Guide to Selecting a Therapist

The most important (and challenging) part of seeking professional support as a MAP is finding a therapist who is a good fit for your mental health needs. This guide will walk you through the process of finding a supportive therapist so you can receive safe and effective treatment and avoid the risks that are often associated with therapy for MAPs

This guide is one of many therapy-related resources we offer

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Learn about safe therapists

Effective therapy can be beneficial for MAPs, but patients need to feel comfortable discussing sensitive and deeply personal topics. Unfortunately, not every therapist can provide a safe space, especially for controversial subjects like minor attractions. Despite their training, some therapists hold stigmatizing views or utilize harmful approaches that can put MAPs at risk.

Review the lists below to learn about some indicators of the risk posed by a therapist. Later, you will use these to evaluate whether or not potential therapists fit your treatment needs.

Remember that these indicators are based on statistical trends and may not be an accurate reflection of any specific therapist's level of competency for working with MAPs. They are designed to serve as a rule of thumb to help you avoid high-risk therapists and stay in control of the treatment process.

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Identify potential therapists

Now that you have a sense of what you're looking for, it's time to find some therapists who could be an option for you. The goal right now isn't to find a single perfect therapist, but rather to give yourself several options so you have flexibility in your treatment decisions.Β 

Therapy Finder

In our experience, the safest way to find qualified therapists is using this up-to-date collection of all known therapy-related resources that are in compliance with our Content Guidelines.

If you still want additional options, there are some suggestions below that can help you expand your list. Keep in mind that therapists found using the methods below may not be in compliance with our safety standards.

Resource lists

MAP Resources is not the only group that collects support resources for MAPs. Groups like Virtuous Pedophiles, MAP Support Club, and StopItNow! all maintain resource lists with therapy-related services (though not all resources listed are therapy).

Note that these lists may be outdated or fail to consider the safety of MAPs pursuing professional support. Use them with caution.

Recommendations

If you are in MAP spaces and feel comfortable sharing your general location in some capacity (such as on an anonymous account), you may be able to ask for therapist recommendations from other MAPs.

This is typically only effective if you live in a populated area, and it can give bad actors an opportunity to trick you into sharing information with someone pretending to be a therapist. Stay vigilant for red flags.

Local providers

Of course, you can always consider local providers that you find through more typical therapy search methods. Not every safe therapist publicizes their views, and some may not be aware the option to do so exists.

This is probably the most risky method of locating therapists, and you are likely to find several who hold stigmatizing views. Be very careful when interacting with therapists found using this method.

As you collect options, it is a good idea to make note of information from therapists' websites, recommenders, and therapy search tools. Pay particular attention to anything that may help you determine whether or not a therapist is safe.

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Evaluate your options

Once you have some therapists to consider, the next step is to evaluate whether or not they are safe for MAPs and a good fit for your unique mental health needs. This is accomplished by reaching out anonymously and asking questions to get a sense of their views and approach to treatment regarding MAPs.

We provide a basic vetting process that you can use to get started, but consider adding or adjusting questions to make them more specific to your concerns and treatment goals. If you want to know whether or not it would be safe for you to talk about something specific in therapy, now is the time to ask.

The vetting process should help you identify pros and cons of each therapist. Once you've completed it, determine whether or not you would feel comfortable with any of the potential therapists. If so, go ahead and schedule an appointment. If not, you can go back and look for more options or consider other forms of support.

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Protect yourself in therapy

The importance of protecting yourself doesn't end when you start treatment. If your therapist is new to working with MAPs, ask them to clarify with you if they have questions or concerns about something you say during a session. You can also direct them to our Therapists page, which provides resources to help mental health professionals better support MAPs.

Even MAP-friendly therapists may engage in practices that put their patients at risk when faced with certain topics or situations. To prevent this, we recommend avoiding certain topics during your sessions, unless you were told it was safe to discuss them during the vetting process.

Of course, if you have mental health concerns related to one or more of these topics, discussing them may be unavoidable or in your best interest. Use your best judgment to determine the risk involved, and ask your therapist if you have any questions about their views on those or other subjects. A good therapist will give you the information you need to stay safe and never interpret a question as an admission.