I tried to give clients a break financially by joining health insurance panels but when the companies stopped paying for the counseling I had already done in accordance with our contract, I had to quit using them. Now only about 30% of counselors accept health insurance.
My fee of $195 per 50 minute session is based on education, training, years of experience and the value I give. My value is $240: $5 increase cost of living since 1992 when I started at $85 a session. Since Covid I have not charged my stated value.
I work differently from most therapists. After a client spends a session with me I write down verbatim what the client said, what I said and so forth. Every week I study all my notes to provide a continuum of reaching client goals faster than most methods of counseling. I charge a discounted rate of $190 and allow three hours a week for reflection, creativity and research on my clients’ behalf. The sliding scale for me is to allow “out of network”.
Why does quality counseling cost so much? A client should feel during the first session that the therapist is already resolving critical issues and will see a continuation of that at every session. When the client feels that no progress is being made, it is time to seek another counselor. I have offered a no pay benefit for twenty years and never has a client felt the need to ask for it.
Clients must always remember that when using health insurance they must be labeled mentally ill if the company is to justify payment. Also, using health insurance for payment, clients lose their right to confidentiality. The insurance company may ask for confidential records at any time. Also, having a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist see your child for therapy will assign him a mental illness that could follow him through electronic records for the rest of his or her life, often preventing hiring or promotions. Health insurance may be cheaper in the short run but very destructive in the long run.
I have developed several cutting edge programs to greatly reduce the sessions needed for resolution of issues and continue to do so. They say you get what you pay for. With me you get far more than you pay for,