You’ll need to do some “shopping” if you are to find a skilled clinician to work with. Therapists are generally well-intentioned people with a sincere desire to help others.

But therapy is at least as much art as science, so there is lots of room for individual clinical judgment to influence the course of treatment.

To be blunt, some people’s judgment simply isn’t as good as others. Therefore, you should look for someone who is licensed and therefore accountable, who is well-trained academically (minimum of a master’s degree), is positive and empathetic as a person, has extensive clinical experience in treating depressed people, is current with the clinical research, has a good reputation in the community, and who is available for providing treatment to you in a consistent manner.

Do not just go to the Internet, phone book, or the local health food restaurant bulletin board to find a therapist.
  • Start by asking family and friends if they’ve seen a therapist they liked and found effective.
  • Ask your family doctor too (but beware of the “medical brotherhood” that can land you in a psychiatrist/colleague’s office and on medication right away in case that isn’t what you want).
  • Call the local psychological association (or other local professional associations for marriage, family therapists, or social workers) and get the names of people they’d recommend that specialize in depression.

Once you have some names, call them. Be prepared to do some brief interviewing in order to get someone you feel comfortable with.

These website pages address the mood disorder known as major depressive disorder, or major depression, in general terms. It is not a substitute for professional diagnosis and/or treatment by a qualified mental health professional for any individual. It provides visitors to the site with an expert’s informed perspectives in order to help guide a sensible recovery from the burden of depression.