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Fees and Value

Value

My services cost more per hour than most counselors charge.  The value is that you get more out of each session, and fewer sessions are required.  Because of all the homework some problems require,  I give readings from my bank of 250 articles I’ve written for clients, and I teach how and why to create involvement in a community of recovery.  Because of such homework and community involvement, up to 80% of the progress and benefits should occur outside my office.

Change happens quickly when you get understood, cared for, and inspired at a deep level right from the first session.  The feedback, guidance and homework I give is much more practical and moving than what the typical counselor gives.  For details on what you get from seeing me, especially how it compares with what you’ll get with the counselor supplied by your managed care network, see the thoughts below on Managed Care.  See also the section below on Paying for Counseling, and the last few paragraphs of the page for Filing Insurance.

Basic Fees and Special Charges

My basic fees are $160 per session. Please bring the fee with you and please pay at the end of each visit, by cash, check, or credit card. Sessions are about 55 minutes long, and are not interrupted by phone calls.  The fee includes your phone calls that can be made to me without charge, but those matters requiring more than five to ten minutes can usually be handled better in the office.

The initial session costs $200, but it usually runs a full 75 minutes.  Unlike with most counselors, the first session will attempt to solve your problems, and will include new insights, guidance and encouragement.  If you wish, this will be given on an audio file, sent on the spot from my phone to yours, or to your email.  A longer first session of an hour and 45 minutes can be requested for $280.  This is especially helpful for a couple, to allow me time to get to know both individuals and your relationship.  It is also beneficial when there is both a current crisis to resolve, and a need to establish a course of treatment, complete with a curriculum of study and lifestyle adjustments that need to be made.

Evening and weekend appointments are billed at $240 per session.  This is time and a half for overtime, but they will last a bit longer than an hour.  This surcharge applies to all appointments that start before 7:30 AM or start at 5 PM or later .

A charge of $80 is made for each late cancellation.  To avoid this charge, please call before the day of your appointment, anytime before midnight.  I will want you to let me know how you are doing, and to express your wishes for rescheduling your appointment.  If you are late, I will call or text you at 5 or 10 minutes past your appointment time to see if you are running late or forgot.  If you are going to be more than 15 minutes late for an appointment, please call ahead to make sure I haven’t stepped out of the office for the rest of the hour.

Payment Options

You can pay by check, cash, Health Savings Account (HSA credit card), or other credit cards.  I will ask for a 3.75% upcharge on credit cards to offset my cost in processing them.   I consider this an optional courtesy, so it will be much appreciated, but not expected.

Scheduling

I schedule all my own appointments. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I am in my Louisville office.  On Wednesdays, I am in my Lexington office.  On Wednesdays, I work out of my Lexington office.  I keep Mondays and Fridays available for people who can’t make these times and places.  I can also see people in Shelbyville by special arrangement, at the Zaring-Sullivan Law office, 600 Main Street.

To schedule appointments, just call me directly on my cell phone at 502-633-2860, or you may use the Contact Me button at the top of the Home page here to send me an email.

Sessions Are on Time

They will begin and end promptly as scheduled.  I take time between sessions to relax, get centered, go over notes of previous sessions, take phone calls, and thus do my best for you during the session.

Health Insurance Information

Your health insurance policy may pay a substantial portion of your fees.  It is your responsibility to find out whether you have insurance coverage for your sessions.  For step-by-step, word-for-word instructions on inquiring about and requesting coverage by your insurance carrier, click here!


Paying for Counseling

Thinking you can’t afford this?  If you want to do more work with me than what you think you can afford, approach it this way.  Imagine that for the sake of your career or your children, you need to take a college course or two.  To get into JCC and take a course, it would cost you about $1000, or $2000 at U of L, UK or IU.  Where would you get the money?  Would you cash in some form of savings?  Would you sell some possession, or do without some less important ongoing expense in order to pay for it?  Would you ask an educationally-minded relative to help, perhaps in exchange for some service you could provide?  Would you liquidate a past inheritance, or ask for an advance on a future one?  If you’ve given a lot to your church, might you ask your pastor to somehow get you some help here, from a local mission fund, or an anonymous giver who would go through the church?  I am offering you two courses here that you do indeed need for your career, children, marriage, your health and your faith.  “Life 101” will explain why people around you are the way they are, so you can accept and get along with them better.  “Your Life 201” will put you at peace with yourself, by explaining your strengths, weaknesses, choices and opportunities as you have never known them.  These will be well worth what you pay for them here.  (In fact, if you pay for $1000 worth of counseling here and you don’t see it’s worth that much, I’ll refund you the difference in free sessions or cash.)  You’re already thinking outside the boxes about how to solve your problems or you wouldn’t be here.  Now you can think creatively about how to pay for it.

 

WHY BEWARE OF MANAGED CARE?

I have chosen to live separate and apart from the realm of managed care.  A private school with accredited teachers chooses to live outside the values, the financial support, and the inevitable paperwork and regulation of public education.  In the same way and for many of the same reasons, I am not included in any discounted provider networks run by and for insurance companies.  As a state licensed psychologist, my services are eligible for your reimbursement as an out-of-network provider.  I believe this is better for me personally, but it is especially much better for YOU. Why?

Under Managed Care, you need to see how the system drains the life out of the counselors and counselees who use it.   The case managers tell you (and their counselors) whom you can see, for how long, and just how the money is to flow.  The managed care counselor (MCC) works more for them than for you.  You sign a release that lets their employees have access to your personal history, which they take from the MCC.  Too much like too many divorce lawyers, managed care administrators get all their money up front, they find out intimate details of your life, they exploit and come between the two parties (you and your counselor), they make more money when you distrust each other (fewer sessions to pay for), and too often they are the only ones satisfied with the outcome.  The medical model, the quality-cutting demands of cost-cutting, and the paperwork and phone calls directed to people we’ll never meet would bring out neither the human nor the divine in either one of us.

In my office, I will work only for you. We work out together how the counseling proceeds.   Academic research journals show strongly that people get much more out of counseling when they know they share major beliefs and values with their counselor, and especially so when religion is the bond [review by Bergin, in The American Psychologist, citing 75 sources]. In order to confirm that I share your values and beliefs, you can ask me anything you want to know about my lifestyle and beliefs, and I am always happy to speak with you personally by phone prior to intake. For the difference between my fee of $160 and your insurance copay, look what you get:

Purpose

Managed Care, therapy must aim at symptom relief, not your underlying attitudes, beliefs, emotions, and relationships.

In My Office, I treat the whole person, plus the family, lifestyle, and conditions which cause or fuel your problems.

Patients

Under Managed Care,  officially, only individuals can be treated — not couples or families.  Who will be the identified patient?

In my office,  I treat couples and whole families wherever they need help, without singling anyone out as the sick one.

Privacy

Under Managed Care,  your history goes into a computer database which many can access.

In my office,  I keep everything in one chart, and if you wish something not be written down, not even there.

Perspective

Under Managed Care,  people and problems must be described by the medical model.  Diagnosis is by DSM categories.  You are stuck with a label.

In my office,  I am open to all psychological approaches to diagnosis and treatment, but I understand and accept people as unique individuals.

Professionalism

Under Managed Care,  many “network providers” are financially dependent upon the referrals they get from Managed Care.  They would rather make a living on their own, but they feel they are only good enough to earn your copay.

In my office,  I believe I’m a good enough therapist to be worth my hourly fee, out of your pocket.  By working with resources in your life and giving extensive homework assignments, I rise to the challenge of discovering how to prove that what happens in my office is worth the money.

Paperwork & Phone Calls

Under Managed Care,  both you and your counselor may well have to spend hours doing paperwork, and phone calling faceless strangers to get authorized and paid.

In my office,  without insurance, you spend virtually no time at all in paperwork or phone calls about administrative matters.  If you do file insurance, the hassle is minimal, as I do my paperwork promptly.  See information on  Filing Insurance.

Power

Under Managed Care,  therapists are required to use brief therapy, and are encouraged to recommend medicines.  Their power comes from the medical model of healing.

In my office,  I have these same powers, plus I can bring the full resources of a healthy personality:  peace, love, joy, wisdom, courage, hope, etc.  My authority can also come from shared Values & Beliefs.

Personality

Under Managed Care,  large caseloads and paperwork requirements force some therapists to seem flat, cold, and unresponsive.  It too often feels like a monologue.

In my office,  while maintaining my professional objectivity, I can get moved by your story and get involved in it.  I hear and talk back, from the heart, in lively, intimate dialogue.

Principles

Under Managed Care,  treatment is based on a philosophy of analysis and control.  Counselors must respect the individual rights of the politically correct.  Too often it feels like the counselor is working for the MCC, not for you, that the counselor is rather working on you rather than with you.

In my office,  I am inspired by both psychology and traditional wisdom.  My respect for you comes from knowing I am your brother in the human family.  I never play the expert and just tell you what to do.  I don’t forget that I am working for and with you, and that I must earn your trust and respect.

Pocketbook

Under Managed Care,  you appear to save money, but lots goes to middle management.

In my office,  you get what you pay for.

 

So, when someone asks, “Why aren’t you in my insurance network of providers?”

I answer, “My soul simply cannot breathe well in there, and neither can yours.”