Oakland Kaiser Child Psychiatry Recommendations?

I'm looking for a therapist at Oakland Kaiser for my daughter, and would love to hear people's experiences (positive or negative) with any of the female Child/Family therapists there. 

I'm looking specifically for a female therapist, since I think my daughter will connect better with a woman.  My daughter is 9 years old and dealing with what I believe is anxiety and mild depression, manifesting in social issues/social anxiety, negativity, and general irritability.

I've done the intake process already, and have an appointment booked with Dr. Rukhsaana Shabudin for the end of the month.  That will be more than 6 weeks since my initial call to Kaiser to get the ball rolling...so in case Dr. Shabudin isn't a good fit, I want to have some idea of who else I can ask for.  I know a lot of this will depend on the connection between my daughter and the therapist, which is a very individual thing, but I'm hoping that hearing others' experiences can help me gauge who is likely to have a good connection with my girl.

I looked at the Oakland child psychiatry provider bio's on Kaiser's site already (though it looks like only the providers who are accepting new patients are listed there).  I understand Kaiser often recommends groups in conjunction with individual therapy, and I'm open to that, but really want to make sure my daughter has an individual therapist she can connect with.

Thank you in advance!

Concerned mama

Parent Replies

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We're no longer with Kaiser (not an option my employer of 7+ years offers), but we were when my daughter was 13.  She saw Dr. Shabudin for depression and anxiety, and I think Dr. Shabudin was excellent.  Unfortunately, it was hard to get weekly or even biweekly appointments -- not Dr. Shabudin's fault, but the Kaiser model at the time.  I hope she is a good fit for your daughter.

Over the past two years (ages 10 & 11) my daughter has had two rounds of therapy sessions at Oakland Kaiser for anxiety, etc. that were manifesting pretty much as you describe. (Her usual anxiety was exacerbated by severe bulling and a death in the family one year and a temporary medical condition another year). Both times we were referred all the therapists were so booked up that it was either going to be too long a wait or so long a wait that per their protocols we would have to find someone outside of Kaiser (which they would cover). So both times we ended up agreeing to see a therapist in training, both of whom were female. I was hesitant at first but both times it was an excellent experience. I found out too that the therapists in training have graduated and are working on the 3,000 hours they have to long in order to be eligible for licensure so do have some experience. They also have more availability and work closely with a supervisor. Both times my daughter went for about 8 months. I was concerned about starting with a new therapist the 2nd time, but the first therapist said that the goal was to give her tools to deal with her anxiety and not to be dependent on a therapist. My daughter liked both of them so it worked out well.  So while this isn't a referral for a particular therapist, it is a recommendation for talking to the person that supervises the therapists in training too to see if there is someone that would be a good fit -- in my daughter's case the therapist in training happen to have done a focus on children with medical conditions so it really was a good fit.

Hi. I had a very similar situation to you and unfortunately had a very bad experience with Kaiser psychiatry. Our daughter's condition sounds very similar to yours. First of all, as you've noted, it takes forever to get any real help. First you get a group meeting while they look over your intake form. Then you meet with someone who most likely refers you to someone else. In my case, we had already done a fair amount of private therapy and I wanted more of a medical assessment and diagnosis. Well I did not get it. The person we eventually got referred to, Jillian Goldstein, turned out to not be very helpful or sympathetic. She never actually gave us a diagnosis (I think the official diagnosis was "adjustment disorder" or something equally vague), her suggestions for how I should treat my daughter were very simplistic and behaviorist (rewards and punishments, which of course I had already tried), and in the end she even refused to sign the form requesting a 504 plan. So she was really the opposite of helpful, and it was like 2 or 3 months from the time I first requested help from Kaiser to figuring out that this person was not helpful, which was a big waste of time. In the end we got a recommendation for Dr. Denherder, who is very good but unfortunately works in Richmond. I'm sure there are good therapists and psychiatrists in Oakland, but we didn't have any luck finding one. I wish you better luck!