.C. and parts of Canada
Number Of Therapists
135+
Types Of Therapy
Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Peer Support, 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.
nqttcn
Verywell's Rating
4.0
In This Article
National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network Therapist Directory Review

In the United States, LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC people are more likely to report levels of depression, PTSD, suicidal ideation, and substance use. According to one report from 2019, 47.4% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual adults reported having a mental illness, almost 20% said they had a substance use disorder, and 12.9% said they both simultaneously.  Another study found the risk of PTSD to be 1.6 to 3.9 times higher for LGBTQIA+ folks than heterosexuals. In addition, 40% of trans people said they had attempted suicide at least once.  

Among Black LGBTQ youth, trends are similarly high. A national survey by the Trevor Project found that 66% reported having a depressed mood in the last 12 months,35% had seriously considered suicide in the past year, and 19% had attempted suicide. Both communities also reported negative impacts on their mental health due to racism and discrimination. 

BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ folks can also face significant barriers to mental health care due to cost, cultural stigma, and discrimination—including in session. Eighty-six percent of psychologists in the U.S. are white, and while there isn’t a lot of data on how many are LGBTQIA+, surveys have shown that a significant number of LGBTQIA+ people avoid seeking health care due to previous discrimination they have experienced. In addition, a 2022 study showed trans and gender-diverse individuals face barriers to mental health care, including a lack of trained providers, financial costs, difficulty scheduling, and transportation issues. 

“It’s extremely important to connect with a therapist with whom you can identify,” says Nic Hardy, psychotherapist and one of the subject matter experts who helped us evaluate the companies. “Traditional modes of counseling often miss the mark because they don’t account for cultural norms and other nuances.” That’s why therapist directories like The National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN) are so important: they cater to the mental health needs of a community that often struggles to find affirming, affordable, and culturally sensitive services elsewhere. 

Verywell Mind carried out a survey that comprised 180 therapy seekers who used NQTTCN, interviewed over 10 therapists, and tested the directory’s search function across 18 zip codes. Here is how the directory measured up against 24 other directories we evaluated.

What Is the National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network?

The National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN) directory was founded by psychotherapist Erica Woodland in May 2016. While working at Brown Boi Project as its Field Building Director, Erica noted how the organization’s leaders needed mental health support. This realization inspired him to establish a directory that would address the structural challenges faced by QTPoC practitioners, while also being a space where therapy seekers could easily access affirming care.  

NQTTCN’s mission is to “increase access to healing justice resources for QTPoC” by connecting therapy seekers to therapists of color who are not only queer or trans themselves but also trained to provide affirming services. The directory even has a fund that helps financially underprivileged individuals cover the costs of therapy. 

“I love that NQTTCN has a fund in addition to [the] directory to help pay for services in addition to finding a therapist,” says Dr. Amy Marschall, PsyD, one of Verywell Mind’s subject matter experts. This, she says, makes it “not ‘just’ a directory but a space centered on social justice.” 

The therapists we talked to all said it’s the company’s commitment to social justice that motivated them to sign up. They said the company is living up to its values and mission, especially through the mental health fund. The mission seems to be resonating with users too. Of the 180 we surveyed, 42% said they were looking for a therapist at NQTTCN because they valued finding a therapist with a similar identity or cultural background and 32% said they wanted an affirming therapist. 

The directory currently serves 30 states, and it says it is continuing outreach efforts to increase the number of practitioners in under-resourced regions, especially the southeast and midwest—two areas that rank the lowest in terms of access to mental health care and are known as “therapy deserts. NQTTCN has at least one therapist in some of these areas, including Illinois, Missouri, and Georgia. It also has eight therapists serving Texas, the state that ranks 51st out of 51 in regard to access to mental health care.

81% of survey participants said they had a good or very good number of qualified therapists in their state, supporting NQTTCN’s mission of providing accessible mental health care to these marginalized communities. They had many options to choose from and were confident that if one therapist could not see them, they could count on another. 

Overall, the directory also seems to have good word-of-mouth. 42% of participants heard about it from a friend, and 32% were referred to it by a family member—suggesting that it will continue to grow in popularity. 

First Impressions 

When you arrive on the NQTTCN homepage, it’s immediately clear who it serves. The page fittingly shows the palm of a person of color’s hand with five stripes of the colors blue, purple, and white—the trans community flag—painted on the palm. 

NQTTCN

NQTTCN

If you visit the page on your phone or shrink your browser though, the image will change to two hands reaching upwards against a black background—which admittedly, is a less reassuring and welcoming image as it looks more pleading.

On top of both images, you’ll find the company’s mission statement clearly displayed, as well as two buttons: one inviting you to search the directory (in yellow) and another asking you to join. 

Beyond the main image, the website is easy to navigate and readable, with clear font choices, calming colors, and a scannable layout—76%of the users we surveyed found it easy or very easy to navigate. 

Another nice feature is that you have the option of switching the website from English to Spanish when you click the grey “EN” at the bottom of the screen. 

On the top left-hand side, there is a collapsible menu with links to the About Us, Resources, Mental Health Directory, Mental Health, and Donation Pages; on the right is where you can sign in if you’re a provider.

Under “About Us,” you’ll find links to “Our Story”, NQTTCN’s statement of community care, and a “Meet the Team” page. There is also a link to join the team and contact the company for further information. 

About us2

The “Our Story” page is one of the most detailed pages about the company’s origins of all the directories we’ve reviewed, which is commendable. The company goes into great detail about why it was founded, who the founders are, what they do, and the values the company has.  

This page also shows moving images of different people of color. 

Scrolling down the home page, you’ll find more detail about the mission statement and how the company is executing its goals. This information is transparent and inspiring, though it does use activist lingo and progressive terms, which indicates that the site assumes you’re well-versed in such concepts. 

You can find more information about its mission on the Statement of Community Care page, too, where it discusses healing justice, sustainability, resources rooted in liberation, radical care, and self-determination as ways it’s providing care to the LGBTQIA+ community. 

SOC

Further down the homepage, you’ll find a statement noting that the company is a 501c3 non-profit and an invitation to “Give Now” (in a giant font). 

MHF

There is also more detail about this fund on The Mental Health Fund page, where you can apply for funding for six sessions with an NQTTCN practitioner or practitioner not affiliated with the directory chosen by the fund recipient.  

Footer

In the footer of the page, you can sign up for the company’s newsletter or click to read the company’s statement of community care, join the team, submit feedback, donate, or learn more about the company, community resources, practitioner resources, and mental health fund. 

Links to its social media pages on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook can also be found at the bottom of the page.

The company is active on all three platforms, though it is most active on Instagram where it has over 10,000 followers on Instagram, and posts mostly feature the practitioners in the directory. Others are calls to apply for funding before the set deadline or invitations to attend webinars. These posts are made nearly every month. 

The directory has over 6,000 followers on its Facebook page and posts made are similar to those on Instagram. It may still be building its following on Twitter. Currently, it has a little over 1,000 followers. Posts are irregular and mainly consist of retweets of posts mentioning the directory, reminders to apply for funding, and other relevant information about the directory. 

Searching for a Therapist

Clicking on the yellow “Search Directory” button on the homepage (or the Mental Health Directory link in the collapsible menu) will take you to the main directory for finding a therapist, where you can begin your search. I found this process fairly intuitive, as did the users we surveyed. 

NQTTCN

NQTTCN

Here, you’ll be prompted to begin your search by entering your city, zip, or state. Seventy-four percent of our respondents said it was very easy or easy to search for a practitioner. 

Below this search, you’ll also find a statement reminding you that if you’re in a life-threatening situation, you shouldn’t use the directory and should reach out for immediate assistance at one of the five helplines it lists below. 

Results

Once you enter your state or zip code, you’ll be taken to an initial results page displaying therapists' names, a small photo, their license or degree, email, and phone number. 

You can also refine your search using the available filters, which include:

  • Proximity (in miles) 
  • Whether virtual therapy is offered
  • Whether they’re accepting new clients
  • Sliding scale/low fee available 
  • Featured listings
  • Languages spoken

You can sort results alphabetically or by “latest” (which presumably means by most recent to join the directory, though the wording isn’t clear)

On desktop, if you expand the page to full-page mode, you can filter by languages spoken, a useful filter, especially since the site targets QTPoC who might be non-English speakers. 

Map

You can switch from a list view of therapist results to a map view. This option may display therapists located out of state that are licensed in multiple states and can provide virtual care.

Whether you use map view or list view, clicking on a therapist’s name takes you to their bio page, which provides more information about them so you can better determine if they’re the right fit for you. 

Directory Bio Pages

NQTTCN

NQTTCN

NQTTCN

NQTTCN

Therapists’ bio pages offer a lot of useful information, including:

  • What type of degree they are
  • Their areas of expertise
  • What services they offer (such as individual therapy, couples therapy, etc)
  • What therapeutic techniques they use
  • Preferred pronouns
  • Their race or ethnicity
  • Their sexual orientation
  • Their gender identity
  • What languages they speak
  • Their session fees and whether they offer sliding scale rates
  • Whether they accept insurance

Most bios also have photos of the therapist too, though some just have logos of their practice—and some have no image at all, which doesn’t make for a great user experience. Still, even in those cases, I could read helpful information about the therapist—though I have to say, it felt less personal or reassuring.

The bio page also reveals whether a practitioner is accepting new clients, though it is worth noting that some therapists are not great about updating this information. Twenty-three percent of our survey participants said when they reached out to an “available” therapist, they found out that they were actually unavailable. 

Even though NQTTCN does not help therapists process insurance, some of them still accept it. Types of insurance plans accepted by some of the therapists include:

  • United Health Care
  • Cigna
  • CareFirst
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Anthem

Overall, while I found the therapists' bios useful, it is worth noting that the therapists are required to share less about themselves than other directories we reviewed. It also appears that the company doesn’t review or mandate that therapists share a lot. “Many profiles are pretty brief with not a lot of info included,” says Dr. Marschall. 

Still, 22% of users from our survey reported that therapist qualifications and expertise were the most important aspect of finding a therapist, and 68% of users felt that the therapist they found on NQTTCN met all their needs while 31% found a therapist who met most of their needs but with some compromises. 

If you want to contact a therapist, you can do so using the email or phone number provided by the therapist on their profile. There is also a contact form that allows you to directly message the therapist from the directory page.  

It’s worth noting that when our editors reached out to therapists via the form, they did not have as good of luck getting ahold of the provider as they did when they used the therapist’s email address. 

At the bottom of the page, you can find a list of practitioners you may also be interested in, which is a useful feature for the therapy seeker, especially if you were disappointed by the profile you clicked on. 

83% of participants were satisfied or very satisfied with the therapist options provided by NQTTCN, and 81% said the therapists’ qualifications were good or very good.

How Useful Is NQTTCN for Therapy Seekers?

There is no doubt that NQTTCN is a useful directory if you live in one of the 30 states it serves and you are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and the QTPoC community. This is especially true if you are having a hard time finding affirming, culturally sensitive, affordable, and easily accessible therapy from trained practitioners. 

84% of the users we surveyed rated the directory as very good or good. 

In addition, 75% of respondents said they were likely or very likely to recommend the directory to someone else, and 77%  of the participants said they would use the directory to look for another therapist again. 

76% also said they were still using the first therapist they found at NQTTCN and 80% said it was likely or very likely they would still be seeing a therapist from the directory six months on.

Qualified Therapists

This high user satisfaction is likely because the site has such a wealth of different types of therapists listed, which makes it easier for therapy seekers to find the right therapist for them. NQTTCN’s therapists are diverse in racial, ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. They also have a wide range of experience. For example, a quick search of the site reveals listings for clinical and counseling psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, social workers, addiction counselors, and art therapists. These therapists specialize in different areas such as identity issues, family conflicts, complex trauma, and more.

In general, the therapists on NQTTCNoffer a range of therapeutic approaches, including: 

While the directory does not specify whether it vets therapists or verifies their qualifications (there is a disclaimer on the site stating that NQTTCN does not “review, investigate, or evaluate the authenticity, accuracy, or completeness” of the information in the directory), here are certain criteria therapists must meet in order to join the directory, which may give users some confidence in their ability to find quality providers. 

According to Cahn Tran, a social worker in Washington state who is listed on the directory, “All practitioners listed in the directory must identify as a queer, trans, nonbinary, gender non-conforming, genderqueer, bisexual, lesbian and/or gay person of color AND be a trained, licensed, or certified mental health practitioner working in a community mental health organization, healthcare/medical clinic, counseling center, and/or private practice.” 

In addition, there are therapists who speak languages other than English. Some languages spoken include AAVE, Spanish, Creole, Urdu, Hindi, French, Mandarin, Portuguese, Korean, American Sign Language, Cantonese, Gari, Punjabi, Turkish, Filipino, Gujarati, Danish, Hebrew, German, Japanese, Hmong, and Russian. This wide range of languages may make it easier for therapy seekers to find a therapist they can relate to.

Though satisfied with the therapist options overall, some users were frustrated with how many therapists hadn’t updated their availability: 57% said they had to send multiple emails to a therapist to confirm their availability. 

Others mentioned that they wished more therapists accepted insurance. 27% said the directory could do with more therapists who accept a variety of insurance providers. Still, 88% said they had health insurance and 79% said they were able to use their insurance to pay for their session with NQTTCN’s therapists.

Therapy seekers who do not have insurance may appreciate that some therapists accept sliding scale rates. There is also the Mental Health Fund, which NQTTCN makes available for financially underprivileged therapy seekers. 

Still, therapists’ rates on this directory range from $70 to $200 out-of-pocket. According to the Census Bureau, the median household income in the US is $68,703.  In addition, poverty affects 21.6% of LGBTQIA+ people, a rate that only increases for the community’s more marginalized members. This means that $200 for a weekly session may simply be out of range for far too many of the users this directory aims to help.

How Useful Is the Directory for Therapists?

Directories don’t just market their services to therapy seekers—they also provide valuable services for the therapists that join them. And in this regard, the directory is doing very well. 

When we spoke with therapists listed on the directory, all told us they joined NQTTCN to increase their visibility or find new clients with specific concerns—and all of them said the directory functions the way they need it to and reported that their client rosters have grown. All 10 therapists we interviewed were likely or very likely to recommend the directory to other therapists.  In addition, based on the referrals they got, seven out of 10 said its value was very good or excellent. 

This makes sense: the directory doesn’t necessarily require you to pay anything in order to join as a therapist if you can demonstrate you have limited finances. Otherwise, a basic subscription costs $25—which allows you to be searchable—and $60 for a featured subscription, which not only displays your bio on the directory but also on Facebook, Instagram, and in the monthly newsletter.

These fees are generally lower than the fees charged by other directories, where costs range from $10 on the low end to $1,500 per year. 

“It allows me to show a bit more of my personality, I get a client at least every month, and just one session pays for the $60 annual fee,” says Jamy Drapeza, an LCISW listed on the directory.

NQTTCN also offers therapists a community of care, resource sharing, connection, and learning for QTPoC people who provide mental health resources. This means that the directory can benefit therapists at all different stages of their careers. For example,  early-career therapists can build their client base, whereas established therapists can use it to reach new clients. This is especially important for QTPoC therapists who value helping this marginalized community. 

Of those that had tried other directories, many thought NQTTCN was the better option.

Dr. Emilie B. Joseph, who once worked for BetterHelp, Talkspace, and Amwell, said she left the companies due to low pay. When asked why it was “very likely” she would remain listed in NQTTCN’s directory, she said, “I am part of this community and align with its mission to provide services to the LGBTQIA+ population.” 

The therapists we talked to are currently listed on other directories such as Therapy for Black Girls, Zencare, and Inclusive Therapists. While they mostly said the usefulness of these directories was about the same, some of the therapists said they liked how NQTTCN reaches a different audience. 

“I like that it's specialized (e.g. queer, people of color, trans, gender non-conforming folks - QTBIPOC),” says Cahn Tran, a therapist listed on NQTTCN. ”It's harder for QTBIPOC to find affirming care, so having this directory is another resource for marginalized folks to find quality and culturally affirming therapists.” 

How Does National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network Compare to Online Therapy Companies and Directories?

NQTTCN fairs well against the other directories we reviewed. 62% of users said they tried another directory or online therapy service before using NQTTCN and 71% of those said NQTTCN provided better or much better service. For example, 84% of NQTTCN users gave the directory an overall rating of very good or good, compared to 79% of users of Melanin and Mental Health, a similar online therapy directory designed specifically for BIPOC therapy seekers. NQTTCN also beat out Melanin and Mental Health in its overall score, with 84% of users rating the directory as good or very good against Melanin and Mental Health’s 79%.

When asked what NQTTCN does better, 36% said the site app is easier to use and 39% said therapists have better qualifications/experience/specialized training. In addition, 43% said therapists are more culturally sensitive when working with clients who are LGBTQIA+, and 31% reported finding therapists who are more culturally appropriate for clients who are BIPOC. 

Additionally, 26% of respondents said the therapists in this directory were also able to support clients who’ve experienced racism and discrimination.

Users also said NQTTCN was better because it provides additional resources such as mental health information, flexible sessions, therapists who speak similar languages, and serves users in more states.

Final Verdict

NQTTCN is putting its mission into practice. Both therapy seekers and therapists alike had mainly good things to say about the directory. Most of them are very satisfied with the way NQTTCN shows its commitment to making therapy accessible to the LGBTQIA+ community and especially to QTPoC, who generally struggle to find affirming care. Compared to many of its competitors, NQTTCN is doing quite well, especially given that it has only been operating since 2016. 

"I think this is a great resource for connecting clients to providers who share their values and, if desired, share specific backgrounds or personal experiences,” says Dr. Marshall. “Many of the profiles on here are pretty brief though, so you might not get all the information you want about a specific provider. More and more we are realizing the importance of having a provider who shares experience, values, etc, with clients, and this is not information that was always readily available - therapists get taught to ‘present neutrality’ in sessions, but being neutral in the face of someone sharing their experience of oppression in society can do more harm than good.”  

Overall, NQTTCN is a valuable resource for both therapy seekers and providers who identify as LGBTQIA+ and QTPoC. We recommend it to anyone in this target audience who provides or needs therapy.    

Methodology

To write this review, we conducted original, data-driven research in order to get a full sense of how NQTTCN helped therapy seekers and therapists connect and how it compared to other popular directories. We started off evaluating around 180 users at each company (4862 respondents total) and collecting data and research on the company, such as when it was founded, how many therapists it lists, what 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 that might be appropriate for 37 different but common scenarios of why someone might be looking for a therapist, looking at how well the website is able to meet accessibility, cultural sensitivity, parenting, condition-focused needs, and more. 

We then asked our three subject matter experts, Amy Marschall, Nic Hardy, and Hannah Owens, to score these testing results to get a sense of how easy or difficult the directory’s search functionality made these searches for users. We also sent a questionnaire to each company, though not all companies responded.

10 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. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. "2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Lesbian, Gay, & Bisexual (LGB) Adults. Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration."

  2. National Libray of Medicine. "Elevated risk of posttraumatic stress in sexual minority youths: mediation by childhood abuse and gender nonconformity."

  3. National Center for Transgender Equality. "The Report of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey."

  4. The Trevor Project. "Black LGBTQ Youth Mental Health."

  5. The Trevor Project. "The Trevor Project National Survey 2019."

  6. National Library of Medicine. "Measuring multiple minority stress: the lgbt people of color microaggressions scale."

  7. National Library of Medicine. "Discrimination in the United States: Experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Americans."

  8. American Psychological Association. "How diverse is the psychology workforce?"

  9. United States Census. "Income and Poverty in the United States: 2019."

  10. Williams Institute School of Law. "LGBT Poverty in the United States."

By Jo Maenzanise
Jo is an international freelance writer with a keen interest in health.

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
Hannah Owens,
Hannah Owens

Hannah Owens is the Mental Health/General Health Editor for performance marketing at Verywell. She is a licensed social worker with clinical experience in community mental health.

Learn about our editorial process
and
Ally Hirschlag
Allison "Ally" Hirschlag

Ally is a senior editor for Verywell, who covers topics in the health, wellness, and lifestyle spaces. She has written for The Washington Post, The Guardian, BBC Future, and more.

Learn about our editorial process