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 same reasons, I am not included in any discounted provider networks run by and for insurance companies. I believe it is better for me personally, but it is especially much better for you.
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. The two of us 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 [review by Bergin, in The American Psychologist,1991, citing 75 sources]. In order to confirm that I share your lifestyle and beliefs, you can ask me anything you want to know about my Values & Beliefs, and I am always happy to speak with you personally by phone prior to intake. For the difference between $140 and your insurance copay, look what you get:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 $140 per hour, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”