Is there a cheaper alternative to psychiatry or professional counseling?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 16, 2013 4:26 AM GMT
    I've been told to seek out counseling for help with death of parents, problems with a split family, and on and on. My insurance won't pay for any counseling. So some charge $350 an hour to start and I think it was $250 an hour after that. What is up with the high cost? I'm overall happy and content but would like to work out some kinks in myself. Any suggestions on other types of counseling? I'm in the LA/OC area. PS. I work for myself so that is why the cheap insurance. I don't really need a psychiatrist then. I don't believe in drugs so much.
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    Jul 16, 2013 4:53 AM GMT
    Have you looked into any of the programs which may be affiliated with one of the Southern California medical schools? Sometimes you can get free or sliding scale prices.

    Perhaps one or more of your local hospice organizations might have referrals to support groups where you can talk and work through the losses which you have suffered?

    Sorry I don't have any specific referral sources to share. I hope that what I have shared might lead you to the help and support that you need as you work through the feelings you are having.

    Aloha and Be Well!
    Alan

    P.S. Psychiatry is not usually a first step in treatment, as psychiatrists are usually brought in to treat with pharmaceuticals and other heavier physical medical treatment. "Psychologists" are probably more along the lines of the "Cognitive therapy" that would be most useful to start off with.
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    Jul 16, 2013 7:53 AM GMT
    bradomo saidI've been told to seek out counseling for help with death of parents, problems with a split family, and on and on. My insurance won't pay for any counseling. So some charge $350 an hour to start and I think it was $250 an hour after that. What is up with the high cost? I'm overall happy and content but would like to work out some kinks in myself. Any suggestions on other types of counseling? I'm in the LA/OC area.


    I think a counselor is someone who will listen to you and redirect your thoughts back to yourself so you can look at it with clearer perspective so you can fix your own issues. I would suggest if you can find someone who can listen therapeutically to you. From my experiences counseling is all about you expressing your thoughts. And you are the one who has to deal with them, they just partially guide you into the direction that want to go but have never thought of or look at it in a different angles.

    If you are fine I do not think you need psychiatrist because they deal with medications and it doesn't seem like you need any.
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    Jul 16, 2013 7:56 AM GMT
    The problem is every one doesn't have time. I fear what other thinks of us. We don't want to be a downer so we bottle up everything insides. Most of us do not have a good support systems or someone who you can reveal everything with absolute honesty to without worrying about them judging you....that is one sad part about this world/country.
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    Jul 16, 2013 8:36 AM GMT
    Do you have an employee assistance program at work? These will frequently have counseling at a reduced/no cost to the employee. If it's an option it's worth checking out.
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    Jul 16, 2013 8:46 AM GMT
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    Jul 16, 2013 9:11 AM GMT
    Hey there -- Sorry to hear about your parents. Went thru that in 2010. Had to pack up hastily, head back east, and it took me 18 months to handle everything. Lost clients, work, relevancy in my industry, etc. Never mind the fact that its your parents. So I get it...

    My suggestions are simple ones. First, get some strong and first-class recommendations for psychologists in your area so you can select a practitioner. Check out their specialty. Some specialize in counseling grieving... couples therapy... substance addition... you get the point. Just make sure you're taking advantage of anyone who specializes in areas that would specifically help you. If you don't have much luck getting those referrals... I can probably help with that (many ties to CA healthcare industry).

    Once you've selected someone, go ahead and reach out to confirm they're taking new clients. And if so, would they work on a sliding scale for you based on your financial needs. Unfortunately, that scale of fee reductions will vary greatly depending on your financial strength, but it's the place to start. Everyone wants to be paid what they're worth, obviously... but on a "need" basis, most will drastically reduce their session fees if they know you are unable. They also look for consistency in the patient (signs you'll be reliable and desire to continue treatment until you've thoroughly worked through any hangups or grief you're hanging on to.

    That's about it... other than be honest about what you can afford, and they'll usually work with you.

    Best of luck,

    J

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    Jul 16, 2013 9:52 AM GMT
    Sorry to hear about your family.

    You can try a local University that offers either in their program. Students have to fill a certain number of hours for their degree.

    Also check with local gay organizations. Often there are counselors who offer discounts or work with gay organizations for group meetings.

    Best,

  • Jul 16, 2013 12:40 PM GMT
    Hi mate hope this helps: https://www.facebook.com/ForwardTherapy should be less expensive option and he is a great counsellor for all issues for gay men
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    Jul 16, 2013 1:38 PM GMT
    Start gardening maybe?
  • FitGwynedd

    Posts: 1468

    Jul 16, 2013 1:41 PM GMT
    NHS. Oh wait Americans don't have healthcare.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 16, 2013 1:47 PM GMT
    Are you sure about your insurance? Almost every plan has coverage for this and it will go for about 3 months. If not, you can get referred to someone who will do it on a sliding scale based on your income. But double check your insurance. I would be shocked if you were not covered.
  • camfer

    Posts: 892

    Jul 16, 2013 1:53 PM GMT
    You might consider a bereavement support group as a start to address some of the issues you are facing. They also have referrals to other services.

    The Gathering Place
    514 N. Prospect Ave., Suite 115, Lower Level
    Redondo Beach, CA 90277
    Phone: (310) 374-6323

    http://www.griefcenter.info/welcome.html

    It's good you're addressing this.
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    Jul 16, 2013 1:59 PM GMT
    I think the previous contributors have basically made all of the relevant comments, but I thought perhaps you could look into support groups. A quick Google search informed me that such a group is active at a hospice local to your area.

    I'm sorry for your loss.
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    Jul 16, 2013 2:06 PM GMT
    Hmm, Yoga?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 16, 2013 2:12 PM GMT
    FitGwynedd saidNHS. Oh wait Americans don't have healthcare.

    True, but we outspend everyone on our military. Priorities and paranoia trump healthcare, in America anyway.
  • spacemagic

    Posts: 520

    Jul 16, 2013 2:15 PM GMT
    camfer saidYou might consider a bereavement support group as a start to address some of the issues you are facing. They also have referrals to other services.

    The Gathering Place
    514 N. Prospect Ave., Suite 115, Lower Level
    Redondo Beach, CA 90277
    Phone: (310) 374-6323

    http://www.griefcenter.info/welcome.html

    It's good you're addressing this.


    I second this.
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    Jul 16, 2013 2:24 PM GMT
    Booze ?icon_eek.gif
  • Laurence

    Posts: 942

    Jul 16, 2013 6:13 PM GMT
    Also the NHS in Britain is a joke for counselling and psychotherapy.

    The waiting lists are endless and we're always encouraged to pay privately if we can for that.

    Some great advice from other posters though Brad.

    If it's Gay related you might be able to find some free group therapy or even one-to-one stuff provided by charities in your city of residence. Helplines for instance often run sessions as do LGBT Centres. I used to work on a helpline and I knew of UK Gay bereavement organisations and I would be surprised if there isn't a lot of stuff in the USA along similar lines.

    The internet has lots of reading, why not do some searching, sometime we just need to hear how other people in the same circumstances dealt with the issue.

    http://www.oprah.com/spirit/When-a-Parent-Dies-Dealing-with-the-Death-of-a-Parent

    Good luck Lozx
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 16, 2013 6:20 PM GMT
    I'm sorry for your loss and your present situation.

    whenever I feel very upset, distressed, I usually read books, watch some documentaries, movies etc.
    Have you tried that?

    Read books, any book that pleases your taste...I would suggest to read some philosophy books, they'll strengthen your thinking/mind...it'll take you to another world...

    And also I suggest you to avoid self help books, it's good to read, but it may not work.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Jul 16, 2013 6:24 PM GMT
    Many therapists bill on a sliding scale. They know not everybody can afford counseling or have it covered by insurance. I wish therapy was treated as essential as annual doctor visits. I think we'd have a much healthier country.
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    Jul 16, 2013 6:45 PM GMT
    check out online therapists and clinics. Sometimes you can email and get some free help. Sorry for your troubles and good luck. icon_wink.gif
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    Jul 16, 2013 8:34 PM GMT
    There all kinds of meet- up groups about this. Around here we even have grief yoga and LGBT focus groups for grief and gay church groups for grief.
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    Jul 19, 2013 5:11 AM GMT
    Bradomo,

    I posted this in another forum yet feel it is relevant to your situation so I hope this isn't against the rules.

    I would suggest going to a good hypnotherapist. Hypnotherapy is the only form of therapy that works with the subconscious mind to directly change how it has perceived past experiences, as well as how those past experiences effect you in the present.

    Psychiatrists and psychologists are only capable of working with the conscious mind(unless they are hypnotherapists as well), which is useless because everything that makes the conscious mind what it is(thoughts, beliefs, actions, habits, etc...) stem from the associations held within the subconscious mind.

    If you've ever smelled a familiar food, or visited somewhere where there was emotional significance(or in this case things you used to do with your parents), you'll find that often you will spontaneously re-experience the emotions attached to said food or place. This is but one example of how many associations are in the subconscious that we aren't even aware of until they are brought up by what is known as a trigger.

    There are many things a hypnotherapist can do to help you move on. For example death bed therapy, where in a hypnotic state you very vividly get to talk with your parents right before he/she died, and say all the things you ever wanted to say, and hear what they think about it too. You also will experience all the love they have for you, and get to shower them with the love you have for them. Very healing stuff, especially in a hypnotic state.

    Also, hypnotic self-forgiveness therapy is very effective in helping those dealing with a loss to move on, and begin living with no regrets related to the past. There are many other forms of hypnotherapy that are effective as well. Go find a hypnotherapist who is familiar with chair/deathbed therapy. It will change your life and help you move on. If you live in San Diego, I can help. It usually can be accomplished in just 3-5 sessions! And it is much less expensive than what a psych. doc would charge you(not to mention much more effective). For example, I only charge $400 for 6 sessions, and they can sometimes last 3 1/2 hours! I wish you all the best on your path to healing, and hope that you will take what I said to heart, as it is an issue I work with all the time.

    Jason
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    Jul 23, 2013 2:49 AM GMT
    i work for a community mental health agency. most communities have agencies like mine that work on a sliding scale.