There are several ways to go about finding a therapist. There is no best way, only the way that is best for you.
Remember that it may take some time to find a therapist that you really click with. Not just any therapist, no matter how qualified, is enough. You must feel comfortable and able to trust the person or therapy will not work.
Some people feel most comfortable following through with a referral from someone they trust. Try asking a friend, family member, or physician if they know any therapists.
If you are planning to access your insurance, you can call customer service (or look at the company's online database) to get contact information for therapists who are covered by your plan. Unfortunately, the company does not have much information about the providers, only that they are covered by the insurance plan.
There are referral agencies that will provide you with names and contact information of therapists who have signed up with their service. These services can be very helpful as the agents MAY be able to facilitate your referral to a therapist who would be a good fit for you. 1-800-THERAPIST is a national service that may have therapists in your area.
The Internet provides a wealth of resources to assist you in finding a therapist. Therapists are able to tell you a lot about themselves (even what they look like) and their practice. This can help you streamline your search.
Running a simple search yields a variety on individual provider websites. There are also numerous online therapist directories. These include:
If you are in an immediate life-threatening crisis call 911 or go the nearest hospital emergency room. Your safety is the most important thing to consider.