“It’s always sunny and 72 in San Diego.” This is one of the first things I heard about San Diego when I was preparing to move down here for college. How could one not be happy when living with an ocean view? San Diegans are truly blessed to be surrounded by such beauty! However, the reality is that despite the beautiful sandy beaches and many enjoyable activities our county has to offer, we are all prone to experiencing real life issues.

Depression, anxiety, trauma, relational conflicts…none of us are immune to experiencing these challenges. So, how does one find a therapist or counselor in San Diego that’s the right fit for their needs? 

Finding a therapist in San Diego, CA can be difficult when there are so many good options to choose from. How do you pick an option that’s right for you and where do you get started? I’ve compiled a short list of steps for you to find a therapist or counselor in the South Bay of San Diego and hope that you find this information helpful for your search:

Here are 5 ways to find a therapist in San Diego: 

Contact your health insurance company

This is one of the first places you can check for a list of in-network providers. Start by calling the member services number on the back of your insurance card and inquiring about your mental health coverage and the steps you need to take to find a therapist. A customer service representative can guide you on how to search for a therapist that takes your insurance and any additional steps you may need to take such as obtaining prior authorization in order to utilize your insurance benefits.

Sometimes there can be a waitlist to see a therapist right away, thus, you may want to inquire about your out-of-network coverage as that opens up more opportunities for you to be seen more quickly by a therapist of your choice. Additionally, seeing an out-of-network provider can open up more opportunities for you to choose a therapist that fits your specific needs. 

So be sure to ask about wait times, session frequency, and your options for in-person therapy vs. virtual therapy via telehealth. 

Lastly, be aware that insurance only covers therapy that they consider to be “medically necessary” which means that you have to meet criteria for a mental health diagnosis. This will also become part of your medical record. If you’re seeking therapy for general life transitions or relationship challenges your therapy may not qualify to be covered through insurance.

Search through local therapist directories

There are several great online directories where you can look for a therapist near you (in no particular order):

Each of these sites offer advanced search options which allow you to look for a therapist that best matches your needs. Are you looking for someone who specializes in trauma or EMDR? You can select those options to narrow down your search. Would you like to find a therapist who shares your faith background? There’s a search option for that as well. 

Ask your doctor or other service provider

Your doctor, dentist, chiropractor or acupuncturist may have made connections with local therapists whom they’ve met in person or networked with that they can refer you to.

Contact your faith community

Your Pastor, Priest, Rabbi or Imam may have a list of vetted therapists they can provide.

A free therapy consultation in San Diego, CA

I hope you found this helpful in finding a therapist near you. If you still feel stuck on where to search for a therapist in your area and how to get started, feel free to call me at (619) 494-0754 to schedule a free, 15-minute phone consultation. I’d be happy to hear more about what you’re hoping to work on in your therapy and see if I can point you in the right direction. 


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