Searching For Normal

the story of a girl gone too soon

Need help finding a psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric nurse therapist, or treatment program? Looking for consumer information about psychiatrists and treatment program ratings or certifications?

If you’re looking for a mental health professional in your community, here are some tips and online resources to get you started. If you have a physician whom you trust, that can be a good place to begin. Talk to school counselors, too—they may be able to provide a recommendation. Ask everyone you feel comfortable talking to if they know of anyone good. If you find someone on one of the sites below, you should do your own background check.

www.samhsa.gov: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a treatment locator, an online source of information for people seeking treatment facilities in the United States or US territories for substance abuse/addiction and/or mental health problems. To access the treatment locator, click on the box that says “Behavioral Health Treatment Locator” in the “Find Help” menu and enter your city or zip code. If you click on the service you are looking for—say, mental health—you can further narrow your search. This is a resource that my crisis line uses frequently to find local help for our callers.

www.psychologytoday.com: Psychology Today has an online database of psychologists, therapists, counselors, group therapy, and treatment centers in the United States and Canada. The site allows you to search by location and specialty. Information on each specialist includes a bio, qualifications, accepted insurance plans, and client focus. Professionals pay a fee to be listed and provide the content for the database. It’s a good starting point, but, as with all the sites, you need to do your own background checking. Enter your zip code or city, and click on the “Find a Therapist” link.

www.abct.org: The Association for Behavioral & Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) website includes a CBT therapist database. Click on the “Find a CBT Therapist” link and enter your location. This database includes only ABCT members.

www.aacap.org: Use the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s (AACAP’s) “Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Finder” link on the main page to find a child and adolescent psychiatrist near you. Also included on this website is a series of very informative guides, called “ParentsMedGuide” (for ADHD, bipolar disorder, and depression) and “PhysiciansMedGuide,” which were designed to help individuals make informed decisions about childhood and adolescent depression treatment. This site also includes information on clinical trials—what they are, who conducts them, and how to participate.

http://clinicaltrials.gov: This is a registry-and-results database of publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants conducted around the world. Check this site for available clinical trials if you are interested in participating.

www.healthgrades.com: On this website, you can look up doctors and child and adolescent psychiatrists by location and specialty. The site provides board certifications, education, experience, philosophy, and patient satisfaction ratings and identifies sanctions, board actions, and malpractice claims, if any.

www.consumer.ftc.gov: The Federal Trade Commission provides consumer information on residential treatment programs for teens and “troubled youth,” as well as guidance on what to look for, links to program certifications, and other sources of information for parents. Enter “Residential Treatment Programs for Teens” in the search button.