How To Find The Best Therapist in Los Angeles

When looking for a therapist we are often faced with a tough decision. On the one hand, there are many professionals to choose from. Popular therapist directories to search for a therapist are and, or you can do a Google search for "psychotherapist near me." On the other hand, it may be unclear what criteria to apply while making our selection.  Here are 5 points to consider while making this decision:

1. Insurance and cost
If you have health insurance and would like to use your benefits, call your carrier for a list of providers in your area (or in your state for online therapy), who are on the panel of your carrier, and whose areas of specialty include your concern (depression, anxiety, relationships, trauma, etc.). Also inquire if your plan allows for out-of-network providers, aka, can you choose a therapist who is not on the list and still get reimbursed? If so, ask what is the rate of reimbursement for an out-of-network provider.

In case you either do not have health insurance or prefer not to be limited by the list of providers on your insurance panel, consider the finances you would like to allocate to your mental health and well-being. When assessing the cost, consider the fee per session, the frequency of sessions, and the projected length of therapy. These are good questions to ask while interviewing your prospective therapists.

2. Credentials
Psychotherapists may possess a variety of degrees (psychology, social work, or marriage and family therapy), however, to practice psychotherapy independently they also must have a valid license. You can verify your provider's license to ensure you are receiving services from a licensed psychotherapist in good standing. Check the degree of the therapist (psychologist, social worker etc.), and search for the regulating Board for this profession in your state. In California, for example, the California Board of Psychology is the licensing body for psychologists. You can verify a psychologist’s license by clicking “Verify License” on their website and entering the therapist’s information.  

3. In-office vs. Online therapy
Research points to equal effectiveness of online therapy and in-office therapy for such conditions as depression, anxiety, and trauma. Online therapy allows access to many more high-quality providers throughout your state, eliminates commuted makes psychotherapy more accessible, despite busy schedules or remote locations. However, online therapy is not a good choice for high-risk patients or kids. Consider if online therapy is a good option for you and cast the net of your search accordingly.

4. Relevant Professional and Personal Experience
Psychotherapists work with a wide range of concerns, from depression and anxiety to relationship challenges and eating disorders. We also tend to specialize in certain age ranges (kids, teens, adults, seniors) and populations (BIPOC, LGBTQI+, etc.). Make sure your prospective therapist is an expert in the area of your concerns and has experience working with people like you. Search for their website, read what they have to say, look at their professional social media profiles, and check if you like their presence and message.

5. Interview your prospects
After completing your homework and narrowing your search to 10 potential therapists based on their location, credentials, and areas of expertise, interview the prospects. Before these conversations prepare a summary of your goals for treatment as well as a list of questions to ask each therapist.

To identify your goals, consider what would you like to achieve in therapy and how would you know that therapy was a success. Here are some questions you might find relevant for your interviewing process: Could you describe what therapy with you would look like? What to expect in therapy? What is your experience working with my concerns or with people of my background? What is the recommended frequency of the sessions? How long is each session? From your experience, how long does therapy take for people with my concerns?  Are these in-person or video sessions? What is the cost per session?

During the interview collect the relevant information and pay attention to how it feels to speak to each provider. Ease of rapport and level of comfort with your therapist are important considerations for your success.

Psychotherapy is a powerful tool for personal and relational healing, growth, and change, with ample of evidence to support the effectiveness of psychological interventions. Now it is up to you to find the right therapist to help you become the best and most empowered version of yourself.

About West Hollywood Couples Therapy 

West Hollywood Couples Therapy Clinic, led by Dr. Harel Papikian, offers marriage counseling and couples therapy in los Angeles.  It help’s couples navigate their relationship challenges and deepen their connection. Our clinic uses a unique ARM method (Awareness, Release, Mastery) to achieve rapid and profound results for our clients. We serve a diverse clientele, including LGBTQ+ and heterosexual couples, addressing issues like communication breakdowns, conflict resolution, intimacy, and trust. You can also get individual therapy sessions for concerns like depression, anxiety, and trauma.

If you enjoyed the latest blog and would like to be the first to receive new great content, sign up for Dr. Harel's newsletter.

Contact Us




9:00 am-9:00 pm


9:00 am-9:00 pm


9:00 am-9:00 pm


9:00 am-10:00 pm


10:00 am-8:00 pm





Dr. Harel Papikian has 15+ years of experience working as a couples therapist and a marriage counselor in Los Angeles, CA. He specializes in helping couples overcome crises and build fulfilling relationships using a unique three-step ARM Method: Awareness, Release, and Mastery.