Therapy Resource Guide

The following information includes options, resources, and considerations for therapy support. If the Gender Violence Services Coordinators (GVSCs) can support you in connecting with therapy support, please reach out at [email protected] or 919-962-1343.

While this guide focuses on therapy resources, UNC's Heels Care Network provides information about additional mental health resources.

Considerations for Therapy

When seeking therapy services, it can be helpful to consider what you are hoping to gain from therapy and if you have any specific goals, topics, or interests for starting therapy. This information may assist you in identifying potential therapists who could be a good fit for you based on your preferences and needs. Factors to consider may include insurance eligibility and/or cost, location, specializations, in-person and tele-therapy options, and provider identity. Once you develop a list of therapists, you can contact them to see if they are taking new clients and/or determine availability.

Reaching Out to a Potential Therapist

Some therapists may indicate whether they are accepting new clients online. If you are unsure, you can reach out and ask. Many have an email, phone number, and/or contact form on their website you can use to reach out.

If a therapist is taking new clients, you can schedule a consultation.

If you plan to use insurance, you can contact your insurance provider to learn more about specific benefits related to mental health services. You can also find more information by calling the number on the back of your insurance card.

If you are not planning to use insurance, some therapists offer reduced or sliding-scale fees based on an individual’s financial needs. This information can often be found on a therapist's website or you can ask during a consultation.

Scheduling a Consultation

Therapists generally offer a free 15-30 minute consultation via phone, video, or in-person to learn about you, your interest in therapy, and to share more about their approach. A consultation can help you both
determine whether the therapist is a fit and how you might work together. We encourage individuals to share information they feel would be important for a therapist to know, such as introductory information about you, any prior experience with therapy, diagnoses, goals or interests for therapy, and any questions or concerns you might have.

Remember, scheduling a consultation does not mean you are obligated to begin working with that therapist. It is one way to help you gather more information to determine who might be a fit for you.

UNC's Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) also offers guidance for finding a good therapist fit.

Questions to Consider Asking During a Consult

  • What is your approach to therapy? How do you approach working with a new client?
  • What training and certification(s) do you have? What are your areas of specialization and/or expertise?
  • Do you have experience working with individuals impacted by sexual violence, interpersonal violence, stalking, and/or harassment? How do you approach working through trauma?
  • If you're seeking a specific type of treatment (EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, Cognitive Processing Therapy, etc.) you can ask about their training and background related to that approach.

Resources for Finding a Therapist


Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) can be reached 24/7 by calling 919-966-3658.

CAPS offers brief therapy and mental health services each term. Individuals eligible for CAPS services include full-time graduate and undergraduate students, Postdoctoral Fellows, and partners of students or post-docs who have paid the Campus Health Fee.

No appointments are needed for an initial assessment at CAPS. Individuals will complete a brief questionnaire and then speak to a mental health professional to discuss their current needs and support they are seeking.

The provider will share about the types of care that might be available through CAPS, across campus, and in the community.

If someone would like a referral for a community provider, they can share that with CAPS during an initial assessment or email [email protected]. They can share information about needs and interest in therapy, any specific types of treatment they are seeking, insurance, financial need, preferences in a
provider, or any other information that might help identify potential referrals.

CAPS also offers group therapy focusing on a variety of topics as well as medication management and psychiatry services.


Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

GuidanceResources®, your UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Assistance Program (EAP), provides free, confidential counseling and resources to help University employees and their families deal with personal and work-related concerns.

All permanent employees and members of their household are eligible to receive three free counseling sessions per concern, per year, for as many concerns as needed. From stress management to grief and beyond, support is available 24/7 over the phone and online. These benefits remain available to former employees for up to six months after leaving the University.

EAP's website also shares information about additional services available including crisis support, financial resources, legal guidance, work and lifestyle support, and digital support.

NC State Health Plan Find a Doctor Tool

Employees can use the NC State Health Plan Find a Doctor tool to find in-network providers and services.

State Health Plan's Behavioral Health Provider Partner Headway

Employees can use the NC State Health Plan's behavioral health provider partner Headway, which features appointment booking and search filters to find a provider.

For Everyone

UNC Psychology & Neuroscience Community Clinic

UNC's Psychology and Neuroscience Department Community Clinic offers affordable psychological services through specialty clinics.

For an initial assessment, email [email protected], call 919-962-6906, or complete their Initial Inquiry Form.

Compass Center

The Compass Center offers support and information to help individuals impacted by domestic
violence identify referrals for therapy and community support resources.

Compass Center also offers free support groups and workshops focusing on a variety of topics.

To request therapy referrals or register for a support group, call 919-929-7122.

Orange County Rape Crisis Center (OCRCC)

Orange County Rape Crisis Center (OCRCC) offers support and information to help individuals impacted by sexual violence identify referrals for therapy and community support resources.

OCRCC also offers free support groups and workshops focusing on a variety of topics.

To request therapy referrals or register for a support group, call or text 919-967-7273.

Psychology Today's Online Therapist Search Tool

To find a therapist in your local community, Psychology Today Online Therapist Search can be helpful to identify providers within a certain distance of a specific zip code.

Filter options allow you to narrow therapists by zip code, insurance, specializations, and other criteria to help refine your search. To find therapists with experience working with trauma related to gender-based violence, selecting the following search terms may be helpful: “Trauma and PTSD,” “Domestic Violence,” and “Sexual Abuse."

Many therapists have a Psychology Today website and/or their own website which often includes contact information or a way to reach out to the therapist directly. These sites may also indicate if they are taking new clients. Reviewing this information can help you get to know them, understand insurance and costs, topics and issues they focus on, and offer insight about their therapeutic approach.

Once You're Connected

Finding a therapist can be challenging and doing the emotional work in therapy can be tough. That is why it is so important to find a therapist you feel you can trust and work with effectively. Sometimes, trust and rapport may take some time to develop, and that is okay. We believe in you and believe that you can find a good therapist fit, whether they are the first one you connect with or if it takes a few tries!

If after a few sessions you feel like your therapist might not be the most helpful provider for you, it is okay to share that with them to discuss your concerns and/or potential referrals. Some people connect with a therapist quickly, and sometimes it may take working with a couple to find a therapist that is a good fit for you. However it happens is okay!

Your needs may also change over time, and you might consider finding a new therapist. We encourage you to be open and honest with your therapist about your needs, concerns, and what is working and not working in order to come up with a plan together to make adjustments or determine next steps.

While it can take time, effort, and energy to find a therapist and develop an effective working relationship, it is incredibly important to be open and honest with yourself and your therapist about your needs! Therapy is for you and it is most effective when you can be open, authentic, and trust
your therapist.

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