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Hey, people who have therapists: how do you find them? How do you pay for it? Is it covered under your medical insurance? Is it better to pay out of pocket even if it is covered?

I have no idea where to start honestly. I am in San Francisco CA USA if it makes any difference. I have health coverage with Kaiser through my job

@pagrus i pay for it through insurance. To find one, i made a spreadsheet of all the ones that were close and took my insurance, googled them to see who treated my needs or seemed too kooky, and then called 5-7 of the ones that looked ok. Most of those weren’t taking patients, so that got me down to ones to try.

@pagrus so, yeah, as other people have said: your insurance will have a list of providers that they cover. It's probably available through their web portal, since Kaiser is huge (it's my insurance too). I would cross-reference with Psychology Today to get notes if you're interested in someone that is good at a specific issue, but generally...you just start by finding out who is taking patients and try to go from there. If you have some idea of what you want help with, that goes a long way, too.

@pagrus I use betterhelp because it's so much more accessible than what my insurance covers. I tried talkspace first but I prefer betterhelp because for about the same price you get one video session each week. Technically only 30min but my therapist does an hour anyway. I like the text chatting part a lot. This is my third therapist via app, it took a little trial and error, but she's really good. I pay for a few months at a time with a discount bc I'm poor so it's not too $$.

@Cyannin Good to know! I don't have a ton of money so this is helpful

@pagrus In the end I pay $35 a week, it's probably the cheapest non-insurance option.

@pagrus you can get a referral to mental health services through kaiser if you talk to your PCP. likely they'll give you a grant to access mental health services through a few third parties. you then have to find a therapist in those networks, but it will be covered. I always find the *finding* a therapist part the hard thing, but I also found magellan was proactive about helping me find one after I got the kaiser referral. with that being said, I'm paying out of pocket to see my old therapist

@pagrus A solid option to find a therapist is the psychology today website. Pretty straightforward and lots of filters. Most reasonable medical insurance will cover therapy and if you’re already paying for insurance it only makes sense to use it as much as possible. Kaiser is pretty good insurance too, they might have a look-up tool as well on their website.

@pagrus then after you've followed all the good advice you've already received, don't be afraid to switch therapists if you feel like the one you've got is just not hearing you or not on the same wavelength. there are always more out there (especially in an urban environment) and there's no sense trying to make it work if you don't feel comfortable with that person.

@pagrus Strongly recommend CIIS - not only because I have friends who graduated from there, but because that's also how I found my first therapist! (She's rad and I follow her in Insta now.)

ciis.edu/counseling-and-acupun

I also went for somatics specifically because I was a dancer at the time and have always been pretty in tune with my movement and physical feeling. Also because they did sliding scale payments and I was unemployed at the time.

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