Choosing A Therapist In Santa Monica

In 2020, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reported that 21% of U.S. adults experienced at least one mental illness. With such alarming numbers and the looming effects of the global pandemic only changing the course of life for many of us — access to mental health services in the United States is becoming critical year over year.

Many have suffered from the prolonged social isolation and emotional problems that come with it. And while it seems ironic that it took a global pandemic to recognize and acknowledge the importance of our collective mental health — choosing the right therapist among this growing demand is becoming difficult for first-time therapy-goers.

Even the thought of sifting through dozens of websites and making a decision can be overwhelming when we are feeling emotionally vulnerable and down. At the same time, choosing the right therapist near you can be a huge factor in determining which recovery path you take and you cannot afford for it not to be a well-thought-out decision.

We have seen many of our patients in Santa Monica struggle to find the help they deserve, and created this honest guide to help people like you find the best fit of a therapist for themselves. It covers everything you need to know to choose the right therapist here in Santa Monica, including costs you can expect to pay and how to narrow down your options.

What Is A Therapist?

In layman’s terms, a therapist is someone who can provide you with helpful advice and strategies to deal with emotional or mental issues that you’re facing. However, in practice, a therapist does so much more than just lend a listening ear and give out advice. In fact, the one thing a therapist cannot do right off the bat is assume that the solutions to your problems are identical to someone else’s.

You can think of your therapist as a close friend— someone who is authentic, genuine, and empathic towards you. Someone who will assume neither the best nor the worst of you. Someone unbiased and non-judgemental who can offer you a different perspective on things. A well-wisher who provides you with unconditional support, positive regard, compassion, and guidance.

But most of all, a therapist is someone who will always stand up for what’s right for you. If anything or anyone is bringing you harm, and this includes yourself, rest assured your therapist will call you out on it. Professional psychologists are trained to discern what lies below the surface and are there to help you get to the bottom of your own issues and find ways to cope with them.

If you’re dealing with fears about your future, grief over a loss, confusion about your love life and even profound anger towards something unjust — you can probably see how having a neutral confidant who is legally obligated to keep whatever you say 100% confidential can be an asset in your recovery.

But it all starts with finding a therapist you genuinely feel that connection with — and we are here to help you go about choosing a therapist in Santa Monica.

Top Considerations For Choosing A Santa Monica Therapist

Picking the right therapist for yourself requires taking a few things into account. Just like anything else, it is important that you obtain good value for money while ensuring that you are in the hands of an experienced professional who knows exactly what to do. You also want to feel understood and completely relaxed each time you are seated across from your therapist.

In order to truly experience the therapeutic effects of speaking with someone who gets what you are going through, these are some things you need to consider.


Find Out The Areas of Mental Health That They Specialize In

Not all therapists are equally experienced in handling all types of issues. There are some therapists, for instance, that specialize in counseling adolescents, while there are some that specialize in depression counseling. Choosing the right therapist also means having some understanding of what kind of therapist you want to work with.

For instance, if you’re having trouble with stopping smoking, you do not want to speak to someone who only tells you to quit because it’s bad. You want someone who can help you understand why you smoke in the first place, what makes it difficult for you to quit, and how you can emancipate yourself from your addiction. Your best bet, in this case, is seeking a therapist who specializes in Addiction & Recovery. Similarly, if you are dealing with the loss of a loved one, someone that specializes in Grief Counselling will be more suited to your needs.


Factor In Your Own Preferences

Would you prefer speaking to a female therapist? Do you want to speak to someone who comes from a similar background as you? It’s absolutely okay to have preferences.

A therapeutic relationship is very intimate and personal — and you only want to be that vulnerable with someone who you are most comfortable opening up to. Remember, you are the primary and most integral part of your healing process. Being honest about these preferences and not compromising on those can help you get matched with the right therapist from directories more easily too.


Read Patient Reviews And Success Stories

Taking a look at reviews from past clients can give you an idea of what to expect from your therapist when using their service. Some patients are usually thorough enough to describe their experience from start to finish — so it can be a great indicator of what to expect.

Along with things such as wait time and appointment scheduling you will also have a clearer idea of how well the patient’s issues were attended to and how was the therapist’s attitude and responsiveness towards their patient. As bad experiences prompt reviewers to leave reviews more strongly than those who have had positive experiences — if a therapist has fallen short in any way — you’ll be sure to know in the review section.


How Much Does A Therapist Cost in Santa Monica?

In the United States, average fees for each therapy session can range anywhere between $75 and $200. Most insurance plans cover mental health services to some extent, thanks to the Affordable Care Act — so it’s likely that you’ll pay a much lower fee. In most cases, co-pay payments for therapy sessions are $10-50, depending on the insurance plan and where you live in the US.

 Here are the standard rates for therapy services in the US:

Types of Therapy

Average Cost Per Session Without Health Insurance

Individual Therapy

$70 — $150

Group Therapy

$30 — $80

Couples Therapy

$70 — $250

Marriage Counseling

$70 — $250

Depression Therapy

$100 — $250

Sex Therapy

$100 — $200

Art Therapy

Free — $100

Grief Counseling

$70 — $150

Anger Management

$50 — $150

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

$100 — $200

We recommend that you run this with your insurance provider before making a pick so you know exactly what you’ll be paying each time you come in for a session.

My LA Therapy’s Pricing for Therapy Sessions in Santa Monica

My LA Therapy team deeply cares about their work. We know what therapeutic help can do for people and we are committed to helping our clients find more happiness, clarity and satisfaction in their lives.

As such, we have 3 tiers of pricing for therapy sessions:


Type of Session

Pricing (Prior to Insurance Reimbursement)

Who is it for?

My LA Therapy Impact Program

Under $75

People who really need access to therapeutic help but don’t have the financial means to do so.

Individual, Family, or Couples Therapy Session with a Master’s-level therapist


For those who need to see a therapist and are looking for an affordable option through sliding scale services.

Individual, Family, or Couples Therapy Session  with a Licensed Psychologist or Therapist


For those who need to work with a professional who has had many years of experience helping patients through similar trauma, mental health issues etc.


Note: This pricing is not indicative of what you will pay with insurance coverage. If your insurance covers therapy sessions with us, you will likely end up paying only a fraction of the costs. Be sure to check with your health insurance service provider for details.

What Should You Expect From a Therapist in Santa Monica?

The saying ‘it takes two to tango’ applies greatly to therapy. The more open you are with your therapist, the more effective your sessions will be since you’re giving your therapist more information to work with. But if you find yourself not being able to let your guard down immediately, do not rush the process either. As time and sessions go by, you will find yourself being much more relaxed and better able to articulate your thoughts and feelings to your therapist — it is also a rapport-building process.

The approach you go in with can make all the difference in therapy. It’s important that you see therapy as not just something you need to ‘go for’ — but rather a safe space for you to be yourself and share your vulnerabilities. And this is a motto that our therapists at My LA Therapy stand by. We strive to provide a safe space for our clients to openly express themselves and work through their problems knowing that they have our unconditional support every step of the way.

We have helped hundreds of patients in Santa Monica and nearby areas improve their lives — and we will be honored to help you with your mental health journey too.

Get Matched with a Licensed Therapist Today

Kickstart your journey towards improving the quality of your life and feeling better about yourself and your role in it with the help of a licensed therapist at My LA Therapy. We offer customized counseling plans to best meet your needs such as individual sessions, couple sessions, group sessions, and more.

We encourage that you state your preferences (if you have any) so that we can match you with a therapist that best fits your requirements. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, our staff will be happy to help you make that choice.

Call us to make an appointment today.

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