From the Forum – Therapist/psychiatrist recs?

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Therapist/psychiatrist recs?

“I’m looking for recommendations for a therapist/psychiatrist/counselor to help me work through some anxiety issues. I’ve never seen a professional before, and I don’t really know how to determine whether a therapist would be a good fit for me. I’m reviewing the listings on Psychology Today’s website, and thought I would see if PoPville had any suggestions or recommendations for individuals or practices. Looking for someone who takes Cigna, and is in DC, and has experience with anxiety issues.”

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24 Comment

  • I can provide you with some recs, but having seen various professionals before, I just want to warn you that many practices and clinicians do not accept insurance. You should be the one who is submitting reimbursement request to your insurance. That being said, I’ve heard good things about Central Washington Psychotherapy Associates.

    • I have Cigna and never found anyone that accepted my insurance. Chances are you will have to go out-of-network.

      • I think this varies quite widely – I had BCBS until recently, and found plenty of folks that accepted my insurance (actually 2 different providers, both in my neighborhood). For this OP, it sounds like Cigna may be difficult in this area, but for other folks, don’t assume that you won’t be able to find providers w/ coverage!

  • dcdon

    The Ross Center near Maza Gallery is amazing for anxiety!!
    Please check them out and good luck!

  • fwiw, the vast majority of med-management in the US is done by primary care docs. If you can find a therapist to talk about your issues, your regular doctor can prescribe the anti anxiety drugs, and hopefully it work out in tandem.

    Good luck! I always had a hella time finding a shrink. Right now I drive from Brookland to Fairfax once a month to see my shrink (usually it’s every 3 months, but shit went downhill for me this summer, so it’s been a more intense attempt at getting my life back to working order).

    Oh, and call your insurance company directly – there were doctors who did take insurance who didn’t want to be listed on the website (they were taking new clients, but not too many). Also, if you have an Employee Assistance Program at work, they can often help. At one point when I was too depressed to go to work (yay for accrued vacation) the EAP operator called around for me, and found me 5 docs who took my insurance, and had appointments available, and were with 10 miles of my house.

  • Call The Women’s Center ((703) 281-2657). They do far, far more than “just” help women. They have a network of therapists across the region and have options for every budget/insurance. They helped me find a therapist many years ago and every step of the way – from initial call to when I “graduated” – was incredibly well done by them and the therapist.

  • I’ve seen a few of the therapists at Re-New Psychological Services. They have an office in Dupont — not sure if they take Cigna.

  • I highly recommend Re-New Therapy. They accept insurance, have multiple locations, and my experience there has been phenomenal.

    • I’ve researched Re New a bit. Do you recommend any doctor in particular there?

      • I also recommend Re-New, and can vouch that they take Cigna. When you first reach out they’ll set you up with an available therapist for an initial consult. It may take a couple of tries to find the right therapist for you, it did for me! (I initially went someplace else before finding Re-New.) Don’t be afraid to ask to see someone else if the first try doesn’t feel right.

  • Try

    I’ve been doing TM for over a year now and love it. It can be pricey but you can do 4 installments. Helps tremendously with stress and anxiety.

  • Capital Institute for Cognitive Therapy is quite good but also a little expensive. It’s near DuPont Circle.

  • Call some of the people you found through Psychology Today and ask them what their therapeutic philosophies are (most use a blend of theories) and what that means for you as a patient. How much feedback do you need and will feel comfortable with? Do you want someone who is more direct or more “gentle” with their approach? When are they available for appointments and do they fit your schedule? Do they have a cancellation policy and/or require a weekly commitment from you for an initial period of time?
    Do not use acceptance of insurance as a criteria; I’ve seen many therapists over 25 years and I will say the absolute worst ones were recommended by insurance (i.e. not covered otherwise). Pick someone you think will work for you and handle the claim submissions on your own (it’s gotten a lot better than it used to be, where you had to fight for every mental health claim to be reimbursed).
    As explanation, most therapists do not go through insurance because they do not want someone managing an intensely private and personal process. You will likely get a catch-all diagnosis — “adjustment disorder,” which could mean anything — to satisfy the insurance company but not reveal the intimate details of your therapy.
    Good luck. You’re stronger than you know.

  • Hospital based clinics tend to take more insurances. The quality of staff can be very good, particularly if there is an academic affiliation.

  • As as social worker and licensed therapist I recommend looking at a licensed social worker as well (LICSW in DC and LCSW-C in MD) as well as psychologists. A social worker with a clinical license is trained in a variety of therapeutic techniques and monitored by a board of professionals as all healthcare and mental health professionals are. Often they can be more open to accepting a variety of insurances and perfectly capable of working with anxiety. On that note, the one thing I tell all my clients is to take the time to feel comfortable. Give a person a few sessions, but if you aren’t connecting it is okay to look for someone you trust and can open up to.

  • Terri Judge in Mt Pleasant takes Cigna. I saw her for several years and highly recommend her.

  • Dr. Jared Putnam for psychiatry and Laila El-Asmar for therapy. Both are fantastic, accept insurance, and are metro accessible.

  • They are therapists, not psychiatrists (so they’d have to refer you to someone else if you’re thinking you may need medication), but I love, love, love my therapist at DC Talk Therapy, in the building with the Starbucks across from the Zoo. My therapist, Matt, specializes in young professionals and anxiety/depression issues. The one drawback is that my insurance doesn’t accept it, so it’s getting a bit expensive, but very worth it for me.

  • I had luck in the past with the GWU Center clinic:

  • Capitol Hill Consortium for Counseling – accept both insurances I’ve had while going there, so may accept Cigna as well. They also submit all the paperwork for you which is great. I’ve worked with 2 counselors there are they are both fantastic. I have seen many over the years and the one at CCCC I am working with now is the best I’ve had. Their offices aren’t fancy or particularly cozy but their practitioners are all top-notch. Another plus is they do early morning and evening appts – I have a standing appt at 7:30 pm, and used to have one at 6 pm – so fits well with my work schedule. Good luck finding someone – it can be a discouraging process but don’t give up!

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