Jeff Guenther on Apr 08, 2018
TherapyDen's therapist directory has officially launched! You can learn more and sign up here. What makes TherapyDen different from Psychology Today and all the other therapist directories out there? Why should therapists sign up for a profile? Why should therapy seekers use it to find a practitioner? Below are some of my favorite ways that TherapyDen is a new approach to therapist directories.
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Therapists do an amazing job helping individual clients and families grow, heal and create positive change. TherapyDen, as a representative for mental health professionals, wants to bring that same spirit to our business model. That’s why we will contribute to organizations, including the Trevor Project, ACLU and NAMI, who are doing great work to create a more safe, equitable and just world for everyone. Any therapist who signs up for a “supporter” level membership will get to designate the non-profit they’d like to receive 10% of their membership fee. Together, as a community, TherapyDen will contribute to work that directly effects the mental health of the populations we serve. And if you are a therapist considering a profile, you can feel good that some of your marketing dollars are going to a great cause.
Therapy directories have notoriously bad user experience. The main one (you know who you are) is incredibly dated, clunky, ugly, poorly designed and not intuitive. TherapyDen was specifically designed with the user’s experience at the forefront. Using data collected over five years from Portland Therapy Center (the Portland, Oregon-based therapist directory I created), TherapyDen is designed to give visitor’s looking for a practitioner a modern, logical, relaxing, and intuitive experience. It’s simple enough for older folks to navigate with ease, while also appealing to millennials, the generation most likely to be searching for therapists. TherapyDen was created using today’s best practices and with a user experience specialist on the team, it will remain current with the latest and greatest.
Search filters — or a lack thereof — can make or break a directory search. Nothing frustrates a user more, and has them fleeing the page faster, than not being able to search how they want.
On the TherapyDen homepage, there is a simple search with the three most popular filters — specialty, zip code and insurance. For many people, that’s enough information. But for those looking to refine their search further, the advanced search option offers a number of detailed options. For example, users on TherapyDen can search not only by classic mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, but a whole menu of modern terms including political climate, racial identity, gender identity, immigration, acculturation, etc. Visitor’s can also find a therapist with a gender neutral bathroom or one who is queer competent or poly-competent, for example. TherapyDen’s mission is to be as inclusive and representative as possible and this is reflected in the way we have designed our search. If you see something missing, just let us know! TherapyDen will be a living community and we will be adding terms and features on an ongoing basis.
Getting a therapist profile to truly give a potential client real insight into what a therapist is like is a tall order. But feeling some sort of connection to the therapist, however slight, is often what causes clients to make that critical, initial outreach. That’s why TherapyDen is asking therapists to go the extra mile and push themselves to be as transparent and authentic in their profiles as they are comfortable. TherapyDen profiles will include a unique “my personal beliefs and interests” section front and center. Whether it’s through a video message or by sharing details about your personal passions, political beliefs or hobbies, clients develop a stronger rapport with therapist’s who share more of themselves. But if the idea of sharing stuff like that with potential clients is panicking you — don’t worry, it’s fully optional.
TherapyDen is working on a number of really exciting partnerships as we get closer to launch. Although I’m not ready to share all the details (coming soon), a TherapyDen membership is going to come with a bunch of really cool, useful discounts and free stuff. We’ve partnered with experts in the practice building community (people you already know and love) to provide TherapyDen members with discounts on everything from online courses to services to help you create your website.
Finally, for all the design nerds out there (myself included), I’m really excited to share the official TherapyDen logo. We decided to go all in on the Den of TherapyDen, creating a cozy little room as part of our logo that we hope evokes feelings of warmth. I also love the lamp, which to me represents therapy as a force of light in a sometimes dark world. Our graphic designer also came up with a set of icons for the site. I think these are a really fun take on the traditionally designed icons we usually see on therapist directories (for example, how many times have we seen couples counseling represented by two stick figures or detached heads). The icons are gender neutral and play on the lamp theme from the logo. I know I’m biased, but I love all the design elements we are coming up with for TherapyDen. Check them out below.
I can’t wait to share the full site with you all later this spring. I’m excited to hear what you think!
Jeff Guenther, LPC, is a therapist in Portland, OR. He has been in private practice since 2005. Jeff is the creator and owner of Portland Therapy Center, a highly ranked therapist directory. Jeff, and his team, have launched a new progressive therapist directory, TherapyDen.