Sliding scale therapy options for non-CU boyfriend

Originally Published: January 1, 1994 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: July 9, 2010
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Dear Alice,

My boyfriend of three years is not a CU student. I am pretty sure that he is clinically depressed. We are looking for low cost psychiatric help for him since he is obviously not a candidate to be treated through CU services. Please give me some suggestions as to where to look. The two of us have a great relationship, but when his depression sets in, he is miserable and unhappy with every part of his life.

Signed,
HELP

Dear HELP,

It is understandable for you to be concerned about your boyfriend. While ultimately it is his decision whether or not to seek treatment, you can support him by suggesting resources or offering to help him make the appointment. Columbia University's Counseling and Psychological Services offers couples counseling, even if your partner is not a CU student — this could be an excellent place to start. You can schedule an appointment by calling X4-2878.

Here are a few suggestions of psychotherapeutic and counseling centers that have sliding scale fees. Most are open evenings and weekends and require some proof of income to qualify for the lower fees. Your boyfriend may call around, see where he qualifies and if the people seem responsive, and try out one to three therapists. Finding the right therapist is like shopping — you don't always find exactly what you want at the first store.

Another option is to call a service like the Postdoctoral Referral Services at (800) 767-8362, which tries to match a licensed psychologist (in Brooklyn, Queens, Westchester, Long Island, and New Jersey) with an individual's specific needs and also offers sliding scale fees.

Your devotion to your boyfriend and getting him connected to a professional to discuss his feelings is a great way to support him when the depression sets in. However, it may be painful to watch someone you care about suffer with feelings of depression so remember to engage in self-care along the way.

Alice