OpenCounseling is user supported. We may earn a commission when you follow links to sponsored providers. Learn more.

6 Steps Towards Better Counseling with Kaiser

6 Steps Towards Better Counseling with Kaiser

With over 12 million members across nine states and the District of Columbia, Kaiser Permanente is a not-for-profit health insurance plan. Lately, the company has made headlines when about 4,000 union psychologists, social workers, and psychiatric nurses based in California went on strike to raise awareness of the insurer’s policies and procedures. The mental health workers planned 5-day protest aimed to shed light on:

  • Long waits for care
  • Insufficient staffing
  • Clients referred to non-Kaiser therapists

The strike has ended, but the issues may remain, which puts people with Kaiser insurance or a union therapist at risk of not getting the services they require. If you or a loved one struggle to access the needed services, review these tips and click over to OpenCounseling to find the best mental health care possible.

Be Honest

As with any mental health treatment, it is crucial to be honest and open about your experiences, your symptoms, and your goals. If your symptoms are a minor annoyance, let your therapist know, but if you are thinking about hurting yourself or someone else, put safety ahead of all else.

By being honest with yourself and your mental health professional, you can gain access to specialized, crisis care. This treatment may disrupt your life, but it will protect your long-term health and well-being.

Be Flexible

Good mental health providers will work within your schedules and routines to establish appointments that work well for you. Ideally, your schedule will coincide with your therapist’s, and treatment can commence quickly. Too often, though, schedules don’t align, which leads to longer wait times.

Realistically, a therapist may struggle to accommodate a 7 p.m. appointment every three weeks as other clients are vying for that after-work opening. Be flexible with your schedule by offering to come at any time of the day. Making therapy a priority by being realistic and flexible will help you get the treatment you deserve.

Be an Advocate

Sticking up for yourself is a crucial skill during any medical or mental health treatment. When you do not assert yourself, it is too easy for people to dismiss your symptoms and needs.

Advocacy is a balancing act. If you come on too strong, you may push people away, and if you don’t come on strong enough, you cannot pull them in to care. Search for a healthy and effective middle ground.

Seek a Range of Services

You may have your eyes set on individual therapy as the way to resolve your symptoms, but your provider only has openings in group therapy. You may want to seek a psychiatrist, but your provider only has openings with a nurse.

Refusing services because they are not what you wanted could be a dangerous choice. Accept a range of services without judgment to find the combination that best meets your needs.

Try Non-Professional Options

There is no substitute for the assistance of a mental health professional, but non-professional options, like support groups, are great ways to boost the benefit of your expert treatment. By extending and complementing professional interventions, non-professional alternatives help in a pinch. Check out the availability in your area.

Use Multiple Providers

If one treatment provider is not meeting your needs, find another. Just be careful because the grass is rarely greener on the other side.

Consult with trusted friends and family members to locate agencies or individuals with positive reputations for communication and symptom reduction. Use online reviews and the information available on OpenCounseling to remove the stress and confusion from this task. With information about the affordable counseling options in your area, OpenCounseling can point you towards effective treatments.


USA Today. Will your therapist go on strike? 4,000 mental health workers protesting Kaiser Permanente. December 7, 2018. Retrieved on December 30, 2018.

Kaiser Permanente. Fast Facts About Kaiser Permanente. n.d. Retrieved on December 30, 2018.

Search for Affordable Counseling in Your City:
Search results include community based providers and also sponsored providers from BetterHelp. OpenCounseling may earn a commission if you follow links to a sponsored provider. Learn more.

Eric Patterson
Posted on 01/14/2019 by Eric Patterson

Eric Patterson is a licensed professional counselor from the Pittsburgh area who aims to help his clients improve their mental health and lead better lives. For the past 5 years, Eric has written extensively on the topics of mental health and addiction for various print and online sites with the goal of providing accurate and engaging content. Outside of work, Eric loves spending time with his family, listing to indie rock music, and going for long runs in the summertime.