Help me to help my girlfriend find a therapist.
July 21, 2008 12:56 PM   Subscribe

Help me to help my girlfriend find a therapist.

I specifically need advice as to whom I can contact, what websites I should look at/numbers I should call to find something that could possibly be covered by her insurance, as well as what type of therapy might be best for her.

She has fibromyalgia, as well as having some pretty heavy self-esteem issues. She's long been very cynical/skeptical about therapy at all, though she's now at the point where she's willing to at least set foot in the door. The archetype of the therapist who impassively sits there waiting for her to pour her heart out is not going to work for her. She has some very real emotional trauma she needs to work through and that she is very slow to open up about to anyone. A situation where I can be included in some capacity would be good (though I hesitate to say what we need is couple or group therapy), just because she's very reluctant to go alone.

We're in Orange County, CA. She has state coverage through Medi-Cal and Health Net, as well as coverage through her parents on Blue Cross. I'm just largely ignorant about how one even goes about finding a therapist at all, so any pointers in that direction in our area would be helpful.

Any private responses can be sent to:
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I....wouldn't take on this task unless she has expressly asked you to do so. Sometimes finding the right therapist can be a matter of shopping around, and if she's only willing to do a half-assed job of it, it isn't going to work. It honestly sounds like you're more down with the idea of her getting therapy than she is, and that doesn't bode well for the ultimate success of the therapy either.

But if she has indeed asked you to find her the right therapist, start with someone you know she trusts whom you know may have taken that step and see if they can recommend someone.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:00 PM on July 21, 2008

A therapist finder

Sadly, the first people to call are her health insurances.
posted by sondrialiac at 1:07 PM on July 21, 2008

This process can be kind of a big hassle, especially when you're already dealing with emotional issues. So good for you for helping her out with it.

As far as actually finding someone, you should be able to go to your (her) insurance provider's web site and do a search for covered providers in your area. My quick search turned up this page (Blue Cross California is now Anthem? I don't know), which has a link for "Find a Doctor" near the bottom. Then you just start calling people. Expect to have to call quite a few because many won't be taking new patients. Of course if you can get recommendations from friends that's also good, but then you have to look them up on the website to see if they're covered. Good luck!
posted by Who_Am_I at 1:22 PM on July 21, 2008

If you can't or don't want to get referrals from friends or a trusted GP, I'd start with the search function on the CPA site - gives you Names, Phone numbers, and allows you to choose a number of things about potential psychologists. This may help narrow down the huge amounts of potential psychologists to work with.

Also, you can do a broader search on the APA site - fewer options to narrow it down than the CPA site, but the contact information for all the offices is available in the results.
posted by kirstk at 1:40 PM on July 21, 2008

When I'm looking for a specialist, I usually get the list of doctors covered by insurance, and go down it googling each one.
posted by meta_eli at 2:53 PM on July 21, 2008

With all above concerns about doing her work for her-- because it is work-- noted, you might want The Orange County Psychological Association's therapist locator.

Picking "Medi-Cal" seems to limit your results to one Wanda von Kleist in Newport Beach-- you'll want to mess with the options to find out who takes Blue Cross.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:59 PM on July 21, 2008

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