Should I get free and specialized counseling to segue into more general therapy?
June 29, 2007 2:23 PM   Subscribe

I need/want to talk to a counselor or therapist soon about a multitude of things. My insurance doesn't really cover therapy and I have one option for getting free counseling, but it would be somewhat "specialized" and not answer all of my questions.

I could possibly get some free counseling because I was raped about a month ago. I haven't turned into one of those blank-staring, rocking-in-a-corner victims that I imagined, and I really don't think the things I want to discuss with a therapist stem from this incident. It's definitely something I want to cover eventually, but there are other things I'd like to take care of first. For some reason, maybe it hasn't completely sunken in yet, but I honestly don't feel like it's affected me all the way yet.

Has anyone had experience with going to a free, specialized counseling session and then moving on to more "general" therapy with a recommendation from the former? I just don't want this to be what identifies me as a patient or a person. I don't want someone to tell me that all the things going on in my head are related to this incident, because I wanted to get some therapy for quite a while before this happened.
I know this is probably a halting question but if anyone has any advice or experience (not that I hope other people have gone through this too) it would help a lot. Some of the other issues I am dealing with are grief (my grandfather, who I was crazy about and very close to, passed away two days after the "incident," making it very hard to deal with either), motivation or lack thereof, fears, anxiety blah blah blah.

Thanks so much. Any questions can go to
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
*I do not have any experience in specialized counseling

"My insurance doesn't really cover therapy and I have one option for getting free counseling, but it would be somewhat "specialized" and not answer all of my questions."

Doesn't really - does that mean not within your means or just doesn't cover period? Many therapists will see you on a sliding scale so if you can't find what you're looking for free, make a few calls.

I couldn't imagine that even a free counselor couldn't refer you to someone who specializes in rape victims and I think if you called your local rape crisis center you might find that they have very competent people on hand who can help you work through some things.

I'm sorry about what happened to you and I hope everything works out.
posted by heartquake at 2:42 PM on June 29, 2007

i would suggest talking to the counselor you have access to. just because the mission of the organization she or he works for is specialized doesn't mean they don't have resources for other issues. (planned parenthood and/or your local rape hotline might be able to refer you, too.)

i have never been through an experience like yours, but i would imagine that your response is not unheard of, and a rape counselor, if that's all you have access to right now, would still be able to help you get started.

good luck. hang in there.
posted by thinkingwoman at 2:51 PM on June 29, 2007

First, I'm really sorry about all you've gone through lately.

My insurance doesn't really cover therapy

I want to ask: are you totally sure? I ask because I was convinced my insurance didn't, until one day I decided to *really* read through my benefits and call my insurance co. to get some clarificiation. Turns out it was covered after all!

Also, can you find out if your work provides an Employee Assistance Program? Many companies do, and this would provide you with about 6 confidential counseling sessions free of charge.

Since you have access to talking to a counselor, I do think it is worth taking advantage of what you have at your disposal. Perhaps they can put you in touch with a volunteer counseling center or someplace with a sliding fee.

Any good therapist you wind up with will not assume every issue is related to ONE event in your life. The sad truth is that finding the *right* therapist can be a pain in the ass, and you may have to try a few out that don't work for you. But the counseling available to you seems like a good jumping off point. I don't see how it could possibly hurt to go.
posted by tastybrains at 3:08 PM on June 29, 2007

When I worked for Wal-Mart, I tried their Employee Assistance Program... forget what company it was but it was some phone number. I later went to a face-to-face therapist, and I have to say the EAP was nothing like the F2F. F2F was so much better. YMMV.
posted by IndigoRain at 7:05 PM on June 30, 2007

(Phone number... it was telephone therapy.)
posted by IndigoRain at 7:05 PM on June 30, 2007

I know EAP isn't always the best, but if it's available, it's another resource. Also, the EAP through my husband's company actually helps you find a local counselor and then pays for 6 sessions 100%.

So, it's a benefit worth looking into if you might have it.
posted by tastybrains at 8:25 PM on June 30, 2007

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