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Funda-Mental Health Resources for Pratt Students: Finding Therapy in NYC

This guide provides resources and tips for Pratt students interested in improving their mental well-being or seeking professional mental health treatment.

How to Start

1. Search for a Therapist

Use the following resources to find the right therapist for you. Paralysis of choice is a real thing: there are just too many options. When seeking help, try to pick 2-4 therapists in the beginning so that you don't overwhelm yourself, but also have backup options ready in case one doesn't work out. Sometimes your first therapist will be a perfect match and sometimes they aren't - that's completely normally and fixable.

2. Contact the Therapist's Office

Whether you are planning to see a psychologist or a psychiatrist or another type of mental health professional, you should start with a phone call to the professional's office. Ask about whether or not he or she accepts insurance and how payments are handled. You might describe your reason for wanting to make an appointment and ask if he or she is experienced in dealing with such issues. You can ask about how the professional generally works with clients, and if it's still unclear, you can will typically get a better understanding after your first/consultation session. If you are comfortable talking with the professional, the next step is to make an appointment.

3. First Sessions

At your first office visit, the mental health professional will want to talk with you about why you think you need to come to therapy. He or she will want to know about what your symptoms are, how long you've had them and what, if anything, you've done about them in the past. He or she will probably ask you about your family and your work as well as what you do to relax. This initial conversation is important in developing the appropriate approach to treatment. Before you leave the office, the mental health professional should describe to you the plan for treatment and give you an opportunity to ask any questions you might have.

4. The After Process

It will likely take several weeks before you become fully comfortable with your therapy. If you still aren't feeling comfortable after two or three visits, let the mental health professional know and explain why you feel that way. The two of you need to work together as a team in order to get the most out of your treatment.

Online Resources and Referrals

  • SAMHSA is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.

  • Eating Disorder Hope is dedicated to offering resources and information to eating disorder sufferers and their loved ones.
  • National Eating Disorders Association
  • National Eating Disorder Information Centre, although based in Canada, provides useful online resources and education on eating disorders.
  • Mirror Mirror was created in 1997 by Colleen Thompson, while she was recovering from an eating disorder. She hoped to provide education and support for others with eating disorders while also educating herself and working through some of the issues that she struggled with personally.

  • DBSA offers peer-based, wellness-oriented support and empowering services and resources available when people need them, where they need them, and how they need to receive them—online 24/7, in local support groups, in audio and video casts, or in printed materials distributed by DBSA, our chapters, and mental health care facilities across America.

  • SAMHSA is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.

  • Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice
  • Safe Horizon is a victim assistance nonprofit that has been standing with victims of violence and abuse in New York City since 1978. We provide assistance, advocacy and support to victims who have experienced domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, youth homelessness and other crimes

  • Association of LGBTQ Psychiatrists - A community of psychiatrists that educates and advocates on Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender mental health issues. Their website also provides a link for pyschiatric referralswhere you may search with any keyword you like, such as your city, state, or zip code.
  • Callen-Lorde provides sensitive, quality health care and related services targeted to New York’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities — in all their diversity — regardless of ability to pay. To further this mission, Callen-Lorde promotes health education and wellness, and advocates for LGBT health issues.

  • The Center offers the LGBTQ communities of NYC: advocacy, health and wellness programs; arts, entertainment and cultural events; recovery, parenthood and family support services.

  • Based in New York, GAPIMNY is an all-volunteer, membership-based community organization with the mission to empower queer and trans Asian Pacific Islanders to create positive change. They provide a range of political, social, educational, and cultural programming and work in coalition with other community organizations to educate and promote dialogue on issues of race, sexuality, gender, and health.

  • GMHC is the world’s first and leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy. 
  • National Gay & Lesbian Task Force is an advocacy group that advances full freedom, justice and equality for LGBTQ people. Their website provides information on different projects they are pursuing, opportunities to get involved, and resources regarding religion and the LGBTQ community.
  • Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays - PFLAG's vision is to create a world where difference is celebrated, and all people are valued inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Our mission of support, education, and advocacy guides our work on this important goal. 

Available at Pratt Campus

☎  718.687.5356   |   ✉

All services are provided by licensed mental health professionals including psychologists (Dr. Caroline Kasnakian, Dr. Althea Maduramente) and clinical social workers (Jernee Montoya, Hali Brindel). Pratt also uses a psychiatric nurse-practitioner (to be determined) to provide further evaluation for psychotropic medications when needed.

Free counseling services. When you contact Counseling Services, you will be offered the earliest appointment available. Following an initial assessment, short-term individual therapy or group therapy with one of our staff therapists may be recommended; alternatively, a staff therapist may determine that your needs would be best served by a referral to an off-campus treatment provider. Group therapy is also available and can be a powerful experience as it allows one to see that they are not alone in their problems. Read here for more information and to see if group therapy is right for you.

Brooklyn Campus: Counseling Services are located on the third floor in the ISC Building (click for campus map). After entering the building, turn left and take the elevator at the end of the hallway. 

Manhattan Campus: Counseling Services are located on the 7th floor, available on Thursdays from 1-5 PM.

☎  718.687.5356   |   ✉

Jernee Montoya, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor.

Mission: provide incoming students, returning students, and existing students with peer support, advocacy, and a sense of community around their recovery. It includes supporting its members as they pursue a balance between an academically successful, socially engaged, well-rounded college experience, and the achievement of their recovery goals. We strive to destigmatize the experience of addiction and recovery.

AA meetings will take place on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at 8:15 PM at the Pratt Brooklyn Campus.

How to Find Your Therapist

The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Therapist Finder for licensed MFTs in America.

To find a therapist: 

Simply enter your ZIP code or the name of a specific therapist and you can locate any AAMFT therapist in your area.

Although there may be overlap with other therapist finders, what is useful about the Psychology Today Finder is that it has specific "Issues" categories that you can use as filters, as well as what Insurance you have, your faith, etc.

To find a therapist:

Go to the website and specify in what area you would like to find a therapist. Then continue to add filters to your liking until you find therapists that may fit your criteria.

The NYC Mental Health Service Finder is a prototype tool for New Yorkers to become familiar with services located in their neighborhood. The tool currently provides access to 10 languages for multilingual use.

To find a therapist:

Follow the link and click "Continue to Service Finder Map." From here, you can narrow down facilities based on your age group; if you are seeking care for Mental Health, Substance Use, or Both; what type of insurance you have (none is also an option); and if you identify with any of the optional provided demographics. The results will show up as dots on a map of NYC that you an click on and find the name of the facility, the address, contact info, directions, and important details.

HITE: Health Information Tool for Empowerment
Online directory offering information on more than 5,000 health and social services available to low-income, uninsured, and underinsured individuals in the Greater New York area.  Find information on community services throughout all of New York City and Long Island.

You can access this outside the library or receive assistance using it at the NYPL Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

To find a therapist:

Browse in HITE by first clicking on the "Mental Health and Substance Abuse" category. Depending on your priorities, you can filter out centers based on where they are located, what type of program you are looking for (if you are seeking basic therapy, check off 'outpatient mental health'), your language preference, your age, and/or a population you identify with (e.g. autism, mental illness, homeless, LGBTQ, and more).

Other places to contact for therapy or a referral:

  • Vibrant (formerly known as Mental Health Association of NYC)
  • NYS OMH Directory
  • ADAA Directory
  • Your workplace employee assistance program
  • Community mental health clinics
  • Community primary care clinics often offer counseling on a sliding scale
  • Universities with a teaching hospital often have a mental health clinic offering service on a sliding scale
  • Your health insurance provider if you have one
  • Search "therapist directory" in any search engine