Long-Term Individual Therapy
Paid with your health insurance. If you have UC SHIP, the first three sessions are free, subsequent sessions have a $15 co-pay per session>
If you would like to see someone weekly over a long period of time, we can refer you to a mental health provider in the community who is part of your insurance plan. Long term therapy is helpful for mild mental health concerns as well as more serious mental health issues. Some people prefer consistent, weekly therapy to address long standing concerns or simply to have a weekly space to gain support, improve overall well being, and better understand oneself and relationships. During your Brief Assessment appointment, the clinician can give you names of therapists in the area who would be best suited for your needs and preferences. We will also support you in providing information about how to go about making an appointment with a community therapist. If you have the campus SHIP insurance, the clinician will give you a referral form to present to your provider. We do our best to maintain an up-to-date list of clinicians in the community who are currently accepting new clients.
If you decide to pursue therapy in the community, most students are able to schedule an initial appointment with a community provider within one week of you contacting them.
How to find a therapist
If you have UCSHIP insurance, CAPS is able to provide you with the referral form that is required. When seeing a clinician for a Brief Assessment, they will be able to talk you through the process of selecting a few community referrals that may be a good match for you. You can see the entire CAPS Community Referral List here.
If you have your own private insurance (not UCSHIP), you are able to access community providers without a referral from CAPS.
- Call the customer service number on your insurance card and ask for a list of providers in your area.
- If you have an HMO, you will need to see a therapist that is already "in network" with your insurance.
- If you have a PPO, you can choose almost any therapist. Your insurance will give you specific information on your coverage.
If you have Kaiser insurance:
In some instances, Kaiser Permanente will approve its members to receive services from community providers for mental health-related care on an outpatient basis. In order to request this, call the Department of Psychiatry (NOT Member Services) in your Kaiser Permanente service area and explain why you are requesting treatment from a community provider (i.e., discuss your symptoms and lack of access to a Kaiser facility in SB County). If you are immediately refused, you can ask to speak to the manager and make your request to them. You do not need a referral to the Department of Psychiatry from your PCP.
If You Have Medi-Cal Insurance
Medi-Cal partners work with The Holman Group to administer behavioral health benefits for their customers who have CenCal MediCal for Santa Barbara County. The Holman Group has a contracted network of behavioral health providers who you may contact directly to schedule an appointment. Here is a list of providers contracted with The Holman Group. You may also contact The Holman Group toll free at 1-800-321-2843
If you have Medi-Cal from another county outside of Santa Barbara County and you would like to transfer it to Santa Barbara County to obtain local services, please call Social Work at 805-893-3087.
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 therapist, go somewhere else!
Here is a step-by-step guide to help you get set up with services.
- Any preferences you may have for a therapist, if any (e.g. gender, ethnicity, cultural background, language, etc.)
- Their areas of specialty
- Their location and convenience for transportation
- Look over the list of providers given to you and see who accepts your insurance. Here are some things to consider when looking for a therapist:
- Pick a couple of therapists that interest you. Some therapists may not have openings that work with your schedule.
- Chances are you will need to leave a voicemail for your prospective therapist. Most therapists in the community are in private practice and may not be able to respond right away when you call. If you reach their voicemail, leave the following details:
- Your name and phone number so they can contact you. (They may not have caller ID).
- Let them know what health insurance you have.
- Let them know you are a UCSB student and you are seeking therapy for ________ concerns (e.g. depression, anxiety, breakups, difficulty adjusting, etc.)
- Ask them if they are currently taking on new clients and if so, that you are interested in scheduling an initial meeting and consultation with them.
- Leave your name and number again.
- Before calling, check to make sure your voicemail on your phone is set up. If you have already set up a voicemail, please make sure that your voicemail isn’t full so they can leave a message if they need to call you back. Be sure your voicemail includes your name so when the therapist returns your call they are confident when leaving a message that they have reached the right person.
- It may take a few days before you hear back from a therapist. However, do follow-up with them if you have not heard back in 3-7 days.
If you have UC’s Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP):
You will need to bring the written referral that you obtained either from the brief assessment you attended or your therapist at CAPS. Remember also to bring your insurance card to your first appointment. If you know you want a community provider, you can bypass the Brief Assessment and just request a referral form from CAPS directly. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have private insurance:
You will need to call your insurance to ensure you have mental health coverage in Santa Barbara county. Some out-of-county insurances do not have many options in Santa Barbara. Double check that the therapist you are hoping to work with is able to accept your specific insurance.
Once you meet the therapist, consider the following:
- It is important that you feel comfortable with your therapist so that you can get the best results possible. If you don’t like the first therapist you meet or it doesn’t feel like a good fit, keep interviewing others. There are multiple factors that determine whether a therapist is a good fit, such as personality style, schedule, specialty, training and most of all your comfort with them. You will clarify what you like in a therapist as you meet different clinicians. Be patient with the process of finding the right therapist, it will be worth it.
- You can let the therapist know that you are meeting with a few different therapists to figure out who is the best fit for you. This is very common and often expected.
- If you have gone through all these steps and have not found a therapist that fits for you, please let us know. We can provide more names if needed. We want to help you get the support you need to help you succeed at UCSB.