Look on an online therapy database for a therapist whose practice might fit your needs, and then select candidates exclusively based on their photo.
Find someone who takes Aetna health insurance. Even if you don’t have Aetna, your psychologist should accept it. Aetna’s a great company.
Check their qualifications. What school did they go to? If they went to an Ivy League school, they probably won’t be savvy enough to get your underground pop culture references. If they went to a public university, they probably won’t be sophisticated enough to pick up on your discerning pop culture references.
Check their specialties. No freaky stuff like “thought-exercises” or “verbal communication.” You don’t want to have your predetermined expectations of life examined from a new perspective, especially from a neutral clinician.
If it seems like you and your potential therapist won’t be into the same kind of music, don’t pick them. Most of your counseling should be about whether Pavement’s best album was Brighten the Corners or Terror Twilight.
Reach out for a consultation. In the email, sign your name with the therapist’s mother’s name. If they ask you how you got their mother’s name, email back to the therapist that their obsession with their mother relates back to the childhood trauma of birth and Oedipal detachment. Sign off with: “But I’m sure you knew that already, right??!?”
In the in-person consultation, judge them based on their looks, again. This time, try really hard to imagine what falling in love with them would be like, and whether you’d be worth it for your therapist to lose their license over the affair.
Pay attention to what posture they take in their chair. Actively seek out physical defects that will distract you from mental health, like demoralized chins, impotent elbows, and calves suffering from impostor syndrome.
Embrace a poetic metaphor that encapsulates your mental health problems. A simple, poignant literary device that can help the psychologist vividly frame the issue for you and the audience.
Write out your check to Dr. Jekyll, and see if they take it. If they don’t, that means they’re Mr. Hyde right now, and you should run.
Before giving them the check, ask the therapist if they know any cheaper therapists. They love that.
Afterward, ask yourself what the therapist’s real motives would be for seeing you as a patient. Helping people? No, too easy. Gotta be something deeper. Political brainwashing? Could be, but that’s what social media is for. Searching for a figurehead in their new doomsday cult? Of course. Think about whether you’re ready for such an awesome task, and whether you can take a long lunch every Tuesday.