We all want to pay less, and are attracted to offers, discounts, coupons, packages and BOGOs.
When we want to, or have to, spend money on something we need, it hurts - it isn't planned, there are many other things we'd rather do with our hard-earned money. Nobody likes getting a new roof, or a car repair or replacing a washing machine.
When you are considering getting some help from me, it can help to consider fees charged by others. I did some research online and found this information:
For physicians, the average amount paid for an uncomplicated office visit by an established patient, lasting ten minutes, is $68. For a more complex medical problem, a visit lasting about 40 minutes costs $234. These fees are for Primary Care Physicians, rather than specialists.
When I went to graduate school for Clinical Psychology, it was actually more difficult to get accepted into a clinical psychology program than it was to get into medical school, when looking at the number of applicants for the number of spaces available.
There are other professional fees structures to look at: plumbers, electricians and car mechanics, to name a few; these are rather vital and necessary - and also not at the top of our lists of things we want to spend money on!
Plumbers who are self-employed charge differently depending on the location, across the country. In some areas, they charge between $45-$75 per hour, and other regions, they charge $75-$150 per hour. Most plumbers will charge a standard 2 hour minimum or service call fee of $75-$150 per hour. Plumbers have high school diplomas and training and experience in their field.
Electricians who are professional and self-employed charge $50-$100 per hour, based on skill levels, qualifications, experience and local rates. Again, electricians have high school diplomas and additional training.
For auto mechanics, labor rates are $80-$150 per hour, which varies nationwide; specialty shops charge more and higher grade technicians are paid more, depending on training, skill level and experience. Once again, auto mechanics are high school graduates with additional training.
Psychologists, on the other hand, spend at least twelve years of full time higher education and training in order to become doctoral-level, licensed practitioners.
I would suggest that you consider this information when you are thinking of calling me and making an appointment. Mental health has not been at the top of the list of popular and acceptable specialty areas for many, many years. It is much more acceptable now, and is becoming more and more acceptable.
I have found that many people expect to pay very little when they first call; I think this is a combination of being less inclined on spending money on themselves and their own mental health/ personal growth and development, coupled with an expectation that it will not be very costly.
It is true that if you stay within your insurance network, the co-pay will be much cheaper than it will be to consult with me. Generally speaking, the professionals you will see in insurance networks will have less training and experience, if you compare. Some will be very skilled, some not so much.
Psychologists fought long and hard to become included in insurance, wanting to be more accepted, more in the mainstream of our medical system. Most psychologists learned early on that this was not actually a good development, since insurance companies have been reducing the payments to us for the past 20 years. For those of us who did participate with insurance, it has become impossible to make a good living that way; being self-employed, we have overhead and many other expenses that are not evident to most people. One client told me that he figured that the nearby hospital paid for my office furniture, and was shocked to find out that I paid for it myself!
So, keep these matters in mind when you consider working with me; I strongly suggest that you value yourself highly and be willing to do what it takes to achieve the improvements you are looking for and needing in your life.
When we speak, we'll discuss first and foremost, what is going on with you, what kind of help you are looking for, and then we'll discuss my fee. I'm ready to talk with you, and ready to help you, so go ahead and call me - hopefully we can work together!
When you're highly stressed and upset about issues in your life, the last thing you want to think about is how to afford the counseling that you know can help you to lead a happier, more fulfilled life. Often, people ask me if I accept insurance. I do work with people who have insurance with "out-of-network" benefits. I don't submit the claims myself. This means that after you pay for your session with me, I will give you a receipt with all the information required by the insurance company in order to process your claim. You submit the claim and receive a reimbursement check which will range from 50% to more than 90% of my fee.
In the beginning, it's a bit challenging to learn how to fill out the claim and the initial payment can also be a stretch, financially. Keep in mind that I can help you with both of these parts of the situation. I did take insurance for many years and know how to help you navigate your way through the system in order to get your claims paid. Once the insurance company starts sending you the reimbursement checks, it really evens out and gets a lot easier.
Please don't hesitate to call me to discuss any questions you have about this process. I look forward to hearing from you!
My practice is mostly self-pay, as it is with most psychologists. It may help to keep in mind that when you use insurance, they have access to more of your personal information than you would want. Yes, there are limits on the information they have a right to, and that is a result of years of political efforts made by psychologists, but they still have more information than they really need. And, if you look at the fine print in your insurance contract, they do have rights to request more information, without giving specific reasons to do so.
It makes a difference knowing just how private our conversations really are, when it is a totally private transaction, just between you and me and absolutely no one else.
This is important when you realize that you may not really know all that you need to talk about, up front. One of the major aspects of personal therapy is becoming more aware of how you feel, what you think, what your patterns are, what your history is and how your history has affected you. These are often not fully conscious, or at least they are things you haven't been focusing on or actively remembering.
I help you to remember some very vital things about yourself and integrate the meaning of these elements into who you are now. This helps you make better choices for yourself, and you are helped to express yourself more clearly.
I say all of this to underscore how meaningful it is to have total privacy when you work with me. That sense of total privacy makes a big difference in how free you feel to tell me what needs to be said.
We will discuss my fee when we speak.