After Graduation...

CAPS is available exclusively to current FSU Students. As you near graduation, take time to find a therapist in your community. We recognize that finding a therapist after graduation may seem challenging and can be daunting. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to connect with the support you need and offer guidance for students interested in connecting with a therapist in the community. 

Before searching, it can be helpful to answer a few questions

  • What do you want in a therapist?
  • What issues do you want help with? (e.g. anxiety, sleep, mood, adjustment to college or graduation, relationship issues, trauma, family relationships, learning difficulties etc.)
  • Do you want someone with specific expertise? (e.g. cognitive behavioral training, experience with trauma, prescribing medication, etc.)
  • Are you interested in medication or psychological testing?
  • Will you be using my insurance?
  • Are you able to drive or do you have easy access to public transportation?

Finding a therapist

If you feel comfortable, ask people you trust if they have any recommendations! Speak to your current counselor at CAPS or your primary care provider. Most therapists have bios online on their official websites or their own personal websites. Psychology Today Therapist Finder is an online database where many therapists post profiles with information about their services. Enter your city or zip code to narrow the search to your specific location. You can also check out Choosing Therapy, GoodTherapy, or this list from UPMC for Local Mental Health Providers in Western Maryland and the Tri-State Area.

CAPS understands the need and desire to work with a counselor with a shared identity. Below you can find a list of resources that can help in your pursuit:

Connecting with a therapist

Once you have narrowed down your list to one or a few therapists, it’s time to reach out. It is best to give that Therapist or their office a call and let them know you are interested in starting therapy. Ask about their availability to see new clients and the time frame for a new patient appointment, some offices schedule out about a week to a month. Double-check that they take your insurance or the availability for you to pay out of pocket. If it's important to you, check that you can be seen in person or virtually.

Some tips on how to call your insurance company

It is always best to call and confirm benefits and coverage for mental health services to make sure there is no surprise bill. There should be a number on the back of the card that will get this information quickly. Look for “customer service”, “benefits and coverage”, and/or “behavioral health.” If there is a behavioral health number, always start there.

When you call, they will ask for the plan number (found on the card). They might also ask for the last four digits of your social security number, so have that handy just in case. Let them know you want information on coverage and benefits for “mental health therapy in an office setting.” If you are confused by what they are sharing with you just ask don’t feel bad, insurance is confusing! Ask them to break it down further and help you understand what you will have to pay for therapy.

  • FAQ

    Q. What’s the difference between a psychologist (PhD & PsyD), social worker (LISW or LMSW), marriage and family therapist (LMFT), and mental health counselor (LMHC)?

    A. Reading all of the acronyms after people’s names can be a little bit of an alphabet soup. The main difference is the training program all of these professionals participate in before getting licensed to practice. The important thing is they all are licensed and qualified to provide therapy. We recommend not limiting yourself to a certain licensure type because that may significantly limit your options depending on where you live.

    Q. What is a co-payment/co-pay?

    A. People with health insurance may have to pay for part of their health care services. One way is with a co-payment, which is a fixed amount you pay for some health care services. You usually pay a co-pay when you get the service. The amount may change for different types of care. For example, you might pay $15 when you go in for a doctor’s visit and $30 when you go to the emergency room.

    Q. What is a deductible?

    A. The deductible is the amount that you may have to pay for health care services before the health insurance plan begins to pay. For example, if your deductible is $500, your plan won’t pay anything until you’ve paid $500 for health care services covered by your health plan. After that, your health insurance plan will pay for services.

    Deductibles usually roll back to $0 at the start of the calendar year (January 1st), which is important to keep in mind because that means you’ll be responsible for meeting that deductible again early in the year. Ask your insurance company when the deductible year starts to be sure. 

    If you are on a family plan, there is usually a family deductible and an individual deductible. The family deductible is usually higher. Insurance will start paying for your services as soon as one of those deductibles has been met – either your individual one or your family one, so be sure to ask about both.

    Q. What if I meet with a therapist and it doesn’t feel like a good fit?

    A. It may take a few appointments before you feel comfortable with your therapist – that’s normal! Certainly, trust your instincts if there is something that feels off to you, but if possible give it a few sessions before moving on to someone else.

    Q. What do I do if I do not have insurance?

    A. If you find a provider in the community who interests you, consider contacting them to ask if they offer “sliding scale services” or a “reduced fee.” Be honest with the provider about what you can afford.