July 5

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A Step by Step Guide To Finding a Therapist, Psychiatrist, Treatment Program, Or Support Group

By Karen Robinson

July 5, 2022

Heal Thrive Dream 

Apologizing to my global/international friends in advance as this only (mostly) works in the U.S. in a robust way. However, I’m noticing some listings from abroad.

If you reside out of the U.S, a possible resource for you is:

Pay What You Can Virtual Peer Support Groups

This resource is virtual and has clients as well as therapist from around the world. *I’m not an affiliate.

During my time as a therapists, it is often a challenge to find a psychiatrist, a marriage therapist, rehab or a residential treatment and support groups. This issue became even harder during COVID. 

One of the approaches where I have found the most success is through psychologytoday.com Of course I can’t guarantee you will find a provider because it also depends on your insurance and provider availability in the state you reside in. 

Step 1

Don’t wait any longer and open up your computer or dig out your phone.

Step 2

Log into: psychologytoday.com (I am not an affiliate).

Step 3

On the top menu, select one of the following from the drop down menu: Therapist, On line Therapy, Psychiatrist, Treatment Centers, or Support Groups.

Step 4

Search by your zipcode (State Licensure Laws require your therapist to be licensed within the state you reside in).

Step 5

Note that not all providers or centers are listed. Why? Because you have to pay in order to have a listing. This is important to note as there have been a few times where NO ONE pops up! If this happens, please contact your insurance company directly and request a list. Yes, I know calling the insurance company can be frustrating and you will likely need more therapy after dealing with them.

Step 6

Once you see a list of providers, please don’t get to excited yet. Please hit the insurance button (there are a list of buttons under your zipcode). Select your insurance carrier from the list. Hopefully, it is there. I’m sorry my Kaiser people. I feel your pain. Kaiser has their own providers. Yes, I know it can be hard to get in. Yes, I know they encourage groups over individual sessions. This is not an attack on Kaiser. We have them for insurance and have been very happy with their services. I do think their behavioral health department needs to continue scaling up but I also feel that way with military behavioral health as well. Anyway, I digress.

Step 7

Once you have a list of providers narrowed down by zipcode and insurance, now you can narrow it down by “issue” or any of the other categories listed. I like this feature a great deal as it allows you to narrow down by speciality. This is tremendously important for trauma survivors and addictions.

Step 8

Now that you have a much narrower list, I recommend going to each provider’s website. Do they have reviews? Are you able to schedule appointments on line? Are they still accepting new patients? Can you confirm that they still take your insurance?

Step 9

Select two or three therapists to start with. If you can’t find answers to the questions above, give them a call. The two most important questions at the beginning are 1. Are you taking new patients? 2. Do you accept my insurance? 

Step 10

Attend 1-2 appointments with the selected provider. If they don’t seem like a good fit or not able to provide what you are looking for, please let them know and then move on to the next provider on your list. If you aren’t sensing a good fit, your provider is likely thinking the same. It is okay to shop a bit in order to find the best possible fit. Sometimes you won’t have this luxury or there may be roadblocks (Kaiser/Tricare).

Step 11

Advocate in order to get the care you need. Regardless of insurance, zipcode, etc. if you don’t have the energy to advocate for yourself right now, ask a family member or a friend to help you.

Karen Robinson

About the author

I am a licensed clinical social worker in the State of Virginia. I recently started a new company with my daughters called Healthrivedream.com. My daughters will help design products geared towards healing while I will be offering coaching and counseling services.
I earned both my Bachelor’s (1996) and Master’s (1998) in Social Work at the University of Maine in Orono, Maine. I have served in Community Mental Health in Washington, DC; as a school social worker; adoption services (primarily home studies); personal therapist, and a Federal Government Social Worker (16 years).
My full career experience can be found on LinkedIn:
www.linkedin.com/in/karen-robinson-1277a22b

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