Referral Services

We provide information to TU students on community providers, finding a therapist, using insurance, and what to do if finances are a concern.

The Counseling Center’s primary function is to provide brief counseling for issues that have arisen recently or that are likely to resolve quickly. Following a brief initial assessment, we may recommend seeing a community provider off-campus that can better fulfill your current needs.

What Is a Community Provider?

Community providers are therapists in the surrounding area that can help you on a more on-going or frequent basis. Community providers may be able to meet several times per week and can continue to see you even after you graduate from Towson University.

What's the Difference Between a Psychologist and Psychiatrist?

Psychotherapy/Counseling

Social Workers (LCSW-C) and Licensed Professional Counselors (LCPC) are therapists that have their master’s degrees and provide counseling and a variety of other services.

Psychologists (PhD, PsyD) are therapists who have doctoral degrees and can provide a variety of services including assessment, testing and psychotherapy.

Medication

Psychiatrists (MD) are medical doctors that can provide psychiatric evaluations and prescribe medication, some may also provide psychotherapy.

Nurse Practitioners (NP, CRNP, MHNP) are nurses who have completed a master’s degree and their services can include prescribing medicine and counseling.

How Can I Find a Community Provider?

The Counseling Center can help you determine what kind of help is appropriate for your needs, and we will continue to work with you to find a suitable mental health service provider. Call 410-704-2512 or stop by the front desk to schedule an appointment for referral services.

If you would be more comfortable assessing counseling services on your own, the counseling center webpage offers a Community Provider Database that can help you to arrange for outside help.

The following links and suggestions may be helpful to you in your search for treatment.*

*NOTE: the above listings are not exhaustive, and our listing of these links does not constitute our endorsement of the links, nor of the clinicians that are listed there.

Other ways to find a therapist include:

  • obtaining a list of providers from your insurance company
  • asking your primary care physician if there is anyone they recommend
  • asking friends or acquaintances about therapists they have enjoyed working with

Choosing a Mental Health Provider

Perhaps the most important factor in addressing your mental health needs is finding a provider with whom you can build a trusting and collaborative relationship.

Other important things to consider in your search include:

What type of services will best fit your needs?

  • Individual, couples, or family counseling?
  • Group counseling — either stand alone or in conjunction with another form of counseling?
  • Are you interested in medication or psychological testing?

What are the presenting issues? 

  • Do you need someone with specific expertise in a particular area?
  • Can you meet with a generalist?

About Your Therapist

  • Is gender, cultural/ethnic identity, or the age of the therapist an important factor to you when you think about who could best provide you with assistance?

How will you get to your appointments?

  • Are you able to drive or do you have easy access to public transportation?

Remember, having a therapist you trust, feel connected with and who understands you well are the most important factors in finding a good therapist for you.

Using Your Health Insurance

The majority of students that seek counseling or therapy services choose to utilize providers who are connected with their insurance company. You may find such a therapist by contacting your health insurance company either by phone or through their website — either route can help you locate a list of professionals that work with your particular plan.

Student Insurance Plans (Aetna)

The TU Student Health Plan therapist locater is called “Doc find.

When accessing your health insurance company’s database:

  • have your insurance card with you in order to provide information on your specific plan
  • keep in mind that therapists and psychiatrists are usually listed under “Behavioral Health” or “Mental Health”

If you need to find a therapist within walking distance of Towson University, use one of the following zip codes: 21252, 21204 and 21212.

Other Insurance Plans

As detailed above, you can obtain a list of providers from your insurance company. Further, you can find providers who take your plan, along with some additional information about them by consulting a website like Psychology Today, Good Therapy, or the Maryland Psychological Association. With all three, you are able to search by insurance company and other important criteria.

Out-of-Network Providers

Therapists who are not on the panel of your insurance company may still be able to submit information for reimbursement by your insurance company.

If a non-participating provider was recommended to you, also called an “out-of-plan provider,” you should feel free to ask that therapist and your insurance company about the level of coverage.

If finances are a Concern

When considering making an appointment with an off campus provider, many students are concerned about finances, particularly if they do not have insurance or feel uncomfortable letting parents know. Please know that financial limitations do not need to be a barrier to receiving mental health treatment.

If you find a provider in the community who interests you, consider contacting them to ask if they offer “sliding scale services” or a “reduced fee.” Be honest with the provider about what you can afford.

Low cost providers can also be helpful to consider. These are individual/group practices that offer low cost or sliding scale services (i.e., personal income is considered when determining cost of therapy). Some services may even involve no cost. Check out the list below for low cost options.