looking for a therapist in DC
November 30, 2010 1:51 PM   Subscribe

DCfilter/Therapyfilter: I'm looking for a therapist in the Washington, DC area that takes United Healthcare. I also need some general advice on starting therapy-- I haven't done it in several years and my previous experience with it wasn't great. I'm being treated with medications for depression.

My previous experience with a therapist wasn't all that useful, and the drugs were working excellently to curb my depression, so I just started doing the drugs by themselves. I want something in addition to that, though, because I'm moving to the D.C. area in January and am really freaked out about being in a new city (I've never lived anywhere more than 2 miles from my parents before and the idea of being on my own sort of terrifies me). I also just need the general help with coping with depression that therapy could give me. I'll feel a lot more secure about moving with therapy scheduled there.

I don't really know how to go about the process of getting a therapist-- once I get a recommendation I like do I just call their office and tell them I have depression and see if I can make an appointment? Or will I need some kind of referral?

Oh, and on the off-chance that it matters, I'm 22 and female. Bonus points for queer-friendly therapists (I assume most of them are though, these days), but no age/gender preference.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Can you email a mod and tell them a) which UHC plan you're in (I'm in Choice Plus, they always ask when I go to a new doctor,) b) which part of "the DC area" you'd like to see someone in (Arlington, Georgetown, etc.,) and c) a throwaway email address?

You'll want to check with UHC to determine if you need a referral. Call 866-633-2446 if you don't have your card handy.

When you call, tell them that you've been prescribed [medication name] for depression and are new to town and want to start therapy again. Call them this week and let them know you don't need an appointment till January, and you'll be more likely to hear "we can fit you in" than if you say it's urgent.

I recommend that you also find a medication management provider - someone who prescribes psychiatric medication. In my state nurses with the right training can do it. Remember that you have three jurisdictions (DC, Virginia, Maryland) to choose from, though given DC traffic and travel times you should probably stick fairly close to wherever you're living/working.
posted by SMPA at 2:23 PM on November 30, 2010

Mod note: From the OP:
I'm looking for any therapist in DC proper near a metro line-- I don't have a place yet but will probably be living in the Columbia Heights area. Throwaway email address is askmeanomnomnom@gmail.com.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:52 PM on November 30, 2010

Have you checked out the mental health provider search on the myuhc.com website? It's surprisingly good; you can search by zip code and radius, and for a number of options such as therapist's gender, languages spoken, areas of focus, if they're LGBT-friendly... you can also cross-reference this with the therapist search on psychologytoday.com, I found a great counselor that way.

YMMV, but under my UHC plan, I need prior approval to see a therapist, but it just involves clicking a few buttons on the website. Look around in the mental health section of the site, it should direct you toward the approval process.
posted by sarahsynonymous at 8:38 PM on November 30, 2010

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