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Community Referrals

J. D. Muth © 2009--Photo taken March 10, 2009 on Sulphur Mountain, in Upper Ojai.

Thank you for coming to Counseling Services and taking an important step towards your wellbeing.  We understand that a referral off campus is not always what students expect when they first come to Counseling Services.  Please understand that these referrals are made after a careful clinical assessment of your unique situation and based on what Counseling Services is able to offer regarding treatment at that time. Even if you have been referred off campus, you may come to Counseling Services in the event you are having a psychological crisis.
There are a wide variety of community providers that you might be interested in working with. Here are a few tips for finding a great local therapist.

How to find a therapist

  1. Call the customer service number on your insurance card and ask for a list of providers in your area.
  2.  Use the Psychology Today Therapist Finder page:
    • On the left hand side of the screen you are able to narrow your search by insurance carrier, presenting concern and other variables.
    • There are pictures of the therapists and they write about themselves. Often it’s easier to see if it’s someone you want to work with rather than just looking at a list of names.

Do you have PPO or HMO Insurance?

  • You can find out if you have a PPO or HMO by looking at your insurance card.
  • If you have an HMO you will need to see a therapist that is already in network with your insurance. See the steps above to find someone who is already in your network of providers.
  • If you have a PPO you can choose almost any therapist. Here’s how that would work…
    • You would pay the therapist’s fees up front. (Usually $120-$150 a session)
    • The therapist will provide you with a Superbill, which is a detailed receipt for your insurance company.
    • You can submit that Superbill to your insurance for full or partial reimbursement depending on your insurance.
      • There is an app called Get Better, Inc. that makes this process super easy. You just have to take a picture of your insurance card and your Superbill and they take care of the rest.
    • Always consult with your insurance carrier to be sure that they will cover a particular therapist.

Factors to consider when looking for a therapist

The relationship, or fit, between therapist and client accounts for over 80% of what works in therapy. Make sure you trust your therapist and feel comfortable with them. If you attend a session or two and you don’t feel good with the therapist, go somewhere else!

Potential questions to ask therapists when you call.

  • Are you taking new clients?
  • How often can I be seen by you? (Once a week is fairly typical)
  • What is the cost per session?  Do you have a sliding scale or special rates for Cal Poly students? Are you able to provide a Superbill? (This is if you have a PPO Insurance)
  • What is your therapy style?  How do you typically operate in session?
  • Do you have any experience working with my type of concern?


Here are some specialty agencies you might consider:

Addiction & Substance Use Agencies

Assessment & Testing

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Eating Disorders


Low Fee Options



Veteran's Services

Voluntary Inpatient & Intensive Outpatient Psychiatric Services


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