Finding a therapist in Brooklyn can be intimidating, and, understandably, comes with a very real “where do I begin” feeling. Fortunately, there are many therapists in Brooklyn, and the incredible pool of therapist talent in Manhattan is also just a subway ride away! The largest concentration of therapists in Brooklyn are in Downtown Brooklyn, but you can also find therapists in Prospect Heights, Williamsburg, and further into Brooklyn as well.
Follow these steps to find a great therapist in Brooklyn who fits into your budget and is a great personal it. Your health and happiness are important, and any work you do to find a therapist in Brooklyn will be well worth it! And when you're ready, browse Zencare's vetted Brooklyn therapist network to find a great therapist match for you.
1. Look for therapists affordable for you
Therapy doesn’t have to be a financial burden. While the average per-session fee in Brooklyn ranges from $150-200 (slightly lower than Manhattan therapists), you can find ways to lessen the expense if cost is a barrier.
Start by learning the details of your health insurance coverage. Is there a copay, and does it differ based on whether you’ve met your deductible? How many therapy sessions will insurance cover? Once you’ve answered those initial questions, locate in-network therapists in Brooklyn; seeing an in-network therapist is more cost-effective than out-of-network therapists, and will usually amount to a $15 - $50 copay (note that whether this benefit applies before or after your deductible will depend on your health insurance plan).
Unfortunately, in-network therapists in Brooklyn are in very high demand, which sometimes results in an already full client load (meaning they can’t take on new clients). If you’re not finding any luck locating an in-network therapist near you, consider expanding your search to therapists in all of New York. Especially if you expand your search to include online therapists licensed in the state of New York, your pool of options will be much wider!
- Aetna therapists in NYC
- Cigna therapists in NYC
- Blue Cross Blue Shield therapists in NYC
- United Healthcare therapists in NYC
- Oscar Health therapists in NYC
If finding an in-network therapist in NYC is not yielding results (a common occurrence, as insurance companies are known for reimbursing mental health professionals at rates too low to cover the costs of doing business), or finding a therapist in your neighborhood is important to you, here are ways you can make therapy more affordable for you:
If you have a PPO plan, use your out-of-network benefits. Is your health insurance plan a PPO plan? If so, your health insurance may provide out-of-network coverage, meaning it will reimburse part of your therapy session fees. If you have generous benefits, your plan may provide significant assistance -- sometimes reimbursing up to 80% of the fee!
Look for a therapist who offers a sliding scale fee. If you don’t have health insurance, or cannot afford the fees of the therapists you find in Brooklyn, look for therapists who offer a sliding scale. A sliding scale is a lowered fee that therapists offer based on a client’s income or ability to pay. You can find therapists in Brooklyn who, by using a sliding scale:
Explore low-cost mental health services. If you feel like you haven’t found the right support person or system after searching with your insurance and the sliding scales still don’t break through the cost barrier for you, take heart! In a city the size of New York, there are so many resources to explore that may offer even lower-cost mental health support. Some of them are located in Brooklyn, and you may be able to find services tailored to specific groups: veterans, LGBTQ folks, homeless folks, students, and older adults.
2. Find an expert in your area of need
There is a reason you’re looking for a therapist; that reason is unique to you, and it’s a highly important factor to take into consideration when you’re trying to find the right therapist. Counseling theories and therapeutic models are designed with specific life challenges and emotional problems in mind, and they’re the most effective when applied to those specific situations. As such, therapists often choose to become highly trained in a few therapeutic approaches and mental health conditions.
As you try to find the right therapist for you, you’ll probably notice that many of them are qualified to work with depression, stress, anxiety -- some of the broader and more common emotional challenges therapy seekers are looking to address. If that is where you fit, it may not be necessary to seek a therapist with highly specialized training or focus.
More niche and complex needs require a bit more diligence when it comes to finding the right therapist. Look for someone who has specific experience and who is highly trained if you’re seeking support with any of the following:
- Marital and couples therapy
- Play therapy for children
- Eating disorders
- Diagnosed or suspected personality disorders
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Trauma or PTSD
If you are looking for support as a parent, you’re in luck -- many Brooklyn therapists specialize in issues related to parenting, children, and family units, particularly in the family-centric Brooklyn Heights neighborhood.
As you head into your search for a therapist, try to picture what therapy might look like for you.
- Would you benefit from a skills-based approach? If learning tools to handle emotionally challenging situations sounds like a fit for you, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) may be the right approaches for you.
- Does a more holistic approach appeal to you? If so, look for therapists who practice a holistic approach. They may engage in yogic or meditative practices, or even artistic expression.
- Maybe your present struggles are rooted in past events or in your upbringing. In these cases, a psychodynamic or psychoanalytic approach may work best. If you need help reaching back into that area of your life to understand your current reality, NYC, with its multiple institutes for psychoanalysis training (where you may be able to find lower fees, as well), has a wealth of trained therapists from which you can choose.
3. Take personality into consideration
Whether in-person or virtual, you will spend a significant amount of time with your therapist. You’ll talk about personal issues, engage in hard emotional work, and maybe even reveal details you’ve never revealed to anyone else. Finding a therapist whose personality works for you is critical to form a therapeutic alliance, that willingness to work with each other and for each other to make progress toward your goals.
Before scheduling a first session, start by having an initial phone call so that you can ask questions and begin to get a feel for the therapist’s demeanor. Keep in mind, also, that before you truly dive into therapy, your therapist may schedule an initial intake session so that you can go slightly deeper into why you’re seeking therapy and what you are hoping to gain from it.
Aside from general personality match, finding a therapist who shares your cultural identity may be vital to your therapy experience. Brooklyn and NYC are wonderfully diverse, so if this is at the core of your identity, look for someone who may share that with you or understand it well. If availability is limited, try expanding your search to Manhattan-based therapists, or therapists offering online therapy sessions in the state of New York.
- Black/African-American therapists in Brooklyn and via online therapy
- POC therapists in Brooklyn and via online therapy
- Asian online therapists in New York
- Latinx online therapists in New York
- Jewish therapists in Brooklyn and via online therapy
- LGBTQ Therapists in Brooklyn and via online therapy
4. Make sure the logistics work for you
It may seem like a daunting task to find therapy that meets all of these criteria, especially if you’re specifically trying to find a therapist in Brooklyn. But with video meeting platforms, finding a therapist who truly fits your needs doesn’t have to require taxis and subways. There’s a nearly endless list of amazing therapists in or near NYC who offer, partially out of COVID necessity, effective virtual therapy sessions. As long as they are state-licensed, you can know you are working with a high-quality therapist.
Other ways to make therapy more logistically doable include searching for a therapist near your office rather than near your Brooklyn home. This is especially true if you commute to Midtown Manhattan for work, as you’ll find the greatest concentration of therapists here.
- Therapists in Brooklyn Heights/Dumbo neighborhood
- Therapists in the Prospect Heights neighborhood
- Therapists in the Williamsburg neighborhood
- Therapists in Downtown Brooklyn
Aside from geography, you also need to consider scheduling availability. Even if you opt for online therapy, it’s important that you find session times that mold to you/your family’s daily life. Cutting it close on time or being distracted by activity around you won’t be conducive to a positive therapy session. The less convenient therapy is, the less likely you are to make it a priority.
5. Assess fit after your first few sessions
Like every relationship, therapy can start out strong, but in the end, not be the perfect fit for you. It’s common and even encouraged to discuss concerns about your progress with your therapist, and if needed, end your sessions and look for someone new to work with. You’re investing time, money, energy, and hope in this venture, and you owe it to yourself to seek your best chance for success.
If you’re unsure whether you’re on the right path, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Have I gained any insights about my life or behavior?
- Am I making any progress toward the goals I created at the outset of therapy?
- Do I feel comfortable with my therapist?
If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” use your resources to find a therapist who is a better match for you.