50-55 minute individual session: $110
50-55 minute couples session: $110
50-55 minute family session: $110
80 minute family session: $150
I accept cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. If you don’t show up, or don’t give 24 hours notice for your appointment, you will be charged the full amount of your session. I do not accept insurance in my practice.
MAKING AN INFORMED DECISION REGARDING THE USE OF INSURANCE FOR THERAPY:
Many people want to use their health insurance to pay for therapy. This is understandable – I like to save money too! What you might not know, though, is that there are some non-monetary costs to using insurance for therapy. Everyone should be free to make their own choices in this matter, but I believe your choice should be informed. Here are some things you may not know.
In order for a therapist to bill your insurance, she has to become part of the insurance company’s panel. When submitting your claim, she is required to give you a diagnosis because insurance companies will only pay for care that is ‘medically necessary.’ Most people who seek out insurance are struggling – some have significant struggles. However, those struggles do not usually meet the criteria for a psychiatric diagnosis from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Not only must your therapist submit a diagnosis – shemust prove that it is significantly impairing the way you function. In additional to the requirement to submit a diagnosis, some insurance companies also require the therapist to submit updates every few weeks to prove that you are still ‘impaired’ but are making progress. Some people have legitimate diagnoses, and it is important for them to be property treated. Most people I see in my practice, though, just need support, direction, information or skills to change patterns of behaviors that are keeping them for living the lives they want to live.
With regard to couple’s counseling, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) does not have a diagnosis code for marriage or relationship counseling that insurance companies will accept. That means, again, that the therapist must submit a ‘medically necessary’ diagnosis for one of the partners – even if neither of them fits the criteria.
Any diagnoses and updates that are submitted by your therapist become a part of your permanent medical record. That means, even if you don’t fully fit the profile for a mental health diagnosis, you will permanently have one as a part of your medical record. Many therapists will choose a “light condition” such as adjustment disorder, but it is a mental health diagnosis nonetheless. You must decide if that is something you are willing to accept.
While there are privacy laws regarding health information, your permanent medical record may not be as private as you think. When you apply for new health insurance, life insurance, or even some jobs, you could be required to sign an authorization to view your entire medical record. This means that an insurance company or prospective employer may consider your mental health diagnosis in their decision to insure or hire you. Of course, this may not happen, but it’s a possibility. Again, you may be okay with this, but you should make an informed decision.
Finally, as a therapist, I feel this is an ethical dilemma. While I understand that there are people who do meet the criteria for mental health diagnoses, in my opinion most do not. I do not feel comfortable labeling each of my clients with a psychiatric diagnosis, even if I choose a ‘lighter diagnosis.’ It is unfair for me to be put in that position, and it a disservice to you as my client.
Obviously, it is your decision to make – but now you will be making an informed decision. For some people, billing their insurance company is the right decision for them. If you would like to use insurance for your therapy, the best thing to do is to check your insurance company’s provider list. You will likely find several therapists there to chose from.