Therapists at Kaiser

Parent Q&A

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  • Hi, this may be a long shot, but feeling a bit desperate here.  Can anyone recommend a therapist that takes Beacon health insurance, with the referral from Kaiser? I saw some recommendations but they were quite old (except for one who apparently no longer accepts Beacon). Really appreciate any recommendations you can provide! (Or words of caution about therapists accepting Beacon that you’d avoid). Thanks. 

    Try Earth Circles in Oakland. I believe they have a contract with Beacon. I hope they can help.

    Psychiatric Alternatives is based in SF but most (if not all) of their practitioners are doing remote therapy. They have a lot of therapists, and many who take the Kaiser/Beacon referral. I am currently working with someone there who takes that referral. You have to email their intake person and then they’ll send back a list of who’s available (even if it says no one is online, I think usually someone becomes available quickly — that was my experience).

    Also, it was indeed a nightmare to try to find someone good/available/who takes that referral, so also want to commiserate that it indeed sucks and I’m not surprised you’re at the “desperate” point. Good luck!!

    I just went through something similar looking for a therapist for my son. I called several under contract with Beacon from their list of providers but got no response or no availability. If you're not having luck with their list, you can also try reaching back out to the Kaiser facility department who gave you the Beacon referral. We were able to get a different referral to a therapy group under individual contract with Kaiser because we couldn't find anyone through Beacon and it worked out.

  • Hi-

    Kaiser has referred us out to Beacon Health for a mental health therapist for our 8yo. From what I have read, it's hard to find a good therapist that is actually part of the Beacon network. I'm looking for recommendations for a mental health therapist who works with kids in the east bay.

    Many thanks!

    No responses received.

  • Any recommendations for therapists with availability that take the Kaiser partner insurance, "Beacon Health Options?" I have had a very difficult time finding a therapist, and am getting frustrated going through their official channels to get a recommendation. There is such a long delay waiting through their phone system, and the first batch of names they gave me were not helpful (not taking new patients, scattered and unprofessional, or not returning my calls at all). So I would very much appreciate a personal recommendation.

    Issues I'm dealing with, if that helps to make better recommendations: anxiety, depression, the difficulty of parenting bringing up childhood trauma/abuse, living with a partner that is struggling with addiction/alcoholism, plus all the COVID and working while guiding school at home stress. 

    Many thanks. 

    I can highly recommend my therapist who I have through Beacon/Kaiser: Claudia Viazzoli in Mill Valley (but of course doing telemedicine now).

  • Kaiser therapist recs?

    Jul 3, 2020

    Has anyone had a particularly good experience with a therapist who takes Kaiser insurance? I'm a married mom with a toddler, and I'm dealing with some anger issues I'd like to work on. Thanks!

    As far as I know Kaiser therapy is still woefully understaffed and it will take a long time to get in to someone unless it is an emergency.  Non emergent cases are not usually offered weekly therapy in any event.  A family member had a really good experience though at an anger management group out of Kaiser Richmond.  They run a non-forensic anger management group, meaning it is explicitly not for folx court-ordered to treatment for anger but for people who self-identify as wanting help in that area.   My family member met a broad range of people there and found the tools they offered incredibly helpful.  And I can say they made a HUGE difference in our household.  As a side note, I am a therapist myself and about half my practice is people who have Kaiser insurance but pay me out of pocket because they can't get seen for therapy at Kaiser.

    Hi there,

    Amanda Carroll in Oakland, but I think she’s part time now. I’m having the same problem, but looking for someone closer to Walnut Creek.

    ...also check out Hand in Hand Parenting videos.



    I had a really good experience at Kaiser Oakland with Patrizia Meunier. I have no idea if she is seeing new patients or not but it would be worth trying to see her if you can. She's warm, funny, insightful, and is just an all-around skilled therapist. Kaiser can be a pain to deal with for therapy but she was super helpful to me. Take care and I hope you get the support you need. 

  • I am looking for a family/relationship therapist at Kaiser for myself. Generally, I prefer a warm, compassionate, non-judgemental person who is engaged rather than just listens. Someone who is also married with children and can empathize from a place of experience. Most friends have recommended therapists outside of Kaiser, so please let me know if you can suggest someone with Kaiser in the Oakland/Richmond area. Many thanks!

    The short answer is if you’re looking for long term therapy you can’t get it at Kaiser.  Some of their therapists will straight up tell you “I can see you for 3 visits”; some may see you, but your visits will be pretty far apart. Not sure if you’re looking for longer term therapy - they can refer you out to either Beacon or Magellan, but almost no therapists accept either of those for insurance.  Now, if you’re looking for shorter term therapy I haeny answered your question, sorry, both of the people I liked have left Kaiser.  They often refer you to Kaiser groups also. Best of luck; Kaiser is extremely well known for having horrible mental health services. 

    I don't have a recommendation for you, but will be interested to follow responses because it's my understanding that you can't just *see* a therapist through Kaiser. They're horrifically understaffed for all mental health services and have a wait-list just to have the initial screening intake phone call. My son was having crisis-level anxiety with school refusal and it took us 7 days just to talk to a therapist over the phone for 20 minutes. Follow up was another phone call in 6 weeks. Best of luck to you. 

    I had to go out-of-network, too.  Kaiser's policy seems to be: 1) do you want to try our group sessions first?  2) do you want to speak to a therapist for a fixed period of time?

    For #1, the group sessions were nice and a good supplement to what I was doing.

    For #2, I actually did both - an out-of-network and Kaiser therapist at the same time.  The big difference is that Kaiser focused on the now and future (in the therapist's words), while the other therapist focused on the past and debugging issues more deeply.

    I found the Kaiser experience positive - I didn't have to wait the way others are describing.  It's just a difference in approach, and kept to Kaiser's usual "focus on the standard level of proven care".

    I would just pay out of pocket and try one of the people that was recommended to you. I never had any luck getting consistent talk therapy through Kaiser. If you are able to get services, though, please let us know here, with any tips you may have! Good luck. 

  • Hello

    I’m 55.  Female and married with two kids. I’ve lost my way these last three years.  I was asked to leave my job due to various issues. I don’t have close friends anymore.  Husband and extended family relationships are strained. I might be depressed. I lose interest in projects quickly.  I’m forgetful. Any criticism destroys me.   I want to find joy and meaning and fulfillment again.

    Kaiser insurance.  Berkeley Oakland Richmond location preferred.

    Thank you in advance..

    I see Barbara Hart in North Berkeley. I highly recommend her. Great listener and gives practical advice. I saw her through my pregnancy with my second child and am going back to her as I am now dealing with the sudden death of my mother and a third pregnancy. 

    Unfortunately if you have Kaiser you have to see a provider through Kaiser and they have waitlists. I’d still start with them and see what they can offer - assuming you want it covered through insurance. Otherwise, see if your spouse says employer has an EAP program which may offer free counseling sessions. If so, they can also recommend in network therapists!

    Some of the things you describe such as depression, forgetfulness, etc. can also be symptoms of menopause and perimenopause. So if you haven't discussed how you feel yet with your Obgyn, it might be good to do that and see ideas of how to manage it, e.g. HRT, in addition to a therapist. Your OB can then also refer you to the behavioral health department at Kaiser. From my experience, Kaiser does not offer mental health care unless things are really really bad. So you might have to look out of network. All the best!

    I have no recommendations but I want you to know that I believe in you and your efforts will pay off.

    The first thing you might want to do is to talk with your Kaiser PCP and asked to be screened for depression.  Your doctor can then talk with you about anti-depression medications and screen for any physical reasons for depression.  Simultaneously, you can also call Kaiser mental health services directly and make an intake appointment (you don't need a referral from your PCP).  The number for services at Kaiser Oakland is 510-752-1075.  I hope you call.  Sending love.

    Kaiser also refers out to non-Kaiser therapists sometimes.  It's called Magellan, I think.  My therapist sometimes has a few clients come via Kaiser.  You will find yourself again,  I hope you get the support you need.

    Call kaiser member services - the number is on the back of your card. Tell them that you want to see a therapist and they will set you up with a quick telephone screening, then you can get a list of therapists in your area that take kaiser insurance. (At leas this is how it worked for me.) You can call people on the list to see if they are taking new patients and see if it might be a good fit. :)

    kaiser has a reputation for having bad mental health services - but they have been putting a lot of effort into fixing this. They are very conscious of this reputation so I think if you call member services they will be attentive to making sure you figure it all out.

    Best of luck! Take care. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions Related Pages

Oakland Kaiser Therapist for Child

Dec 2011

I am looking for an Oakland Kaiser therapist for my almost seven year old son. He is having social and behavioral issues that I think are stemming from difficulties at school, low self esteem, and anger and impulse control issues. He won't talk to me or his dad about it. I think that he needs someone to listen to him that is not emotionally imvested in his behavior and who is just there for him. Someone who is good with family systems and could see one or both parents as well would also be great. Thank you. Looking for someone to talk to.

I wanted to highly recommend Dr. Jose Lopez at Oakland Kaiser for your child. Dr. Lopez is truly amazing. He has been working with us and our five year old son who has had a lot of problems with peer relationships and school. Dr. Lopez offers such concrete suggestions and advice and has a wealth of experience working with children. I always feel so much better after seeing him. Another nice thing is that Dr. Lopez works with a very wide range of children's behaviors so he does a nice job of doing some reality checking when I start to feel like our situation is dire. Oh and Dr. Lopez has been completely willing to go to our son's school on two different occasions to observe and offer suggestions to the school on how best to work with our child. Anonymous

Looking for a Kaiser therapist for my husband

April 2008

My husband is interested in seeing a therapist through the Kaiser network and is having trouble finding someone who comes highly recommended. We live in Berkeley, so either Kaiser Oakland, possibly Richmond or the new extended network that Kaiser is offering in the area would be suitable. My husband is 50+ years old, intelligent and somewhat skeptical about therapy, but interested in giving it a try again. He would need to work with someone who is both extremely insightful and articulate. Definitely not looking for someone who is going to give him predictable ''textbook'' answers. Humor is a plus. If you or someone you know has recently had a positive experience with one of the local therapists covered by Kaiser, we would greatly appreciate your recommendation. Thank you. Anon

If you are expecting to have a weekly 50 minutes therapy for your husband, forget Kaiser. Kaiser is good for many things but not individual deep insight oriented therapy. They offer groups, brief (10min) check in kind of ''therapy'' but not what you might be looking for. If he is already skeptical about therapy, I really don't recommend kasier. I would recommend findking a good private therapist although they are pricey but some of them are really worth it. good luck therapist myself and knows kaiser system

Kaiser therapist for depression

June 2006

Hi- I'm looking for a good therapist to help me with depression and childhood abuse issues. I'm a Kaiser member and don't have the resources for private therapy. Would prefer a woman but otherwise am open. Thanks

I saw Dr. Annemieke (Annie) deJong, and thought she was quite intelligent, perceptive, and patient. I saw her for all of the 20 visits that my Kaiser membership allowed for, and when I felt I needed further treatment, she referred me to a non-Kaiser therapist that I really liked, and who I saw for another year and a half. The only negative (which was not Dr. DeJong's fault) was that appointments were hard to schedule, and sometimes I had to go more than 2 weeks between sessions - which is an awfully long time when you are depressed. There did not seem to be any way to just have the same slot every week feeling much better now

Kaiser therapist for short term intervention

March 2005

I am looking into using my medical benefits of 20 hours of therapy through Kaiser. If you had a successful experience with a Kaiser therapist who can provide a short term intervention focusing on a specific problem, I'll be happy to get your recommendation. Thank you, A potential client

I had a good experience with Annemieke (Annie) DeJong at Oakland Kaiser. My condition involved mainly depression, with some anxiety and grief issues. She was very understanding, without insulting my intelligence.

Good for you for seeking out a therapist. In my case, the 20 visits were not enough, so I continued therapy with another (non- Kaiser) doctor. But 20 hours is a start, and could be enough to help you find your footing. Therapy did me good

Kaiser Therapists for an Adult

June 2003

I'm looking for someone to work with--talking, gestalt, insight, whatever--so I can take advantage of my mental health benefits for the 20 sessions I'm allowed. To narrow the field, I would say that I get more from a therapist who smiles, is enthusiastic and demonstrates a sense of humor, rather than someone who quietly sits back in the chair and doesn't react much. I could go to either Oakland, Richmond, San Rafael or Walnut Creek. Thanks.

I love my therapist at Kaiser San Francisco, Christine Chu. She is very compassionate, a good listener, and turns the focus to my strengths while not dismissing the validity of my difficulties. She does not put things into a diagnostic format which I like- labeling disorders always makes me feel flawed. She is not overtly feminist in her approach, but she is so intrinsicaly. I see her on a long-term basis which Kaiser gives me because of a chronic condition. Kaiser Oakland had told me that only short-term was available. But I only get to see her every 5-6 weeks, which of course makes it very different than the intensity of private (expensive) therapy. I am considering switching to Kaiser San Rafael for my therapy because it is faster for me to get to than San Francisco. But I hate to leave Christine!

Dr. Eaton (male) at Kaiser Richmond is kind, caring, competent, grounded. highly recommended. Laura

A friend of mine is a therapist at Kaiser in Walnut Creek, Silvia Gorla. I don't know her as a therapist but rather as a friend. She is very intelligent, compassionate, open -- all the wonderful things you could say about a friend. Given her relationship with me and any other friends I've seen her with, I can't imagine she would fail to provide her best in her chosen field. She's never worn a ''badge'' of feminism around me, but her life is not one lacking feminism.
a female friend

I have had a wonderful experience with Dr. Moulton at Oakland Kaiser (510-752-6696)--she fits the description that you are looking for. Good luck! K.

Kitsy Schoen and Joanna Manqueros are enthusiastic thoughtful therapists. Both at Kaiser Oakland. eve

Have you accessed Kaiser's web site? They have a member's website with lots of info and discussion groups so you can ask all kinds of questions (yours would be a good one) to other members with a staff person (nurse/or doctor) monitoring the discussion. It reminds me of UC parents, but their level of security and efforts to protect member privacy are need to register and get an ID number/ password to participate. Not hard to do if you are a Kaiser member. Lissa

Kaiser Therapist for Spirited Child

February 2003

I was happy to find the recommendations for therapists at Kaiser. I am seeking one for my ''spirited'' nine year old - if you have one yourself you know what I mean! - bright, high energy, high emotions and low frustration tolerance....some characteristics of the ''explosive'' children discussed in other recommendations. Seems that most of the Kaiser recommmendations are for children dealing with separation and divorce - any suggestions for one who has experience and expertise dealing with spirited children - or trained in temperament therapy (is that what it's called? )

Oakland Kaiser used to have a group program for elementary school age kids but I'm not sure if they still do. We had Dr. Jose Lopez when we needed a specialist to work with our shy 4-y- o and found Dr. Lopez to be kind, gentle and patient, although he didn't seem to take much of what we said (our self- diagnosis?) into consideration when he began working with our kid. He also seems to have lots of experience working with pre- teen kids on a variety of issues. By the way, if a therapist doesn't work out after you make an effort to make things work, switch to another one. That's what my therapist friend told me.

Rona Renner is amazing! I took a class with her, and a friend consulted her for temperament issues concerning her son. Rona is a mother of several children herself. I wish I had Kaiser health insurance just so that I could consult with her! Alison

We have two boys, both of whom qualify as ''spirited''. We have had a good experience therapists and programs at Kaiser Oakland. Specifically Anna Wong and Robin Peters as individuals and the social skills class for our younger son who has difficulty in social situations. matheny

Therapist for 4-year-old son

This is in response to the person who was seeking counseling for her 4-year old son, preferably at Kaiser. There is an excellent person at Kaiser Oakland, Dr. Wong - first name Anna, I think - who works with kids. We consulted her last fall after our son starting biting at day-care, and found her extremely helpful. Don't have a direct number, but she can be reached indirectly through the main psychiatry number.

Kaiser- Oakland absolutely does provide short-term counseling for kids and families and I'd recommend Dr. Mary Haake. When my husband and I separated, my son - 2.5 years old at the time - had screaming-sobbing fits, especially about going to my new home. We had several appointments with Dr. Haake, some all together, some separately. My son didn't always have to be there. She even called me at home so we could talk before she went on vacation. I last went to her sometime this last fall. She interacted with my son, observed him playing, and listened a lot to our accounts of his behavior. In the end, she didn't really counsel my son, but rather counseled me and my husband on handling parenting during the separation. Her recommendations partly led to my husband to seek further counseling for himself. She also provided a lot of insight on re-assuring my son. I also found that even when I hadn't seen her for a while I was able to get an appointment with her quickly when a crisis occurred. I do not recall if I had to get a referral or not, but you can call child psychiatry (I think it is accessed through the main psychiatry number). It does count against your annual number of mental health visits.

Dr. Mary Haake is in the Broadway building, 4th floor, 596 1075 - direct line, but you might have to call the psychiatry number to get the first appointment. Alan

I want to second the recommendation for Dr. Mary Haake at Oakland Kaiser. When my husband and I separated, she saw both my kids. A 7.5 year old girl and 4 yr old boy. (my son was too young to really engage with her, but she offerred a lot of insight and advice to me on how to help him) She also runs a kids divorce group which my daughter attended and from which we all benefitted. We had some health and custodial conflicts in the family and Dr. Haake was very good to work with on those also -- always helping to place things in the kids perspective and looking out for their best interest. She even spent time talking to me over the phone when things were particularly tough.