This is a list of mental health professionals crowd-source-recommended by the SSC and rationalist communities. Right now it mostly has listings for the Bay Area, but I will expand it as more people give recommendations. Thanks to Anisha M for most of the recommendations used to seed the original list.

If you’ve had good experiences with a mental health professional in a major city, please comment with their name and (if available) webpage, and I will add them in. If you’re not comfortable talking about it publicly, you can also email me at

If you take the recommendation and try going to one of these people, please let me know how it went. If you like them, I can add extra recommendation dots next to their name; if you don’t like them, I can take them off the list.

If you are a mental health professional who participates in this community, you would probably be a good fit for a lot of people here. Let me know either in the comments here or by email, and I’ll add you to the list at a starting status of Highly Recommended.

Psychiatrist Recommendations

Bay Area

Name Location Cost Recs Specialties Miscellaneous
Peter Cohen Berkeley $
Heather Clague Oakland $$$ Pregnancy Also provides psychodynamic therapy
Carlos Greaves Stanford $$?
Cara Hoepner SF $$$ ●●●
Andrei Kreutzberg San Francisco $$
George Lerner SF $$$ ADHD, hormonal issues
Pamela Lyss-Lerman SF $$ Women's mental health, pregnancy In network for Anthem Blue Cross only


Name Location Cost Recs Specialties Miscellaneous
Danielle Zito Jamaica Plain $


Name Location Cost Recs Specialties Miscellaneous
Bruce Batagol South Melbourne $$$

New York City

Name Location Cost Recs Specialties Miscellaneous
Laura Baur 23rd St, Manhattan $$$ ●● Psychoanalysis In NYC rationalist social scene and so cannot other people in that scene as patients. Does teletherapy.
James Halper Sutton Place, Manhattan $$ Transcranial magnetic stimulation
Joseph Holmgren Brooklyn $$? Psychopharmacology
David Mitnick Maywood, NJ $$$ See full recommendation


Name Location Cost Recs Specialties Miscellaneous
Bertrand Wicholas Seattle $$

Therapist Recommendations

Bay Area

Name Location Cost Recs Specialties Miscellaneous
Sheila Addison, LMFT Berkeley $$$ ●●● Couples and family therapy LGBTQ, polyamory, kink, fat acceptance, etc, etc
Jamie Bachman, LCSW Oakland ??? Expertise in illness and chronic pain
Richard Barth, PhD Oakland $$$ CBT-I Expertise in insomnia
John Bieda, LMFT Concord, Alameda $$ DBT, EMDR Say hi to his student Anisha, but if you're a rationalist you probably shouldn't work with her directly.
Andy Bradshaw, AMFT San Francisco $$$ Mindfulness-based therapy Expertise in OCD
Kevin Brock, PhD Los Altos $$$ Expertise in trauma, PTSD
Rebecca Courry, LCSW Oakland $ ●● CBT, ERP Expertise in anxiety and OCD. Has worked with effective altruists before.
Sam Davis, LCSW Berkeley $ Transgender issues Therapist is genderqueer and uses they/them pronouns
David Donovan, PhD San Francisco $ Expertise in mood disorders
Joy Hillriegel, LMFT Berkeley ??? Body-centered therapy, EMDR Really into polyamory.
Wendy McVey, PsyD San Francisco $$$ Sometimes brings dogs to therapy!!! That you can pet!!!
Linda McCaffrey, MS, LMFT Santa Clara $ IFS
Judith Sachs, PhD SF, Oakland $$$ ●● Good with aspie tech people. See full recommendation.
Kelsey Schraufnagel, PsyD San Francisco $$$ Mindfulness-based therapy
Jocelyn Sze, PhD San Francisco $$$ Time-limited CBT
Meghan Tunson, PsyD Oakland $ CBT, DBT, psychodynamic Interest in autism and sensory issues


Name Location Cost Recs Specialties Miscellaneous
Carolyn Conklin, PhD Cambridge ??? Interest in borderline personality
Elizabeth Corpt, LCSW Arlington ???


Name Location Cost Recs Specialties Miscellaneous
Caroline Schneider Lincoln Park $


Name Location Cost Recs Specialties Miscellaneous
Jay Watts London EC1A $? See also her Twitter

Los Angeles

Name Location Cost Recs Specialties Miscellaneous
Erik Anderson, LMFT LA/Long Beach $$ ●● Expertise in addiction, anxiety, couples


Name Location Cost Recs Specialties Miscellaneous
Gwynneth Schell, LPC $ CBT, DBT


Name Location Cost Recs Specialties Miscellaneous
Daniel Condon, MAPsych City $$ Will do sessions via Skype
Hettie Dubow, MAPsych Kew $$ Expertise in perinatal issues
Louise Von Smeerdijk, MPsych St Kilda Road $$

San Diego

Name Location Cost Recs Specialties Miscellaneous
Mel Karmen, PhD $$? Mindfulness based talk therapy Recommended for LGBT issues


Name Location Cost Recs Specialties Miscellaneous
Gretta Duleba, LMFTA $ ●● Humanistic, attachment, IFS Specializes in "helping analytical and technical people"
Blake Thompson, LMHC $$$ ●● Combined therapy for anxiety Has an free online Anti-Anxiety Guide

Leave a Reply

31 Responses to Psychiat-List

  1. Dr Judith Sachs specializes in therapy for aspie tech people. She debugs love/sex difficulties, work issues including corporate politics, and friendships. She practices in SF and Rockridge (Oakland/Berkeley).

    For SSC readers, it may be hard to work with a therapist because you will be smarter than most of them. You will find she’s an exception to that! (And she’s had quite a number of SSC readers as clients.)

    She’s LGBTQ/poly/etc-friendly. Her PhD is in neuropsychology. She guesses she’d be in Scott’s $$$ category. She works within companies to resolve conflicts and impasses, as well as offering individual and couples therapy.

    Contact: 415-346-1302

    I know her as a friend, not a client, but I’ve found her spectacularly insightful into people and interpersonal conflicts, and kind and caring without being gloopy about it.

    • Freddie deBoer says:

      Why is the relative intelligence of your therapist a relevant issue when choosing one?

      • Fractalotl says:

        Because, as I see it, intelligence is like a string of Christmas lights. Some people have more lights, some people have fewer.

        And the people with longer strings of lights can use them to illuminate vast swaths of intellectual wonder and creativity — and / or, they can get unbelievably tangled up in the most unmanageable snarls and loops and knots.

        A shorter string of lights is just not going to make that kind of ridiculously baroque mess. And you’ll probably be better off with a therapist who can help you keep track of all the moving parts, to say, “Ok — where’s the plug end? Great, now follow it until goes under another strand — keep that one over there, don’t lose it — pass it through this loop here…”

        (Translated back into thought loops instead of Christmas lights, it’d be something like being able to jump fluently and fluidly between object and meta levels, content and process levels, personal and structural levels, etc, while following the thread of some kind of multilayered double bind or complex internal conflict.)

      • TomMustang says:

        Because like if your therapist doesn’t know what falsifiability or something is for example, then you are going to have a really hard time communicating with them. If you are analytical and your therapist can’t reason analytically then you will have trouble communicating. If you are good at abstractions but your therapist is not, then you will struggle to communicate. So on an so forth.

        Is this really a surprising claim?

  2. TomMustang says:

    David Mitnick, M.D.

    He’s a generally smart and knowledgeable guy. He’s good at dealing with abstract reasoning and analytical thinking. He has a decent knowledge of everything from Halacha and Talmud, to Philosophy of Science and Epistemology, to programming and so on. I might have, for a short time, thought he was Scott.

    Add to all of that he’s exceptionally gifted at talk therapy. He’s a good psychiatrist/therapist. He’s also a good psychiatrist/therapist for rationalists.

    To twerk David Chapman’s comment,

    For SSC readers, it may be hard to work with a therapist because you will be smarter than most of them. You will find he’s an exception to that!

    He has a neurofeedback practitioner in his practice and is personally involved in research although he doesn’t administer the sessions, he advises on them and makes the treatment plans.

    He’s not a rationalist, although he has read Eliezer a couple of times, but is definitely rationalist adjacent, think Pinker. He’s also a Utilitarian.

    Is in $$$ category

    His practice is in Maywood, NJ

    • TomMustang says:

      Also, if anyone has any questions about him I would be happy to give an in-depth answer. This guy could be a utility creating machine for rationalists who haven’t clicked with any therapists, so I would be happy to provide in-depth responses. I welcome any questions including in-depth ones.

  3. Doug S. says:

    The psychiatrist I see:

    Dr Vincent Colón
    Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
    161 Washington Valley Rd. Suite 206
    Warren, NJ 07059
    (732) 469-7656

    He gave me medication and my depression got better. My sessions are only 20 minutes so don’t expect much in the way of talk therapy, but if you need medication management he’d be fine.

  4. Celestia says:

    Therapist/psychologist recommendation in San Diego:

    Mel Karmen

    He’s very knowledgeable on LGB and trans issues, and has several clients who are graduate students. Practices something like mindfulness-based talk therapy mostly. Clever with working around insurance and tries to make sure he’s not unaffordable; definitely used to working with students.

  5. Manx says:

    Here are my NYC recs:

    Some psychiatry/psychotherapy referrals I think may work well for rationalists-

    Gayle Goren in chelsea – is aware of the rationalists and friendly – (212) 342-1190.

    Aaron Savedoff – works in Fi Di and I think seems like a sane practitioner. (646) 493-1836

    Vicki Gluhoski – (212) 717-5601 on the UWS is an excellent CBT therapist – not a psychiatrist though

    David Jiang is another colleague and friend of mine who is aware of the existence of the rationalists, less so than dmitriy, but I would still recommend him as a therapist. Calm, containing fellow, zen attitude, perceptive, fluent in mandarin. He works at St. Luke’s (West 114th st, amsterdamn): (212) 523-7668; (212) 523-6714

    Brian Clinton at Columbia seemed really good when he was my supervisor at columbia: (646) 706-7369

    Daniel Safin is an excellent psychopharmacologist – though he just accepted the position of program director, so I don’t know if he’s taking new patients – (212) 420-2435

    Grant Brenner – psychiatrist and psychoanalyst near union square. Very perceptive and talented psychoanalyst, will challenge you a lot. Expensive.

    David Siegel – UES – 646-418-7077 – Strange guy – was a surgeon who became a pain specialist, who started working with psychiatric patients. Odd by very open. Reminds me of Scott in his manner.

    Yael Schlenger – an Orthodox Jewish Couples Counselor – not a psychiatrist – (347) 462-0785 Will save your marriage.

    Seema Quraishi – 212-420-4230 Consult Liason Psychiatrist LES – I always thought she was very calming and generally pleasant. Made reasonable med decisions. Don’t know about her therapy style.

    Ben Medrano – psychiatrist/therapist: 212-423-8700. Currently works at Metropolitan ACT team, but I know he is intending to set up a private practice soonish. He has many years of training in meditation and buddhist philosophy. He is an awesome and caring therapist and psychiatrist.

  6. matchstickBridge says:

    NYC rec:
    Joseph Holmgren

    Affordable Costco-like model, extremely competent by all accounts, a fellow SSC guy and a longtime friend.

  7. blacktrance says:

    I strongly anti-recommend Joe Walker. I was sent to him after my previous psychiatrist retired, and Walker ignored all of his recommendations, required me to have frequent appointments with him (after I had been on my treatment for over a year with absolutely no problems, and my two previous psychiatrists agreed that once every three months was fine), and was rather rude to me as well. Of the four psychiatrists I’ve had, he was by far the worst.

  8. yourinnerchild says:

    Requesting recommendations for Washington State in the South Sound area. Hopefully that’s not too specific…

  9. themistocles says:

    Meta-question: why is this world (psychiatry) so fragmented and difficult to deal with? Seems like I should be able to go to a site, choose one of those docs, schedule a vid appointment, Apple Pay, etc…

  10. Liface says:

    Psychiatrist recommendation: Cara Hoepner in San Francisco.

    I actually found her by emailing Scott for recommendations. He forwarded me Anisha’s list and she was on it. Smart as a whip and willing to engage with me on a very scientific level. She also had flexibility for my personal financial situation. Intimate knowledge and years of experience dealing with bipolar disorder.

    This advice was on Anisha’s document, and I think bears repeating here as well, as it was extremely helpful for me:

    How to Find a Good Mental Health Professional

    Find someone who seems absolutely perfect but out of your league (doesn’t take insurance, not taking new clients, too expensive, etc) and ask them for referrals. Make sure to explain to them what it is about them you like (their expertise, their approach, something they wrote, etc) so they have a sense of what kind of person would be a good match, as well as what you’re seeking therapy for. Good therapists almost always know other good therapists.

  11. TomMustang says:

    Is there a reason that David Mitnick is listed is New York City? Are you combining the NJ/NYC market? I doubt people in NYC wanna see someone in Maywood, New Jersey, and visa versa. Can we get an NJ group, he isn’t really relevant for NYC.

    • Scott Alexander says:

      “New Jersey” seemed like a less natural category than “New York City” (ie someone in Atlantic City would be even less likely to make use of him) and I didn’t want to have an entire “Maywood, NJ” category, or to leave him out entirely as too rural to be useful.

      I didn’t really know how to handle this, what do people who live in the area think?

      • TomMustang says:

        Doesn’t a state category work? Like if I was looking, I’d be like, “damn, just NYC, hope someone eventually comes up with some NJ suggestions”. Buy ya, I hear what, you’re saying. Some areas of NJ are closer to NYC than to Maywood I suppose.

  12. Carl Feynman says:

    Allow me to recommend a psychotherapist in the Boston area, Elizabeth Corpt, LICSW. She doesn’t have a web page of her own, but this works:
    Her office is in Arlington, MA, near the Alewife subway station.
    I asked her if she was interested in getting more rationalists, and she said she welcomes it.

  13. Frege's Nightmare says:

    I’m looking for a therapist in Berkeley / Oakland that accepts UC’s SHIP insurance. Any recommendations?

  14. alfred hitchhike says:

    In Chicago, Caroline Schneider at Chicago Counseling Associates
    is the best of the dozen or so therapists ive seen over the years.

    She always gets right back to you and frequently answers the phone!

  15. Thomas M says:

    In Harrisonburg, Virgina, Dr. Laura Copley is a skilled therapist who is familiar with the rationalist mindset. Extremely smart, very incisive.

  16. leahvelleman says:

    Would you consider listing an NP who specializes in psychiatric medication? Or do you want your psychiatrist list to be actual-MD-psychiatrists only?

    If you’re okay with a psych NP, I recommend Danielle Zito in Jamaica Plain, in Boston.

  17. Danno28 says:

    I strongly recommend Dr Jay Watts in London.
    I’ve had a very positive experience with her.

    Her website is here

  18. Liface says:

    If psychologists have a place on this list, Dr. David Donovan, in San Francisco, is an extremely helpful and conscientious practitioner, though I have never actually been a client of his.

    I originally reached out to him to see if we would be a good fit. He ended up spending 50 minutes on the phone with me giving me a ton of advice on mood disorders. It concluded in him actually recommending that I see a psychiatrist, for which he had me send a list from my insurance and went out of his way to identify psychiatrists that he thought would be a good fit via email. We then met up in person and he spent a further hour and a half just absolutely filling my brain with amazing resources, knowledge, and further points of entry for my research into psychology and neurology. It is important to note that he spent all this time completely out of the goodness of his own heart. I can only imagine how much time and care he would put into someone who is actually a client of his.

    He specializes in bipolar disorder, gay/lesbian/trans issues, and addiction/alcoholism.

  19. raphidophora says:

    For folks in Seattle looking for a psychiatrist, please note Bertrand Wicholas was not accepting new patients when I contacted him in March 2019

  20. sansepauxon says:

    Any recommendations for therapists in Honolulu?

Leave a Reply