Recommend a Boston therapist
December 12, 2004 11:34 AM   Subscribe

I need a therapist. I recently moved to the Boston area, I don't really know anybody, and Psychology Today isn't doing it for me. I know that I'm clinically depressed (runs in the family, and relatives who are docs say so), and it's gotten worse of late. It's ruining my job, my life, and my sleep. Where do I find a top notch psychiatrist/psychologist?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have a useful response for this question but not terribly comfortable posting it publicly. The poster is invited to email me (bill at my username here .com) if interested with a promise to preserve their anonymity.
posted by billsaysthis at 12:01 PM on December 12, 2004

1) You can find a social worker who is a psychotherapist at the National Association of Social Workers:

2) Also try the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance:

DBSA Boston (MDDA)
Phone: (617) 855-2795
Additional Phone: (617) 855-2795

I found the above information on their national website:

3) If you need information about depression, I've got lots of links on my mental health website (see my profile).

4) Books

A Consumer’s Guide to Psychotherapy: A Complete Guide to Choosing the Therapist and Treatment That’s Right for You, Larry Beutler, Bruce Bongar, and Joel Shurkin
Oxford University Press, 1998

Treating Mental Disorders: A Guide to What Works, Peter Nathan, Jack M. Gorman, and Neil J. Salkind
Oxford University Press, 1999

Caring for the Mind: The Comprehensive Guide To Mental Health, Dianne Hales and Robert E. Hales
Bantam, 1995

5) Treatments that don’t work and

Sorry, this is my first post, and I have not figured out how to make the above links clickable.

Good luck,

Jim Beecher, LMSW
posted by Jim Beecher at 1:29 PM on December 12, 2004

jim, see here for how to make links. cheers.
posted by andrew cooke at 1:40 PM on December 12, 2004

Yes on the Consumer's Guide to Psychotherapy. Its great, especially if you've no idea on where to start (different treatments, medication/no medication, etc).
posted by Boydrop at 2:34 PM on December 12, 2004

I have a reference for you- I can't testify personally, but a close friend saw someone in Boston who helped them work through some very tough times. Please email me.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 3:05 PM on December 12, 2004

Find out where the high-powered business executives/very important people/etc. go. Seriously. (A friend of mine says that half of the people at his office all go to the same practice . . .) Or you could start at a school-of-medicine hospital. Don't be afraid to ask for a referral if you feel your doc doesn't understand you very well. Your new doc should ask you a LOT of highly-personal questions, and pay close attention to your answers, and give advice that's individualized (not "oh, all you big-city-dwellers sure get depressed about the littlest things, don't you?") Dr. Ivan's site has a list of some in your area, though I have no idea what criteria he used to compile his list! Last but not least -- you're welcome to email me with questions [my username at gbronline dot com], anonymity will be preserved, etc. Regrettably I know more about the topic than I'd like.
posted by oldtimey at 4:17 PM on December 12, 2004

The poster is also invited to e-mail me privately.

"Runs in the family" = "run to a medical doctor." Your first consultation should be with a psychiatrist (MD). He/she can act as a sort of triage, deciding whether your course of treatment should be medication (in which case your therapy is with the psychiatrist) or talk therapy (in which case you can go with a psychologist or CSW.) The worst thing possible is to spend weeks or months telling someone about [your father/your love life/your dreams] and all along be suffering from a chemical imbalance which is treatable with medication.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 9:12 PM on December 12, 2004

Don't forget, in your search, you are allowed and encouraged to interview and evaluate therapists beforehand, especially if you have a problem that may take time to work out or prefer talking therapy over drug therapy [though I can't stress what Saucy Intruder said enough about talking to an MD first]. This page from an eating disorders web site has a good list of things you can look for and think about when looking for a therapist. Remember that even though you are the one with the problem, you are essentially hiring someone to help you with it and if they don't seem to be working for you or don't have the right outlook [I had a therapist in high school who told me right off the bat that she was against pre-marital sex... um....] feel free to find one that shares common outlooks with you and that you feel comfortable with.

Other tips in your area might be to get on craigslists forums locally, specially the health forum and ask [you can be anonymous there and many people have good advice if you can sort of sift through the chatter]. Also, my sister is just starting a job with the MA Department of Mental Health in Boston [they have a semi-useful resource locator here], so if you'd like some local expert advice, drop me an email and I can forward your question to her. Good luck, and congrats on taking the first steps towards finding a therapist, I know it's a tough thing to do in general and almost impossible when you're already feeling depressed.
posted by jessamyn at 9:19 PM on December 12, 2004

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