If you’re reading this post, I’m over-the-moon excited for you! Because you’re doing it: you’re looking for a feminist therapist. You’re considering therapy for the first time, going back after a break, or you’re ready to break up with your current therapist because it’s time.
These are all positive steps, and I hope to help you on this journey.
Because finding the right therapist is a journey. And in my experience, it’s important not to let cost (I’ll just pick whoever my insurance covers), convenience (this is the person the therapy app connected me with), or feeling intimidated (what do I know about therapy? they’re the expert) get in the way.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, nor am I particularly sane myself. These tips are based on my own experience, conversations with my amazing therapist and with friends who are as passionate about mental wellness as I am. None of this is medical advice. I just want you to find the right therapist for you.
Here are my tips for finding a feminist therapist in Chicago:
Don’t Get Discouraged
The good news is that you’re ready to find a feminist therapist. The not-great news is that the last year has pushed a lot more folks into therapy than there are available appointments, even in a city as big as Chicago. It won’t be impossible to find the right person, but it may take some time.
This is going to work out for you, so please don’t get discouraged.
Pro tip: If you’re looking at a therapy practice with many different practitioners and you find a therapist that you like, try contacting that person directly rather than going through the central intake. The intake person’s job is to be protective of the staff’s time, and therapists are often low-key holding appointments aside.
Ask Your Friend Who Talks About Therapy All the Time
Me, it’s me, I’m that friend. Not for nothing do I host a podcast about mental health. But you likely have other feminist friends who quote their therapist in conversation, talk openly about being in therapy, or regularly thank their new antidepressant for a calmer state of mind.
My guess is that this friend who benefits from therapy wants the same for you, too, and will be open to sharing resources with you, if not the name of their therapist (that can sometimes be awkward).
I get that it’s a personal question, but consider it the first step in your journey to being more open to talking.
Interview at Least Three Therapists
Yes, three. Unless you get a spot-on recommendation and click with the first person you chat with, it’s a good idea to do therapy test drives with at least three people.
Therapists understand that you need to feel them out, so don’t worry about offending someone you’ve had an appointment with. If it makes you more comfortable, make clear that you’re talking with multiple people to make sure you find the best fit.
My Go-to: Womencare Counseling Center
Womencare is where I first found my therapist, and I can’t say enough good things about the feminist folks you’ll find there. They offer sliding-scale pricing and an unabashedly feminist approach to care.
I love them so much, I wrote a piece for the Chicago Reader about them, and the headline says it all: Thanks to Womencare Counseling Center, no more claims that you can’t afford therapy.
Ask Dr. Google
I’m not always a fan of Dr. Google—catastrophize much?—but sometimes he’s a lifesaver.
A Google search for feminist therapists Chicago yields some promising results, especially this entry from Psychology Today, which is also a great resource.
Psychology Today allows you to search by a range of criteria, including: therapy or teletherapy, gender—with the option to choose a nonbinary therapist, location, issues you’re working through, insurance, price, etc.
Therapy for Black Girls is also an excellent resource to find therapists and to explore culturally relevant topics related to mental health.
Be Open to Alternatives
Traditional talk therapy has been infinitely helpful for me, and I’ve also gotten a lot out of group sessions and couples counseling. But these aren’t for everyone, and options are growing all the time for alternatives and self-guided self-development.
Body work including massage, reiki, chiropractic visits, yoga, acupuncture or acupressure might work better for you, and some practitioners even offer a blend of talk therapy and one of these.
If you’d like to do some independent research first, I’ve learned a lot in my endless YouTube scrolling.
Some of the channels I like:
- Crappy Childhood Fairy, who specializes in childhood PTSD
- Dr. Tracey Marks, a Black woman psychiatrist whose videos are often both funny and informative
- Dr. Ramani, who breaks down everything about, shudder, narcissism
- Living Well with Schizophrenia, creators Lauren and Rob are partners who make content that’s deeply personal and eye-opening
- Evelyn from the Internets, OK, this isn’t strictly a mental-health channel, but: Evelyn talks openly about her struggles and how she overcomes them, and what it’s like to be a creator when everything seems terrible
You Got This
I’m rooting for you to find the right feminist therapist! This is an important step, and I’m so glad you’ve given yourself the space to get started.
If You Need Help NOW
If you’re experiencing what feels like an acute mental health issue or if you’re in crisis, please GET HELP NOW.
NAMI Chicago has a page of resources, including crisis hot lines, text lines, and shelters.
For immediate assistance, call NAMI Chicago’s Helpline at 833-626-4244 and they’ll connect you to what you need.
If you’re a feminist therapist or wellness provider, and you’d like to be included in this or subsequent posts, contact us!