There are a number of health centers in Manhattan which provide excellent psychotherapeutic services including: individual and group psychotherapy, psycho-pharmacological consultation, and crisis intervention. Fees for services are based upon a sliding scale, are low to moderate in cost, and often special lower student rates are available. Many of these centers are training institutes, and with few exceptions have a clinical staff that have earned at least a Master's Degree and are not engaged in Postgraduate Training. Most of the psychotherapists have extensive experience treating diverse ethnic, racial, and sexual populations, although the therapists themselves may not necessarily be as diverse. All centers listed here provide a prospective client with an intake interview, treatment plan, and psychotherapist within a week, or sooner. Some of the centers offer special crisis and walk-in services.
Brief Guide to Therapy
Although the intake process varies by facility, students should be prepared to provide general information. This usually means supplying reasons for seeking therapy, past history of treatment, current or past medications, student status, and any insurance plan. Issues such as length of treatment, the use of psychotrophic medications,and payment plans are discussed during the initial intake process, but can be handled over the phone if needed. A request for a therapist of a specific background can also be made during the intake interview.
Often, the hardest part about seeking help is picking up the phone. Therapists and receptionists at the centers listed are sensitive to the courage it takes to make this initial phone call and are friendly and supportive. The intake therapist will try to match you with a compatible therapist but it might take a few visits until you find someone with whom you feel comfortable. Although the process of finding a therapist might feel stressful at times, it is important to the success of the therapy that you find someone you trust.
The first few sessions will be used to discuss your current symptoms, personal history and create a treatment plan. In addition, you might want to discuss how therapy works, and your feelings about any social stigma attached to it. You may be concerned about how to let family and friends know that you are in therapy, how long psychotherapy lasts, or medication issues. A good therapist will help you address your concerns, and, together with you, will develop a treatment plan that is best suited to your needs. Once the therapist's competence and credentials have been established, your level of personal comfort is the best indication of whether the therapist and you are well matched. If you do not feel at ease, discuss this with the therapist. If that does not improve your feelings, then you should definitely try a second therapist.