Do you want longer-term therapy, weekly sessions, and/or sessions over school breaks? Do you want to see a therapist with a certain specialty or identity? There are many reasons to connect to off-campus therapy. Here's how to start!

All enrolled students have health insurance. You must either the Oxy Student Health Insurance Plan (administered by Aetna) or another form of insurance. It is common for parents of students to opt out of OSHIP without their students' knowledge. If you're not sure of your insurance carrier, reach out to Emmons at emmons@oxy.edu. If you need help understanding your insurance, visit our Navigating Care at Oxy page.

Do you have the means to pay for therapy out of pocket, or will you need it to be fully or partially covered by insurance? To find out more about your health insurance benefits, call the 800 number on the back of your insurance card or log in to your insurance's web portal to see your plan details. Request/search for your Explanation of Health Benefits (sometimes called Behavioral Health Benefits). You'll want to know: 1) How many appointments am I eligible for? 2) What mental health services are included? 3) If I choose to go on mental health medication, are my prescriptions covered? 4) Is there a copay, and how much is it? 5) Do I have out-of-network benefits? 6) How do I submit a claim and how much will my insurance cover if I have to pay out of pocket?

There are pros and cons to both telehealth and in-person therapy sessions. Some therapists offer both. There are not many in-person therapy options walking distance from campus. Consider if you have the means or time to get off campus for in-person sessions, or if you can access private space for telehealth sessions. If you need to book a private space, email emmons@oxy.edu to enquire about booking space. You may also consider whether you want to see your therapist over school and summer breaks, if your therapist is licenced in the state you'll reside when you're not at school, and if your local therapist will offer telehealth if needed.

This can be the most daunting and time-consuming part, but don't give up!

When you call your insurance provider, ask for a list of names of talk therapy providers on their insurance panel. You'll want to do your own research by searching their names and reading their websites, if they have them.

You can also search for providers using PsychologyToday.com’s therapist finder or another directory such as Alma or Los Angeles-specific Zen Care, and filter by your insurance. Look for people with LCSW, LMFT, Psy.D, LP, or LPCC credentials. Be sure to call or email the therapist directly to ensure they take your exact form of insurance, and confirm how much each session will cost.

Compile a list of who you find and reach out to.

For a list of identity- and faith-based providers, see below.

Most therapists will schedule you for a free 15 minute consultation to see if it's a good fit. Feel free to schedule consultations with multiple therapists to get a sense of their approach and whether you want to work with them. Like with all relationships, you should feel comfortable being open, honest and vulnerable. It can take time to find the right person, but don't give up! Asking a few questions is a good way to get a sense of fit. Here’s a list of questions you could consider.

If you need more information about navigating your health insurance, visit our Navigating Care at Oxy page. If you still need guidance or need help finding a specific type of referral, fill out our Off-Campus Referral Request form. If you have other questions, please email emmons@oxy.edu. We will do our best to help you find a therapist who works for you!

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