With Your Help, TherapyDen Made Psychology Today Evolve. What’s Next?

Jeff Guenther on Apr 28, 2019

Personally, I couldn’t stand that Psychology Today didn’t have a way for clients to filter for therapists that are transgender or non-binary. I sent them emails about it. They ignored me. Finally, I teamed up with Gaylesta and Bay Area Open Minds to create a petition asking Psychology Today to add a third gender option. I wrote the petition. Bart, at Gaylesta, edited it for me, we created a podcast episode about it and then posted the petition last Monday. A huge thank you to everyone who signed!

As the petition was cruising towards 2,000 signatures, something incredibly unexpected happened. I woke up Wednesday morning and Psychology Today had added non-binary to the list of gender options. I was stunned. They did it. We did it! I was overjoyed and super excited. But the overwhelming feeling was shock.

Psychology Today has never listened to me. They rarely make changes to their site’s functionality. And even more rarely make changes based on what people are asking them to do. Trust me, I know. I’ve been yelling and screaming about the diversity problem with their magazine covers and how disturbingly weird it is that they feature so many young, skinny and conventionally pretty white women. And the success we had last week made me think that I should just create another petition.

But here’s the thing. And maybe this is kinda obvious, but I don’t want TherapyDen to be the inspiring progressive candidate in the race that pulls all the other mainstream and centrist candidates a little more to the left only for them to be boring and disappointing in the end. I want TherapyDen to be the candidate that you actually vote for. I want big and sudden moral and ethical changes to happen. I don’t want to force some corporate big wig to continue to slowly inch closer to doing the right thing. I just want the right thing to replace the outdated thing.

Why convince Joe Biden to be less problematic and more progressive when you can just vote for Elizabeth Warren right now?

Side note: TherapyDen is not yet taking an official position on who we support in the 2020 democratic primary.

Side note to the side note: Elizabeth Warren is a fucking rock star.

So yeah, TherapyDen could create petitions to get Psychology Today to add the following things to their directory:

  • Filters for therapists that specialize in health at every size and body positivity
  • Filters for therapists that are specialists in racial justice
  • Add vegan therapists to the site
  • Feature therapists that work with kink and sexual outsiders
  • Expand their search filters so people in non-monogamous relationships can find a therapist who specializes in polyamory
  • Allow people to find therapists that are sex worker friendly and knowledgeable
  • Allow therapists to donate 10% of their monthly fee to either Planned Parenthood, The Trevor Project, The ACLU, Mercy Corps or Life After Hate
  • Create a filter for therapists that have gender neutral bathrooms
  • Allow people to filter for therapists that are in the LGBTQ community
  • Add a map feature to the site so that you can zoom around a map of your neighborhood when looking for a therapist
  • Add local insurance providers to the list of insurance companies so that, for example, if you live in Oregon you can actually find a counselor that accepts Oregon Health Plan
  • Allow people to search for therapists that have ADA accessible offices
  • Add “Political Climate” to the list of specialties since we’re all freaking out about it and can’t put down our phones to stop reading about it and losing our minds while we watch the news about it
  • And so so soooo much more

Or, instead of creating those petitions, maybe therapists can just sign up with a directory that already does all those things. TherapyDen is the candidate that’s already on the right side of the issues. You don’t have to wait for us to evolve. We’ve evolved. And so have you. Join us. It’s so much nicer over here.

As we continue to grow, you can sign up and get your first six months free. You can cancel anytime. But the best perk in joining TherapyDen is that you can feel good about supporting a company that fights racism, homophobia, transphobia and all other forms of discrimination.

I’m super happy that Psychology Today unexpectedly and uncharacteristically did the right thing. But I don’t want incremental change every few years after petitions are created. I want big, positive change right now. Join me and the thousands of other therapists on TherapyDen.

Listen to this week's episode Say More About That. I received some upsetting messages from therapists across the country when I created the petition. On today’s episode of Say More About That, I read a couple of them and discuss how I feel about receiving these types of messages. Click play below or listen on Apple Podcast or Spotify.

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.

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