This webisode talks about how to find a therapist for three categories of people:
1. People with insurance
2. People wanting to pay out-of-pocket
3. People seeking therapy who can’t pay much
Start out by checking you insurance company’s website. Many companies give you the ability to search for therapists by location on their site. I want to discourage choosing a therapist just because they are the closest one to your home. While they may be convenient, they may not be the best fit.
The research shows that the number one factor in people making gains in treatment is the quality of the therapeutic relationship. You can check out a therapist and their fit for you through their website or by calling them. Do your homework here, and it will pay off for you in the end.
Even for folks with insurance, many choose to pay out-of-pocket instead of using their benefits. Why?
1. Searching out of network broadens the range of therapists people have access to, giving them a better shot at finding a good fit.
2. Many don’t want to deal with navigating the restrictions insurances place on the therapy process. Some plans only allow a certain number of sessions per year, or don’t cover “extra’s” like group sessions, more than one session per week, or phone sessions.
3. Privacy. When using insurance, the therapist is required to give a diagnosis when submitting paperwork. Once the paperwork is submitted to the insurance company, the quality of privacy is out of the therapist’s hands. The diagnosis and treatment information can be seen by anyone in the insurance company and auditors of the insurance company. A diagnosis on file can even cause issue with obtaining life insurance policies and certain high security clearance positions.
So you’ve decided you’re going to pay out-of-pocket for a therapist. Where do you look?
I always send people to psychologytoday.com. It’s an easy-to-navigate site which allows you to narrow down therapists by location, specialty, gender, insurance, and more. You can also draw on friends and family members for recommendations. Chances are, they like and get along with their therapist, you probably will too. Again, make sure you call the therapist and check their site to see about the fit before booking an appointment.
Limited ability to pay:
Call 2-1-1 or visit their site 211.org. This is a national mental health hotline which helps with suicide prevention, and will also provide referrals for mental health community resources in your area. Many of these resources may be provided on a sliding scale or even free.
Also, check out openpathcollective.org. This is a site, much like Psychology Today, but only includes therapists who offer a sliding scale. Here you’ll only be looking at therapists who are committed to making mental health accessible, despite your financial spot. I’m on there!
Thanks for watching! Be well!