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  • Writer's pictureDr. Niemeyer

“Can I Get On Your Waitlist?”

Since I use my Blog as a way to respond to Frequently Asked Questions, this seems like a very appropriate question to respond to as I get phone calls like this multiple times a week. The short answer is “maybe.” It’s complicated. I’m going to share my thoughts with you and also provide you with some information to read through before calling me up.

While Bend has many very competent mental health providers, sometimes it can feel like a very small town if you are trying to find someone to treat you or your loved one. Many providers will say “Sorry, I’m full” or you will reach their voicemail saying they aren’t able to accept clients at this time. While we really want to be able to help everyone, we only have so many hours in a week.

So here are some questions to ask yourself before deciding whether to sign up for my Waitlist:

1. Are you willing to pay out of pocket to see me? Currently I do not accept any insurance and so you will need to pay me directly and then work with your insurance provider to receive reimbursement. If you or your child has a very specific diagnosis, this process is usually do-able, but does require some legwork. You can read more about that process here.

2. Were you directly referred to me for a specific reason? If another provider in town gave you my name for a very specific diagnostic or clinical reason, it’s often worth having a conversation with me about whether you should be placed on my waitlist or can be seen by another provider in town.

3. What is the reason you are seeking therapy? There are excellent therapists in Bend who can provide good services for many of the reasons people call me. However, here are a few of the diagnoses that I feel could a good fit to stay on my waitlist:

· Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

· Panic Disorder

· Social Phobia

· Tics or Tourette’s Disorder

· Specific Phobias

· Health Anxiety (Hypochondriasis)

· Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

· If you are not sure or do not see your diagnosis on this list, it does not mean I will not be able to work with you. But these are some diagnoses that I feel truly benefit from the type of therapy I do and I feel require specialized therapy that I can offer.

4. Most importantly – Are you willing to wait? Some people are happy and able to wait. Maybe this is a problem you’ve been managing for quite some time. Maybe you currently are in therapy but your provider recommended more specialized treatment. Maybe you’ve tried other options but haven’t found success. We will always have a conversation about your current supports and safety before putting you on a waitlist to wait for services.

So let’s say you decide you are willing to wait. What does that mean? People generally want to know how long they will be waiting on my list. The answer is I really don’t know. The length of the waitlist is affected by how quickly my current patients finish with therapy and how the people ahead of you respond when I reach out with an availability. The more flexible you can be with your scheduling availability, the quicker you will be seen. I will do my best to provide you with an estimate and you are always welcome to call and check in about waitlist status.

Finally, who should not wait on my waitlist? First of all,all people on my waitlist will be provided with referral options in town to call as alternate options. However, some may be easier able to access help more quickly if your referral question is not one listed on my list of specialized anxiety disorders. If you are able to find another clinician who is a good fit for you, then accessing services quicker is usually the best option! When you call we will always have a conversation to help make the best choice for you or your child.

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