Rating your therapist offers other consumers valuable information and makes them feel not so alone.

Rating your therapist offers other consumers valuable information and makes them feel not so alone.

Has therapy helped you in the past?  Are you grateful for the support a counselor or therapist has given you?  Consider spreading the word.

If you’ve ever tried to find a new therapist, you know it can be a bit of a struggle.  Unlike in many other professions, it does not help to know a friend, neighbor, member of your church, or parent at your kid’s school who is a therapist.  Odds are if you know that therapist in a personal context, s/he will feel like it’s not ethical to work with you professionally.  Personal connections are out.

There’s always the web but most therapists have decent looking web pages and many say roughly the same things.  How do you know who to choose?  Unless the therapist offers a free consult, you could go through a lot of money finding someone who feels like a good fit for your needs.  When in doubt, many of us research businesses and clinicians on the Internet, hoping to find ratings or reviews that will either confirm our selection or convince us to move on.  But there is a surprising lack of information and ratings on the Internet for therapists.

Why?  I’m guessing that –unlike autobody shops and hair salons, which everyone needs and no one is afraid to admit to using — offering a review of a therapist can feel like exposure of something that is private.  It’s a risky proposition, given that even in this day and age, there’s still a stigma associated with getting help with emotional problems or issues.  But did you know that there are rating sites that allow you to retain anonymity?  You get the best of both worlds: you can help someone else by getting the word out about a therapist and you can maintain your own privacy.

Here’s an article about sites that allow anonymous reviews but please do your own checking and double-checking when you’re on any site, just to make sure that you’re comfortable with how they will use your information and what they will reveal.  A safer bet is to use a site that is dedicated to the healthcare field/  One online healthcare directory that allows anonymous reviews is Healthgrades.  Right by the rating link, there’s a bolded statement that “Your participation is confidential.”

Ratings help your fellow counseling-seekers and they can help your therapist, whether it’s to attract more new clients or to make needed adjustments in how s/he is conducting her or himself in session or in business.