How do I find a therapist?

A simple, non-shitty guide to finding mental health support

Joshua Lavra
7 min readMay 10, 2021

It’s 2016, and I’ve literally googled “gay therapist 94102', hoping the qualified, gay, handsome-but-not-too-attractive therapist of my dreams would manifest on my screen.

google search for ‘gay therapist 94102’

Instead, I find myself clicking through a handful of local therapy centers and support groups, eventually landing on Psychology Today.

A long search and a few emails later, I had my first therapy appointment scheduled.

screenshot of an email that connected me with my eventual therapist

This guide is a way of sharing what I’ve learned from struggling to find, and eventually finding, mental health support. It’s the advice I’ve shared with friends — simple, totally biased, but carefully considered.

Hopefully it helps you find the support you want. Everyone deserves to have their mental health cared for, and I hope you are able to find the care you need.

1 — Pick the type of support you’re seeking

There are many different forms of therapy. For the sake of this guide, when I talk about therapy I’m referring to talk therapy — where you spend time with…



Joshua Lavra

focused on human ways to support the health and happiness of young queer people @Hopelab. formerly @IDEO @EY_Doberman @AirLiquideGroup