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Community Resource Guide

Copyright ©2012 Seattle Pacific University. Student Counseling Center: SCC@spu.edu 3307 3rd Ave. W., Seattle, WA 98119


The Student Counseling Center at SPU offers mental-health counseling to our undergraduate population.  As a service to graduate students and to non-students in the community, we offer this community resource guide.

 

Emergency and Crisis Situations:

 

24-hour Crisis Line (Seattle): 206-461-3222 or 866-4-CRISIS

 Finding a Counselor:

 

Step 1: Assess your insurance benefits, or if you do not have mental health coverage, the amount you are able to pay for therapy

  • Be sure to understand the terms of your insurance, call your insurance provider (this number is often located on the back of your insurance card) and ask if you have session limits, a deductible, a co-pay, and what types of mental health services are covered (i.e. testing, group therapy, couple or family therapy).  Also check to see if they cover out-of-network therapists.
  • If you will be paying out-of-pocket and do not have the ability to pay for full cost counseling services, look for counselors who can offer a sliding scale  fee arrangement or look for low-fee clinics
  • Sometimes going to a therapist every other week or every few weeks instead of weekly can make the cost more manageable

Step 2: Think about what qualities are important to you in a counselor

  • Questions to ask yourself are: “Is my counselor’s gender or ethnicity important to me?”, “Do I want a counselor who specializes in a certain issue or population?”, “Do I have a preference for the style and approach my counselor uses (i.e. giving homework, working with you collaboratively, exploring your past)?”

Step 3: Search for a counselor who will be the right fit for you

  • Research has found that finding the counselor who is the right “fit” is important to success in counseling.  Explore counselors’ websites and call those who you are interested in meeting with to ask questions.  Many therapists appreciate clients who take the time to find someone who they feel will work well with them.
  • Take into consideration your schedule and your ability to get to your counselor’s office.  You want to make sure it is convenient enough that you can stick with it as long as you need.
  • You can search for a counselor in many ways.  Here are some ideas:
    • Call your insurance company to get a list of in-network providers
    • Get recommendations from friends or family
    • Conduct a search on any of the counselor association website: Keep reading for a list of websites where you can conduct a counselor search
    • You can go to the Washington State Department of Health to see if any legal action has been taken against any therapist with whom you are considering meeting. Simply type in his or her name and look under the “Action” column. If it says, “No” the therapist has no legal action against them. If it says, “Yes” you can click the therapist’s credential number to read more about the charges against that therapist.
  • If, while meeting with a therapist, you feel as though they are not the right fit, you can take these steps:
    • First, try talking through your concerns with your counselor to see if you can find a way to make the relationship work
    • If you decide that your current counselor is still not a good fit, you have the right to ask  for referrals to a different therapist or to find a new counselor on your own

 

***If you would like to read more about choosing a counselor, these websites have helpful information:

Understanding a Counselor’s Credentials:

 

Mental Health Counselor (LMHC): These therapists have obtained at least a master’s degree in a mental health counseling field and have training in a wide variety of issues and concerns.  They have obtained a state required amount of education, supervision and counseling hours to obtain licensure in their state of practice.

  • LMHCA: Counselors with this credential have graduated from a mental health counseling program and are in the process of working towards licensure in the state of Washington

Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT): These counselors have obtained at least a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy or mental health counseling and see individuals, but also have special training working with couples and families. They have obtained a state required amount of education, supervision and counseling hours to obtain licensure in their state of practice.

  • LMFTA: Counselors with this credential have graduated from a marriage and family therapy program and are in the process of working towards licensure in the state of Washington

Clinical Social Worker (LICSW/LCSW): Licensed clinical social workers have obtained at least a master’s degree in social work and are trained to help clients who are experiencing a variety of issues.  These therapists are trained to look at issues from both a social as well as an individual context.  They have obtained a state required amount of education, supervision and counseling hours to obtain licensure in their state of practice.

  • LICSWA: Counselors with this credential have graduated from a social work master’s program and are in the process of working towards licensure in the state of Washington

Psychologist (Psy.D. or Ph.D): Psychologists have received a doctorate. They have been trained to work with clients facing a variety of issues and also are trained to administer psychological testing for evaluation purposes.  They have obtained a state required amount of education, supervision and counseling hours to obtain licensure in their state of practice.

 

Psychiatrist (M.D.): Psychiatrists have obtained a doctorate of medicine with at least a 4-year psychiatric residency and have special training in how the body affects mental health issues.  They meet with clients who are experiencing significant emotional distress and/or mental health disorders and can prescribe/monitor medication for these issues.  They often work collaboratively with a psychologist or master’s level therapist who provide counseling to their client, but some psychiatrists counsel their clients as well.

  • For medication needs requiring less monitoring, your primary care physician can provide a prescription if they feel it is needed.

 

***Educational requirements and post-graduate counseling hours as well as license title may vary by state. Contact your state licensing board for clarification.

Counselor Locator Websites:

 

                                              

Seattle Area Community Resources:

 

 Community Counseling Clinics

 

 

 

Domestic Violence Centers

  • Domestic Violence Shelters:
    • DAWN  425-656-7867

Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers

  • Drug and Alcohol Support Groups:

 

  • Drug and Alcohol Inpatient Treatment:

                                                                                                                           

  • Drug and Alcohol Outpatient Treatment:

 Intensive Eating Disorder Outpatient Centers

  • Opal  206-926-9087

 

 Testing and Assessment