Community Resource Guide

Community Resource Guide


The Student Counseling Center at Creighton strives to offer mental-health counseling to all of our students.  For students on our waitlist, for students who wish to seek services outside of our clinic, and for students who have left the University we offer this community resource guide.

If you are experiencing an emergency, please stop reading and refer to our Emergency Contacts page.

Finding a Counselor or Therapist

The following information is intended to assist anyone seeking counseling in the Omaha area. This task can be frustrating and confusing for anyone unfamiliar with the counseling and mental health field. We hope that this information demystifies this task and provides useful information to help you find the best counselor for your situation.

Step 1: Assess your insurance benefits, or if you do not have insurance with mental health coverage available in the state of Nebraska, the amount you are able to pay for therapy

  • Be sure to understand the terms of your insurance, call your insurance provider (this number is often located on the back of your insurance card) and ask if you have session limits, a deductible, a co-pay, and what types of mental health services are covered (i.e. testing, group therapy, couple or family therapy), number of sessions per year that are covered, and if they have a list of counseling providers (preferred providers) that you must choose from for the insurance plan to provide the maximum coverage. Also check to see if they cover out-of-network therapists (meaning providing a lower level of reimbursement compared to preferred providers, for fully licensed professional counselors).
  • If you will be paying out-of-pocket and do not have the ability to pay for full cost counseling services, look for counselors who can offer a sliding scale fee arrangement, or look for low-fee clinics (see below).
  • Sometimes going to a therapist every other week or every few weeks instead of weekly can make the cost more manageable.

Step 2: Think about what qualities are important to you in a counselor

  • Questions to ask yourself are: Is my counselor's gender or ethnicity important to me?, Is it important that my counselor is religious? Do I want a counselor who specializes in a certain issue or population (e.g. depression, anxiety, trauma, substance abuse, couples)? Do I have a preference for the style and approach my counselor uses (e.g. giving homework, working with you collaboratively, exploring your past, incorporating scripture)?

Step 3: Search for a counselor who will be the right fit for you

  • Research has found that finding the counselor who is the right ?fit? is important to success in counseling. Explore counselors? websites and call those who you are interested in meeting with to ask questions. Some therapists provide a no-cost initial session. This is an excellent way to discern whether or not the counselor is a good fit.
  • Take into consideration your schedule and your ability to get to your counselor?s office. You want to make sure it is convenient enough that you can stick with it as long as you need.
  • You can search for a counselor in many ways. Here are some ideas:
  1. Call your insurance company to get a list of in-network providers (counselors that you must choose from to get maximum insurance coverage for the services received).
  2. Get recommendations from friends or family, your primary health care provider, or clergy.
  3. Conduct a search on any of the counselor association website, such as Psychology Today, listed below.
  4. See our personalized list of referrals linked below.
  5. If, while meeting with a therapist, you feel as though they are not the right fit, you can take these steps:
  6. First, try talking through your concerns with your counselor to see if you can find a way to make the relationship work.
  7. If you decide that your current counselor is still not a good fit, you have the right to ask for referrals to a different therapist or to find a new counselor on your own.

Understanding a Counselor's Credentials in Nebraska

There are a number of different licensures counseling professionals can have, and it varies by state.  Each licensure indicates a professional's different experiences with work and education.  That said, those with the licensures listed below can provide quality mental health counseling and therapy.

Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (LMHP / LIMHP): These therapists have obtained at least a master?s degree in a mental health counseling field and have training in a wide variety of issues and concerns.  They have obtained a state required amount of education, supervision and counseling hours to obtain licensure in their state of practice.

  • Provisionally Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (PLMHP): Counselors with this credential have graduated from a mental health counseling program and are in the process of working towards full Nebraska licensure.

Certified Marriage and Family Therapist (CMFT): These counselors have obtained at least a master?s degree in marriage and family therapy or mental health counseling and see individuals, but also have special training working with couples and families. They have obtained a state required amount of education, supervision and counseling hours to obtain licensure in their state of practice.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW / LICSW): Licensed clinical social workers have obtained at least a master?s degree in social work and are trained to help clients who are experiencing a variety of issues.  These therapists are trained to look at issues from both a social as well as an individual context.  They have obtained a state required amount of education, supervision and counseling hours to obtain licensure in their state of practice.

Psychologist (Psy.D. or Ph.D): Psychologists have received a doctorate. They have been trained to work with clients facing a variety of issues and also are trained to administer psychological testing for evaluation purposes.  They have obtained a state required amount of education, supervision and counseling hours to obtain licensure in their state of practice.

Psychiatrist (M.D.): Psychiatrists have obtained a doctorate of medicine with at least a 4-year psychiatric residency and have special training in how the body affects mental health issues.  They meet with clients who are experiencing significant emotional distress and/or mental health disorders and can prescribe/monitor medication for these issues.  They often work collaboratively with a psychologist or master?s level therapist who provide counseling to their client, but some psychiatrists counsel their clients as well.

  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP):  Similar to a psychiatrist, a PNP can diagnose mental illness and prescribe medication.
  • For medication needs requiring less monitoring, your primary care physician can provide a prescription if they feel it is needed.

***Educational requirements and post-graduate counseling hours as well as license title may vary by state. Contact your state licensing board for clarification.

Therapist Locator Websites (Therapists in Private Practice)

The following websites provide information about independent self-employed counselors. Each website lists only those practitioners from a specific discipline as described in the previous section, e.g. mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists. The fees for private practice counselors vary. The range is $50 to $175 per session.  However, if you have insurance that covers counseling services and the private counselor is a member of your insurance plan, part or all of the fee will be covered by your health insurance plan (see Step 1 in at the beginning of this document).

Creighton has also compiled a Community Resource List, or list of referrals.  These are individuals we have met, worked with, and/or referred to in the past.