I live in a small town. Is it okay for me to call a therapist that I know or am acquainted with? I mean, is that appropriate?"
Signed, Shy Person"
The short answer is: yes.
The long answer is -
Like you, I live in a small town. If I never saw people I knew - I wouldn't have a practice!
(In small towns people and relationships overlap all over the place ... therapists specialize in confidentiality.)
A therapist is a person who is in the profession of helping people. So we really like it when people reach out for help.
The way I feel about it is: I know how hard it is to make that call. Usually there's no problem working with an acquaintance, but if there's some reason that I'm not the best person to help you I will always recommend another therapist or two that I know and respect.
People need support at various moments and life transitions. For most of human history we've turned to people we already know and trust in our tribes and villages for support, guidance, encouragement, wisdom. That's what we've always done, and it's a good thing.
A therapist has to be someone you can trust and feel comfortable with, as well as have a style and orientation that resonates for you - that's how you'll get the most out of therapy. So if you get a good vibe from a therapist you're acquainted with, I think that's useful information for a starting point. Give them a call and have a chat with them. See if they really do feel right for you.
If the therapist can't see you or thinks there is a better person for you, they'll explain that.
But it won't be because it was inappropriate to ask.
So the long answer is also: yes. It's okay to call.
Here's to your health and healing. Go ahead and reach out.