Looking for a new therapist
April 7, 2021 6:25 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a therapist in NY state that (a) is female, (b) is an LCSW, (c) offers teletherapy, and (d) is accepting new patients.

I work for SUNY, and am considered a state employee. As such, my insurance (Beacon Health Options, through the NY State Empire Plan) is pretty widely accepted throughout the state. Yet I'm finding it difficult to find a therapist.

I am hesitant to reach out to someone when I can't find anything except their contact information. I'd like to see a PsychologyToday profile, a website, or something in that vein so that I can get a sense of their experience and approach.

I've searched the Beacon/Empire Plan provider directory for local-ish therapists, and haven't been able to find profiles or websites, etc. about many of them. I've also searched Psychology Today, and unfortunately, many of the people who look interesting aren't taking new patients. Many others have scant profiles, which makes it hard for me to get a sense of "fit." I emailed two therapists last week; one hasn't gotten back to me and the other has, but isn't accepting new patients.

I hope that by expanding my search to the entire state, I might find a few people who look like good matches.

My primary issues are depression and anxiety. I'd like to improve my emotional regulation skills, and I'd also like to develop a healthier sense of self-worth. I've seen several therapists over the years, so I'm comfortable with the overall process.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
Hopefully someone will have better advice than me. I know they're not ideal and are probably ruining therapy with their late-capitalist gig-economy mechanic, but I got my therapist through Betterhelp. Is it the best therapy I've ever had? Nah. Is it covered by my HMO? Also nah. But the demand with COVID stress is through the roof, I am SO ANXIOUS that if I had to make phone calls and arrange leave and jump through lots of hoops, I'd never get therapy, and I have a regular 50-minute appointment once a week just like with "normal" therapy. It averages out to about $60 a week. My therapist is an experienced LCSW who works a day job on the other side of the state from where I live that requires in-person work with a demanding population, and I get the sense that she likes having a side income-stream with some clients that don't require as much stress on her part, or in-person exposure during COVID. And the matching process was pretty frictionless - they automatically select for people certified in your state, and I am free to switch therapists if this doesn't work out, but I've been seeing her for almost a year now so it's pretty okay. I absolutely would have switched if I'd been matched with someone who didn't seem capable or experienced enough, which is a criticism I've heard of services like that in the past.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 9:22 AM on April 7

GoodTherapy.org, TherapyTribe.com and OpenPathcollective.com are other sources of provider lists you might be able to use. Open Path offers discounted rates for therapy but I don't think they work with insurance.

The problem is many therapists that take insurance don't do much advertising. The insurance panel does it for them. So they don't have much of a web presence.

Some practices are not web friendly but you can call them and ask for them to explain their background, style etc. Not ideal if you hate phone calls like me but if you really want or need to use your insurance this can be another way to get the info you want.
posted by crunchy potato at 10:21 AM on April 7

Have you used EAP? You can meet with an EAP counselor or speak to one over the phone for free as an NYS employee. EAP may be able to recommend an LCSW that would be a good match for you.

Also, it might be helpful to include a note requesting recommendations--if they're not accepting new clients--from any LCSWs you contact in the future.

You most likely already know this but finding a therapist is a numbers game. I hope you find the right therapist for you!
posted by cursed at 11:25 AM on April 7

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