Okay, but WHICH therapist?
July 1, 2013 4:47 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a therapist in New Haven, CT. There are a ton of them. Using the search on my health insurance's website (United Healthcare), I've narrowed it down to 7 options, but none of them have a whole lot more about them online. From here, how does one pick the right therapist?

I am looking for someone without a huge reliance on prescribing drugs—they are not entirely out of the question, but talk therapy is the goal here. I definitely need someone in network for UHC, but it's alright if they are slightly outside of New Haven if they're good. What kind of questions should I be asking when calling to potentially schedule an appointment to see if any of these therapists would work for me?
posted by cheerwine to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Previously.
posted by Wordwoman at 4:50 PM on July 1, 2013

Best answer: Of the professional counsellor types in this state:
Psychologists generally do not prescribe.
Psychiatrists are MDs and can and often do.
Psych APRNs in CT have prescribing privileges but I don't know any personally who work in this region and who are also outpatient therapists, so I can't speak to their modalities.
I don't think LCSWs prescribe.
The ones who don't prescribe might be preferable to working on talk therapy first.

Have you looked at the Psychology Today listing for the city? I filtered to United and it lists 20 of them nearby. They generally give a good overview of modalities and so on. If none of them match your seven, consider asking questions of the ones you need to call based on some of the ones that sound like good fits from their self-written profiles on PT.
posted by cobaltnine at 5:22 PM on July 1, 2013

When you first call a therapist, they call you back and chat with you for a few minutes. You get to tell them in a nutshell what's going on with you, and they typically ask a few questions. I got some idea about who I didn't want to see from those brief conversations. If someone sounded stiff, or seemed like they had no sense of humor, I crossed them off the list. If someone took too long to get back to me, or if they said something I didn't like ("I like to meet with each client twice a week") then it was a not.

Some of them might say that they can't take anyone new. If you like how they sound, ask if it would be worth your while to call back in a month.

What I ended up doing with one therapist who was limiting her practice: I asked if I could meet with her a couple of times while I tried to figure out who to choose. We did that, and it was very helpful.
posted by wryly at 5:45 PM on July 1, 2013

It might help to take the list of 7 to your primary care doctor and see if he or she knows/has worked with any of them.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:55 PM on July 1, 2013

Like TUM said, if you know anyone, such as a doctor or a friend, who might know any of the therapists on your list, ask them.

If you don't get a recommendation from anyone, or really even if you do, pick the most likely three from your list, based on whatever criteria you want. Schedule an initial appointment with each of them. You just have to tell them you're looking for a therapist and want to try one session to see if it's a good fit; they will have done this before. After you see all three, pick one to continue with, unless none of them was very good.

You may or may not get a better therapist with this method, but you will be making a choice, which will make you more committed to the therapeutic relationship.
posted by unreadyhero at 6:30 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

find someone who specializes in dialectical behavior therapy or cognitive behavior therapy
posted by Jewel98 at 9:10 PM on July 1, 2013

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