Searching for Providers
Selecting a therapist is a highly personal matter. Students present with a wide variety of treatment needs and preferences regarding providers. USF does not make provider recommendations.
Provider availability for new referrals, as well as the insurance they may accept, can change quickly. As such, it is not possible for USF to maintain an accurate, up to date list of local providers and their availability.
Provider Search via Insurance Coverage
Students should start their search for a provider through their insurance company. This will ensure up to date information about providers who accept their insurance coverage.
It is also important that students understand basic information about how insurance works.
The Office of the Dean of Students provides general information about how to conduct a search and a list of major insurance company search websites and company specific search information (if available) to assist students in their search. If your insurance company is not listed, contact information can generally be found on the back of your insurance card.
Provider Search--Not Through Insurance
Students may decide not to utilize their insurance when seeking services (often due to associated costs and/or privacy concerns), or may find themselves without insurance due to circumstances like loss of employment. In these cases, students may opt to pay out of pocket for services--this means that the full cost of services would be directly paid by the student. Please note that therapy sessions in San Francisco often cost $150 and up per appointment. Psychiatry costs are higher.
There are providers in the community who offer services on a sliding scale basis--this means that the cost of services is based on client income. USF offers a list of low/no cost and sliding scale providers for student reference.
Students may also choose to search for providers via Google, Psychology Today, or Zoc Doc.
Additional information about local mental health and community resources, including recovery groups and issue/population specific resources, is available via the San Francisco Free Mental Health Chart (also available in Spanish), as well as 211. Please note that not all services listed on these resources may be applicable/appropriate to student needs. (Students who are outside of the San Francisco area can contact 211 locally, either by dialing 211 from their phone, or googling 211 and the name of their town/city--211 local resource information is available nationwide.)
If students find themselves without insurance, they may wish to explore opting in to the health insurance offered by USF (Aetna) or research coverage available through Covered California.
Local San Francisco Providers
Some students and families have indicated that they have found it helpful to know about larger group practices—for both therapy and psychiatry--as a place to potentially start their search: