Finding the right psychiatrist is important if you want to get the most from your efforts - here’s how to deal with it. 

1. Leave the yellow pages out of this: Anyone can get a listing on the yellow pages as there is no established screening criterion. Furthermore, listings tend to be quite costly, something that puts off many great professionals who don’t see any value in such spending. 

2. Seek referrals from the professionals you engage with on a regular basis: Trusted professionals, including lawyers, doctors, dentists and accountants, you already have a confidential relationship with are best positioned to suggest worthwhile options. Just like psychiatrists, these professionals run their own practices and usually rely on the same networks to get clients.  

Unless you really want to, it’s important to note that you don’t have to share the details of why you are seeking a referral to a psychotherapist. Simply stating that you are experiencing some issues and are interested in seeing a therapist, followed by a request for referrals should be enough. 

3. Seek referrals from family members: Most people find it much easier to reach out to family members; especially when it comes to talking about personal issues like mental health. Note that family members should not take over the process, but should rather offer their support.  

4. Seek a referral through a known therapist: Consider asking for a referral from therapists working with friends or family members. It is normal for psychiatrists to refer clients to one another. It’s highly likely that the therapist will refer you to another local professional, without taking offence to your decision not to see them; regardless of whether you choose to share your reasons or not. 

As such, you can get a referral to the next best alternative, if you don’t want to see your relative’s therapist even though you think that they are great at their work. 

5. Take advantage of the resources availed to you by your employer: An Employee Assistance Program, EAP, is available in most modern workplaces. The program, which maybe outsourced or in-house, is provided under the normal employees benefits package. The program is meant to ensure that staff members can secure counseling and emotional support in a confidential setting whenever need arises. These programs are usually set up under the HR department; consider asking the necessary officer in the department about them, and get directions on how to access the same. 

It’s worth noting that staff members only see the therapist provided under the EAP a few times for free before they are referred to an independent professional outside the corporate setting, where their insurance is accepted. 

6. Resources provided by academic institutions: Where necessary consider seeking referrals from your children’s school counselor or nurse. These professionals are likely to know a few local psychiatrists. 

Today, higher learning institutions are increasing their investment in the provision of mental health services to students on campus. As part of Health Services, Counseling Centers operate under the Student Affairs department. They are made up of qualified social workers and therapists on hand to help students tackle a variety of issues. In case you need further attention, outside their scope, they will ensure that you find the right independent therapist; this is similar to EAP programs in the corporate setting. Members of staff and past students can use these centers as a reliable source of referrals. 

7. Consider going through your insurer: If your insurance provider has a reliable customer care department, they can help you find the right therapist. The referrals made by your insurer are included in their panel, meaning that they have been comprehensively scrutinized in order to verify their qualifications, and more importantly, their suitability to your specific needs.