I need to talk.
December 26, 2012 3:40 PM   Subscribe

How do I get my health insurance (Kaiser in Hawaii) to give me talk therapy?

Kaiser is fine with giving me antidepressants. I get to see the psychiatrist for a half-hour every three months. I can call if I am having a issue. But I really need talk therapy.

I can see a psychologist more often, but she is only interested in behavioral therapy. Also, the psychologist is at a loss as to what to do with me. I seem to be a well-functioning, educated, responsible adult. She has mentioned this, since most of the people she sees have substance abuse problems.

Is there anyway to "force" them to agree to regular talk therapy? I absolutely cannot afford to do this on my own, as it is, my monthly payment for Kaiser is $1100 (for two people; $2200 all together with my work paying 50%). This does not include co-payments.

I live a remote area in the USA (think small island) and have very few options. The only other health plan option is more restrictive. Can you suggest a way to get them to agree to talk therapy?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am on Kaiser in California. They are more open to group talk therapy--would you be willing to participate in a group? I know it is not exactly the same, but it was helpful to me--of course, it depends on the folks in the group and the facilitator. The other thing they did was a movement class that was experimental and really interesting and fun.

Sometimes they'll have trial things going on that might be useful--here they also have lots of "classes" that can also be useful if you have specific issues you want to address, like stress or depression, meditation to lower blood pressure, grief counseling etc. Check out the list of classes for your local facility and see if anything strikes you as useful.
posted by agatha_magatha at 3:58 PM on December 26, 2012

I had talk therapy from Kaiser in Oregon. Although the therapeutic perspective was 'behavioral', and I was lining up alongside substance abuse clients, what we were doing was really just (an especially efficient, evidence-based form of) talk therapy. (Or maybe I don't understand how you're using the term. But anyway, what we were doing was talking, not using Skinner boxes or whatever.)

Maybe the easiest thing to try would be switching to another Kaiser therapist? One with more experience and broader training?
posted by feral_goldfish at 4:38 PM on December 26, 2012

To clarify: this was individual therapy, not group therapy.
posted by feral_goldfish at 5:14 PM on December 26, 2012

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