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Volunteers in Psychotherapy provides truly private psychotherapy, regardless of people's ability to pay for it, in exchange for volunteer work they provide, independently and privately, elsewhere, for the community charity, nonprofit organization or government agency of their choice. People who can't afford to pay, who are unemployed or uninsured, or who are dissatisfied with their insurance coverage or its lack of privacy, or who worry about reports about their therapy being available to their insurers or employers, are welcome to participate. VIP provides private psychotherapy to adults and families, including children.
VIP has now worked with well over 380 individuals and families, providing roughly 3200 sessions that were earned by 12,800 hours of community volunteering. The agency where a VIP client volunteers doesn't need to know of that person's connection with VIP, for the client's privacy.
VIP's goal is to reverse problematic therapy practices brought on by managed care, and in public clinics. Current insurance approaches often require therapists to submit reports of personal information that violate the privacy of therapy clients. Those "third party payers" also decide how many sessions of therapy will be paid for, and have increasingly limited access to psychotherapy, which can increase insurers' profits. Similarly, public psychiatric clinics often limit access to therapy, or provide services that are less than private, or don't keep the client in control of decisions.
Volunteers In Psychotherapy was given the Award for Psychological Contribution in the Public Interest by the Connecticut Psychological Association, and received the 2003 award of the American Institute of Medical Education. VIP was profiled in "Psychology Today" [Dec. '01], and was featured in a New York Times article in September, 2002. Many other publications have now profiled our unique approach, such as the Monitor on Psychology (of the American Psychological Association), the New England Psychologist (Feb. '07 & June '09) and the Hartford Courant (July '07).