Not everyone lives close enough or can afford to see me and end up asking me for appropriate referrals. I don't give out individual names, instead I have listed some of my favorite referral sources below. (Hitting these links will take you away from my site.)
Academy of Cognitive Therapy (ACT): My favorite referral site. The professionals listed are all certified by ACT through a rigorous process that lets you know you are receiving Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy from a certified specialist. (Note: certified professionals carry the title: "Diplomate"). ACT is a non-profit organization created in 1996 by leading experts in the fields of cognitive therapy, including Aaron Beck, M.D.. ACT works to support professionals, educate consumers, and connect individuals with truly effective care. To find a certified cognitive therapist, click here: ACT's "Find a Certified Cognitive Therapist" service.
Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT): ABCT is an interdisciplinary organization committed to the advancement of a scientific approach to the understanding and amelioration of problems of the human condition. Referrals are not certified, but member therapists are usually dedicated to the practice of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). To find a list of CBT professionals from all disciplines, click here: ABCT's "Find a Therapist" service.
Gay and Lesbian Therapists:
American Psychological Association (APA): The venerable association of professional psychologists has in its "Psychologist Locator" the ability to search for a psychologist who also identifies as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. This is unusual in a general therapist referral service and speaks to the affirming stance the APA takes with sexual orientation issues. To find a gay-identified psychologist in the U.S. and Canada, click here: APA's Practice Central "Psychologist Locator" service.
Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA): Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) is a non-profit membership organization of 2,000 medical professionals working to end homophobia in healthcare. To find a gay-identified therapist or psychiatrist or other health provider (physician, chiropractor, podiatrist, etc.) in the U.S. and Canada, click here: GLMA's "Find a Provider" service.
Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association (LAGPA): This is your best bet if you are seeking a therapist who sensitive to the issues of sexual orientation in the Los Angeles area. Oddly for a service like this, providers don't indicate their sexual orientation. But these therapists know sexual identity is an important factor in your choice, so don't hesitate to ask. To find a therapist of every type, educational level, and expertise in the Los Angeles area who wishes to provide a safe environment to Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender clients, click here: LAGPA's Therapist Directory.
National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology: The National Register credentials psychologists who have top-notch education and training as a "Health Service Provider in Psychology." By seeking services from one of these providers, you know that you are getting a psychologist with education and training at a level that often exceeds state licensing standards. For a psychologist who is registered as a Health Service Provider in Psychology, click here: National Register's "Find a Psychologist" website.
American Psychological Association (APA): So good I had to list it twice! The venerable association of professional psychologists has an impressive information website that includes a psychologist locator. Most psychologists have doctorates and extensive training in psychotherapy and behavioral treatments to help people deal effectively with many of life's problems. The Psychologist Locator lets you consider many factors in searching for psychologists, including areas of specialization, gender, sexual orientation, insurance accepted, languages spoken, and much more. For a psychologist in your area, click here: APA's Practice Central "Psychologist Locator" service.
California Psychological Association (CPA): CPA is a non-profit professional association for licensed psychologists and others affiliated with the delivery of psychological services. The psychologists listed in the Locator Service are members of CPA and are licensed to practice psychology in the state of California. To find Licensed Psychologists all over the state of California, click here: CPA's Psychologist Locator Service.
Los Angeles County Psychological Association: The Los Angeles Psychological Association (LACPA) represents over 4,000 licensed psychologists within Los Angeles County by responding to the mental health needs of the community. Its purposes are to advance the science and profession of psychology and promote human welfare while educating the public about psychological issues. To find a licensed psychologist in the Los Angeles County area, click here: LACPA's Online Psychologist Directory.
National Career Development Association (NCDA): NCDA inspires and empowers the achievement of career and life goals by providing professional development, resources, standards, scientific research, and advocacy. To find a "Master Career Counselor" in your state, click here: NCDA's "Find a Counselor" service.
UCLA Career Services: This is a helpful service for students, faculty, and, and alumni of UCLA. But in conjunction with the Alumni association they also have a list of career counseling professionals in the California (and a few other states). They also offer a 25% discount to UCLA Alumni Association members. To access the list of career service professionals in California, click here: UCLA Alumni Association list of Career Professionals.
General Psychotherapist Listings:
Psychology Today: The popular psychology magazine has an impressively large therapist directory and an interesting website. Therapists are not screened (some are not even licensed), so you need to do your homework to find a good match. To find a therapist of every type, educational level, and expertise in nearly every corner of the United States and Canada, click here: Psychology Today's "Find a Therapist" directory.
Therapick: A video introduction of licensed psychotherapists in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and Orange County. The site is still in its infancy, but the idea is unique, so it's worth a look. They even let you search by therapist's sexual orientation, which most sites don't. To search Therapick's therapist videos, click here: Therapick's advanced therapist finder.
Low-Fee Therapy Referrals:
If you can't afford services from a licensed provider in the Los Angeles area, I do not recommend seeing an unlicensed provider in a private practice setting as their supervision is usually minimal and they are generally trying to build a practice versus gaining skills and training. Rather, I would recommend the following agencies that provide low-fee therapy provided by intensively trained and supervised therapy interns:
Southern California Counseling Center (SCCC): My personal favorite because I used to work there (I was the Director of Doctoral Training). Conveniently located on Pico between Fairfax and La Brea. I know the staff really cares about the clients and providing excellent services. SCCC provides Individual, Couple, Family, Child, and Group Counseling. In addition The Abuse Prevention Program (TAPP) provides exceptional services for domestic violence and provides parenting classes. To access SCCC's very low-fee counseling services, click here: Southern California Counseling Center.
AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA): Another favorite as I once was Associate Director of Client Services and managed the mental health program. If you have HIV, then APLA can provide you short-term individual, couples and family counseling, addictive behaviors counseling, support groups, and referrals to HIV/AIDS-sensitive mental health providers. In addition, APLA can provide you with many other forms of assistance including case management, housing, food, benefits assistance, home health care and much more. All services are available in English and Spanish and provided in a culturally competent manner. To access APLA's mental health services, click here: AIDS Project Los Angeles Mental Health Services.
Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center (LAGLCSC): Since 1971 the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center has been building the health, advocating for the rights and enriching the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The Center also offers low-cost counseling and addiction-recovery services; psychiatric services; legal services; health education and HIV prevention programs; transgender services; a cultural arts program and much more. To access LAGLCSC's Mental Health Services, click here: LAGLCSC Mental Health Services.
Friends Community Center: Provides a several valuable programs in Los Angeles aimed at gay and bisexual men, transgendered individuals, and those who word the streets. One program called "Friends Getting Off" is a free group drug counseling for gay and bisexual men who use methamphetamine. The program combines group counseling with a cognitive behavioral intervention that gives rewards for providing clean urine samples. Participation is eight weeks, followed by optional ongoing support groups, and one follow-up interview. To access "Friends Getting Off," click here: Friends Getting Off.
Airport-Marina Counseling Service (AMCS): A private, non-profit, community-based mental health clinic near LAX that has been serving the region since 1961. The mission of AMCS is two-fold: to provide excellent, affordable and professional mental health services, and to train mental health professionals. To access AMCS, click here: Airport-Marina Counseling Service.
The Maple Counseling Center (TMCC): Serving people from all over Los Angeles County, TMCC offers adolescent and child counseling, couples therapy, family therapy, group therapy, parenting classes, and individual counseling in the Beverly Hills area. They are more psychodynamically oriented and would not be a good choice for someone who is seeking cognitive behavioral therapy. To access TMCC's list of services, click here: The Maple Counseling Center.
Low-Fee Psychiatry (Medication) Options:
I recognize how difficult it is to find psychiatry services when you have little money. The following are good options if you live in the Los Angeles area. If you don't, I recommend you contact the American Psychiatric Association or a local medical organization for a referral in your area.
L.A. County Department of Mental Health: Providing inpatient and outpatient services at hospitals and clincis throughout the entire Los Angeles region by highly qualified psychiatrists and psychiatric residents. You can call the Access Center at (800) 854-7771 to speak with a psychiatric nurse 24 hours a day/7 days a week for help, support, or information on where to go for services. Or, if you would like to find a facility or provider in your area, click here: L.A. County Department of Mental Health clinics and service providers.
Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center (LAGLCSC): Listed above LAGLCSC provides low-fee psychiatric services to eligible lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The Center also offers low-cost counseling and addiction-recovery services. To access LAGLCSC's Mental Health Services, click here:LAGLCSC Mental Health Services.
That should get you started! Please let me know if any of these links are no longer working.