Can you recommend a therapist in Seattle?
October 6, 2006 7:37 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a therapist in Seattle? I'm on a budget and I've never been to therapy before.

I don't know if I should be looking for individual therapists or if I should call the UW psych department's clinic instead. I like the idea of choosing someone a little better than having a student chosen for me by the clinic, but their $33/session is about as much as I can handle. Should I even bother contacting regular therapists? I don't know if "sliding scale" goes down that low.

I want to discuss general anxiety/phobia issues, and the therapist should also be knowledgeable about personality disorders (not mine, another person's that I want to talk about). I'm not interested in medication right now, so I don't need a psychiatrist. Someone in Fremont or nearby would be best. Any recommendations?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
if you're employed (i can't tell from the post), my first suggestion is hr. most small+ companies have EAP (Employee Assistance) that you can call for a recommendation for a therapist. if you have problems in addition to anxiety/phobias (like addictions), there appear to be some group support programs.

i just want to add (from experience) that connecting to a good therapist in Seattle has been a frustrating process. Enough to make me give up. So my advice is STICK WITH IT. Go in knowing it might be hard to connect but you can with a little extra effort.

Since you seem comfortable online, here's a link to online anixety resources (not quite what you asked for -- but free and the participants might know of additional resources).
posted by Bear at 8:17 PM on October 6, 2006

Are you a student at UW? If so, you're eligible for all kinds of free/cheap counseling. Talk to the folks at Hall Health.

You probably aren't, though, because if you are, it's likely that you know about these resources already.
posted by rossination at 8:34 PM on October 6, 2006

Do you have insurance?
posted by librarina at 9:14 PM on October 6, 2006

Many (most?) have sliding scales, if you can't afford their nominal rate.
posted by hattifattener at 9:18 PM on October 6, 2006

Seattle Mental Health works on a sliding scale and will go as low as necessary. They can also refer you elsewhere, if you would prefer, to other counselors that work on a sliding scale. If you're a sexual minority there's another list of resources on the King county website.

If you're at least 200% below the poverty line, check out the King county mental health plan. Your post indicates that you probably have more resources at hand, and I'm sorry I can't personally suggest a great therapist for your situation. Maybe someone else can.

Also, realize that if you don't like who you're referred to by a clinic, you can request a different referral. Even though I've always chosen my own therapists, the first one didn't suit every time. Consider asking questions after you find out about rates: ask what their credentials are and what style of therapy they prefer. Ask them to explain if you aren't familiar with that style of therapy. Then think it over and see if you think it would be a good match. Realize that you are interviewing them. It's perfectly acceptable to find another therapist if after the first session you aren't comfortable (for whatever reason).
posted by digitalis at 9:33 PM on October 6, 2006

UW's Clinical Psychology department is currently at the forefront of therapeutic treatment and research. Their training and staff are about the best in the nation right now.

Marsha Linehan, director of the Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinic, created a new kind of therapy that is extremely effective with many different kinds of people and issues (they specialize in certain personality disorders, too, so they can help you deal with your friend).

So UW is just about the best place you to go no matter how much money you have.
posted by mynameismandab at 9:52 PM on October 6, 2006 answer...too great to maintain anonymity.

I'm not a student. I'm self-employed and privately insured, but I don't want to go through my insurance because I anticipate being self-insured for a long time and I don't want anything on my record that doesn't have to be.

I know about the sliding scale, but the part I wasn't sure about is whether the $35/hour (or whatever) that I can afford is so ridiculously low for a regular $100/hour therapist that I shouldn't even try asking.

Thanks for your responses.
posted by lemuria at 10:00 PM on October 6, 2006

Lemuria, I've known therapists who will go that low, but it's directly correlated with your salary (or how much you make, since you're self-employed), not necessarily how much you have left over after bills are paid. It is definitely worth asking, but I'd start with a list of professionals that are known to offer sliding scale. Some will go that low and some won't. The only good way to find out is to start calling. However, you can get lists of professionals who do offer a sliding scale payment fee. Check with UW (they'll probably have such a list), or Seattle Mental Health.

Good luck! Insurance is pain the ass, and I understand your desire not to go through them, especially since you're self-employed.
posted by digitalis at 11:47 PM on October 6, 2006

I know that some YWCAs have sliding scale counseling programs. They counsel men and women and the sliding scale is certainly in your range. However, I can't find a similar program on the King County YWCA site.

In my experience, the amount of experience that a therapist has isn't nearly as important as how safe you feel talking to them and how well you get along with them. Student therapists have their sessions recorded, which can be very disconcerting but only at first, and they will consult with a licensed therapist between sessions. If you get a dud, it's perfectly acceptable to ask your current thrapist if you could be referred to someone who is more compatible, although, it is hard to do anxiety-wise.
posted by Skwirl at 3:18 AM on October 8, 2006

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