How to Find a Good Therapist
How to Find a Good Therapist -
Every year, more than 30 million Americans experience symptoms of depression or anxiety. Proper mental health maintenance is just as important as physical health and regular visits to a doctor. With the month of May being recognized as mental health month, Westside Behavioral Care in Denver Colorado encourages people to monitor their mental health annually and schedule regular visits to a therapist.
Westside Behavioral Care (WBC) is a full-service outpatient mental health practice, which offers a much more efficient way to find a good therapist. As opposed to a one-location clinic, WBC provides a network of therapists around the entire Denver Metro area. Patients are matched with therapists based on their location, insurance, specialty and schedule. WBC’s mission is to make finding a good therapist easy and stress-free so that people can more easily give their attention to this crucial area: their mental health.
“The primary distinguishing feature of our program is the ease of getting appointments with fine, licensed therapists,” said Westside Behavioral Clinic founder Dr. Thomas Giles, Psy.D. Dr. Giles was a clinical psychologist for 20 years specializing in the study and treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder and bulimia. “Consider, what you have to go through if you have health insurance – and wish to use it to defray the costs of care – but don’t know about our group.”
Dr. Giles goes on to detail the process of finding a therapist and what inspired him to create WBC. Very often, when attempting to get a first appointment with a therapist, one must go through a process of finding which therapists have the correct insurance credentialing and he says, “Unfortunately, once the list on an insurance company’s website is located, the problem of finding a good therapist – rather than being resolved – typically gets worse.”
“We have had many people tell us that they have called more than 20 therapists, sometimes more than 50 therapists, without luck,” Dr. Giles reports. The reason being is that insurance companies do not always update their websites very frequently and do not typically provide therapist reviews, answer specific questions about specialties or indicate who is accepting new patients.
This run-around was the inspiration for creating WBC and making sure patients got access to mental health services with qualified professionals as soon as they needed it.
WBC offers scheduling options either online or via phone. When calling, patients speak to a kind receptionist who uses Westside’s special, scheduling software to search the network by specialty, schedule, location and insurance, including almost all the private insurers as well as Medicare and Medicaid.
On the Westside website is their online, 24/7 scheduling application, which offers anonymity and speed for patients who prefer to schedule their first appointment themselves. “The entire process only takes about five minutes, and we stand by the professionalism of all of our participating clinicians,” Dr. Giles said.
With mental health month coming up soon and the process of finding a therapist becoming more efficient and welcoming, there is no reason not to care for your mental health.
As part of a quality assurance program, PacifiCare tested WBC’s therapists against thousands of others in a multi-state region. PacifiCare asked patients to fill out a scientifically validated survey, which measured how they were doing after receiving care. WBC won the award for best clinical results all four years the program was in existence. PacifiCare honored WBC with several awards, commemorative plaques and congratulatory letters.
Westside’s therapists, licensed clinical social workers, psychologists and licensed professional counselors go through background, licensing and education checks and meet ongoing performance standards.
Introduction of Westside Behavioral Care; interview with Dr. Thomas Giles
Founder: Thomas R. Giles, Psy.D.
Dr. Giles was a clinical psychologist for 20 years before taking on an administrative role with WBC. While a psychologist, he specialized in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder and bulimia, and published numerous papers on these and related subjects. For a number of years he served as executive director for Cigna Behavioral Care of Colorado, and he collaborated with several managed care companies to maximize the effectiveness of psychotherapy across a broad range of disorders. Dr. Giles is author/editor of three books: Cognitive-Behavior Therapy: A Restructuring Approach (with Rian McMullin, Ph.D.), Managed Mental Health Care: A Guide for Practitioners, Employers, and Hospital Administrators and Handbook of Effective Psychotherapy.