Finding a special therapist
May 24, 2023 12:29 PM   Subscribe

Help me find a therapist. Here are the deets: helpful if they're in Massachusetts and accept Blue Cross. Teletherapy is a must. Really, really want someone who has experience with parents of people with special needs. What I've already tried in the...

  • Called the local Arc. They sent me to voicemail of one person who never returned any of my calls
  • Called my state resource group. They sent me a PDF of the blandest information you could ask for and recommended Psychology Today
  • Talked to my PCP. They recommended Psychology Today
  • Contacted several people via Psychology Today, have had 0 responses
  • Therapy matcher. Still waiting on responses.
  • What I have not tried: talking to local people who I know are in a similar boat. They can be helpful people, but it's a small, tight community and I cannot express how much I do not want to be on the gossip menu or drawn into drama du jour.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I feel like you aren’t being really specific enough. I am mom in my 40’s and have a 6 year old with autism and a 7 year old with different and much more mild special needs and I feel like my therapy needs are probably different than say a 60 something year old dad’s therapy needs who is trying to retire but had a kid with more moderate special needs.
posted by pairofshades at 1:00 PM on May 24

We Are Brave Together is a worldwide support group that specializes in helping the mothers of children who have special needs. If you contact them to see if they have a group in your area, people local to you can probably recommend therapists that have worked out for them. You can do it under an assumed name with a throwaway email, if that would sidestep the gossip issues.
posted by corey flood at 1:06 PM on May 24

I see you are anonymous so you can’t answer me back but in my country the hospitals have various programs for the various issues so if you child has Down’s syndrome or schizophrenia or autism I would start by calling the hospital department and asking them what social supports/charities/support groups are there for the disability. (They have pamphlets on their desk) Then I would start to phone the ones in the areas away from where I live since it sounds like you value your privacy and I would start to say I needed more connection and support and would like to reach out to someone. And I would try and find a therapist that way.
posted by pairofshades at 1:07 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]

Also if you go through the Blue Cross website and "find a provider" it might narrow your options down a little bit. You can also filter by specialty... sometimes.
posted by nkknkk at 1:27 PM on May 24

Thinking further, have you talked to the special needs person's PCP (not just yours)? They may have recommended resources for families.
posted by nkknkk at 1:31 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]

Riverside Community Care is based in Massachusetts and is accepting new clients for psychotherapy. They offer teletherapy and I’m pretty sure they take BC/BS.

Their telephone system (“press 1 for this, 2 for that”) is terrible, but if you just get yourself to Intake and leave a message, they will call you back.

I don’t know if it is helpful and/or required to have a referral from your PCP.

Good luck with this. I hope you find the support you need.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 1:53 PM on May 24

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I spent a ton of time and so many phone calls and mostly got to returned calls, or people aren't taking new patients.

Not returning calls is really terrible; update your web page and voicemail;it's not that hard. WtP has an answer that looks useful. Good luck.
posted by theora55 at 2:16 PM on May 24

Therapist hunting really is just terrible, especially if you're the slightest bit unusual or picky. I know that isn't good news, but it might be consolation: you're not doing anything wrong, you're not misunderstanding anything, it's just like that.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:25 AM on May 25

What kind of symptoms are you looking for support for? I’d focus on finding therapists that specialize in that, then see if they are a good fit for your parenting challenges. If you google around using keywords like “coparenting therapist” you may also find good matches.

If you’re looking for actual support with parenting, then I strongly support finding a therapist trained in evidence-based models like PCIT.

I was having a lot of anxiety and paralysis related to parenting. I have been getting great help from a CBT therapist with no experience in a mother’s parenting issues (he’s a childfree gay man!) but he’s been perfect for me.
posted by haptic_avenger at 11:14 AM on May 25

Specific to certain communities in MA, Interface is a really great therapy matching service. It's free, and they will check back in after a few weeks to see how the pairing is working, and if it's not, they'll help you find someone else.
posted by solotoro at 12:14 PM on May 25

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