Melissa's story*

*All names in this story and some details have been changed to protect identities.


  • 14-year-old with symptoms of chronic stress
  • Parents recently separated
  • Might benefit from a therapist with background in family systems and CBT-informed coping skills
  • Ideally searching for a younger therapist
  • March search means it may be especially tough to find therapists with after-school availability

Melissa's 14-year-old daughter, Joy, was showing signs of chronic stress, possibly brought on by the recent separation of her parents. Melissa approached Joy's school psychologist for advice on where she could turn for help. After meeting with the student for a few sessions, the school psychologist decided it would be best for Joy to see a therapist. Ideally, the therapist would have some background in family systems, and enough of a grounding in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to teach the student some coping skills. The school psychologist also thought Joy would have an easier time establishing a rapport with a younger therapist. But since it was March, the psychologist knew finding anyone with after school or weekend availability would be difficult. The psychologist recommended that Melissa use Sophia to jump start her search for a therapist.

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Step 1: Complete Questionnaire

Melissa completed a short survey that asked about Joy's needs, personality and the family's logistical preferences (such as location and insurance preferences). The form helped to educate Melissa on what to look for in a therapist, and how could she best support her daughter.


Step 2: Review Matches

The Sophia team searched our database of therapists for a match for Melissa. The Sophia database contains information on the training, therapeutic approaches, demographics, personality and availability of therapists in the Sophia network. In this case, they were looking for a younger therapist with training in family systems and CBT, with current availability. Fortunately, there were some matches that were relatively nearby where Joy lived. If there had been no qualified matches, the Sophia team would have offered to search outside of the network, or given Melissa free advice on searching for a therapist.


Step 3: Make Connection

Sophia made it easy for Melissa to schedule an initial phone call with the therapist she selected. After the phone call, Melissa set up an intake session. Sophia sent Melissa information on what to expect on the first visit, including how to talk about seeing a therapist with your child.

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Step 4: Follow Up

The Sophia Team followed up with Melissa to see how the sessions were progressing. Melissa's feedback helps to make Sophia's matching better for future families, and is also shared anonymously with the therapist. If the family wasn't satisfied, Sophia would have helped her try another therapist.


It's free for schools to use Sophia

Fill out this form to learn more about referring families from your school to Sophia.

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