There is no pre-set number of sessions for any client because everyone is different. Each person who comes through my door comes in for a different reason, unique to him or her. I do, however, have 3 types of clients that tend to come in:
The “I have a problem and want it solved” Client:
This is someone who comes in, understanding that the struggle is real and wants some help with a particular problem or “issue” that’s currently keeping them from moving forward in life. Once the particular issue has resolved itself they might leave therapy until the next problem arises. I can help you work through this struggle.
The “Let’s get to the bottom of this” Client:
This is someone who might sense some patterns showing up in their life that they don’t particularly like, this client understands that the struggle bringing them in for therapy or coaching will not likely resolve itself in just a few sessions but is committed to figuring out not only how to resolve the current issue at hand but to work through whatever it is might be causing the patterns in their life as well. I can help support you in this journey.
And the “I’d like someone to walk through life with me” Client:
This is someone knows the value of having an objective person in their life who cares about them and is up to date on their life. Therapy/coaching can be incredibly helpful in maintaining a balanced life, without self-sabotage, marital conflict, anxiety, depression, or any of the uncomfortable feelings that bring us to Google “therapist near me” at 2 in the morning. This is the person that doesn’t want therapy to be just about solving or working through problems, but rather living a life that is worth living and they want to have someone who they can confide in on a weekly basis who will listen to them and help them sort through the ins and outs of life. If this is you, I’d love to see you every week.
Truly, whatever you are wanting out of therapy is exactly what you should get out of therapy; whether that’s solving a single problem, working through a diagnosis, entering and maintaining recovery, or just walking through life. I am not here to tell you which type of client you should be, neither one of the 3 is any better than the rest.
Ultimately, my goal is to be what you want and need me to be to help you get to where you want to go. So, let’s journey.
I am not on any insurance panels (for a number of reasons which I’ll explain in just a moment.) I am happy, however, to provide you with a superbill if you just ask me which you can submit to your insurance company. Many insurance companies will reimburse a percentage of the session fee, but each policy is different. I’m also more than willing to help you fill out HSA paperwork and figure out that system with you!
For clients coming in with an eating disorder: I am still not on any insurance panels but because I am a specialist, we can advocate for a Single Case Agreement which means that your insurance company may agree to work with me, you are then normally just responsible for your co-pay each session. This is an option we can explore together.
1. Conflicts of Interest:
As a therapist, what you want as a client and your well-being are my primary concerns. Insurance companies exist to manage health care costs, their bottom line is to reduce costs and raise profits, my bottom line is to help you get to a place in life that you seek, because I believe that you, your desires, and your needs matter. That very much conflicts with what any insurance company truly wants, regardless of what they say.
2. Restricted Choice:
Most insurance companies restrict your choice of therapists and limit your session number which means that you don’t get the chance to find someone who you really gel with and feel comfortable with, and even if you do, once you finally feel safe to talk about the things bringing you in, your session allowance may have run out. I believe that treating people this way compromises your quality of care and can mean that your needs go unmet. I can’t operate that way. I don’t believe anyone outside of you has the right to tell you how many sessions you can have or which therapist you need to choose.
3. A Well Rounded Approach Isn’t an Option:
I believe in Holistic Psychology, I take a well-rounded approach to treatment and concentrate on the relationship that someone has with the world; physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. I don’t believe that a cookie-cutter approach is effective for all people and don’t ever blame a person when a particular treatment approach doesn’t work for him/her. When something we try doesn’t work I am committed to trying different things until we find what works for you. Insurance companies want a step-by-step approach to your therapy and then if it doesn’t work they want to blame you, when in reality I am fully aware that each person is different and responds differently to various treatment approaches. I take a look at what is going on for you, I will look at your whole life, your whole experience, and your whole being; I care about what is going on for you and treat accordingly, insurance companies treat from a standpoint of understanding a single “hypothetical you.”
Insurance companies want to keep close tabs on you which means that they often want access to your records which means your level of confidentiality is reduced. It could potentially mean that hundreds of people could have access to your personal information.
5. Diagnosis Dilemma:
Insurance companies require a mental health diagnosis in order to approve sessions. I firmly believe that the best time to come in and begin therapy is before any struggles arise; you are in the best frame of mind to learn skills for better living when you are not in crisis. When in crisis, we are in survival mode and I think everyone can agree that when we are just fighting to survive we aren’t fighting for what we really want or need, we just want to make it through the crisis-end of story. I want more for you. I believe you deserve more. I think that you should be able to enter therapy at whatever point you want, and should be allowed that choice. I want to help you to get to what you want, not simply to get you through a crisis just so when the next one hits you’re back in the same cycle of struggle. I believe you should be given the freedom to come in and build up a relationship when there is no crisis so that you have an incredible foundation to rely upon when something does come up that is challenging. Not everyone who comes into therapy has a mental health diagnosis so to require one, on the part of the insurance company, severely limits a lot of people from being able to access resources to help them get to the places they want to work towards. I can’t operate under those pretenses, just because a large company who has never met you has decided that since you don’t have what they would consider to be a life or death issue, does not mean you are not deserving of help.
I focus on quality of life and personal goals, all of which are determined by you, not a third party who doesn’t know you. My work with clients focuses on prevention, exploration, and personal growth rather than simply survival. We often talk in terms of possibility and resourcefulness, gratitude and integrity, commitment and personal responsibility, self-efficacy and the fruition of realized dreams. With knowing who I am as a person and what I believe in for you, working on an insurance panel is not a choice that I can ethically make.
Short answer: No.
However, I do offer a free phone consultation to chat briefly before you come in for your first session. (To gather a bit more info on this, take a look at “making the call”) Most of the time, we can both tell from the phone consultation if we might be a good fit to work together, or not. Just like any other health care facility, the first visit is the same price as all of your other visits of the same time duration.
I would never invite someone to make an appointment with me if I thought we might not be a good match. Time and money are important commodities and I won’t waste yours, you deserve to get the help you want without having to go through numerous first sessions with therapists until you find one you fit with. If it works, great, and if not, there are no hard feelings, I simply want you to find someone that you feel “gets” you. So, let’s chat.