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A 45-year-old member asked:

Must i call my doctor to get referred for cognitive behavioral therapy?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Miroslava Fox
Clinical Psychology 15 years experience
Depends: The answer to this question will depend on whether your insurance requires a primary care doctor referral or not. Usually, hmo-type policies require that, while ppo-type policies don't. Best way -- call your insurance provider to inquire about your benefits. It's still a good idea to call your doctor just to see who s/he recommends. Good luck!
Dr. Keegan Duchicela
Family Medicine 14 years experience
Totally agree. It also depends by state. Here in California for many HMOs and even Medicaid, no referral is needed. All it takes is a call to the mental health number provided by your insurance. Getting an appointment within a reasonable amount of time is a whole other matter.
Aug 24, 2012
Dr. Robert Stewart
Clinical Psychology 44 years experience
I almost never see situations in which an MD referral is necessary for psychotherapy (counseling), but it's always a good idea to rule out medical causes for symptoms of depression, anxiety, etc.
Aug 24, 2012
Dr. Leonard Lado
Psychiatry 32 years experience
Cognitive therapyCBT: Yes but now both internet-based and clinic-based cbt reduce anxiety disorders and improve functioning in adolescents more than waiting list control at 12 weeks. Internet- and clinic-based cbt are similarly effective for adolescent anxiety disorders at 12 weeks, and remain similarly effective at up to 12 months. The later was shown by holsinger et al 2012 making it more accessible for treatment.
Dr. Andrew Berry
Clinical Psychology 14 years experience
Referral: Call your insurance company and see if a referral is required. The number to call will be on your insurance card. Typically a referral is not needed, and you can call any kind of therapist you like who participates in your insurance.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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