Considerations Before Choosing to Use Insurance

Using insurance carries a certain amount of risk that I'd like you to consider before choosing to use insurance for mental health purposes. To have your sessions covered, you need to have a diagnosis of a mental illness. This diagnosis stays on your health record and can affect your premiums on future health and life insurance, and possibly future employment opportunities. This is ridiculous for most people who come in. They are not mentally ill and are just looking to get past some problem.

The laws and ethics that apply to my profession regarding confidentiality are strict, but they no longer protect you when your information is sent to a third party.

Not all therapeutic issues are covered, and the insurance company can determine how much treatment I can provide you, how many times we can meet, how long our sessions are.  They can set limits on the kinds of treatments you can get, even if they may not be the most appropriate for you or in your long-term best interest.  Approved treatment may require you to see a psychiatrist for medication evaluations (and prescriptions), whether or not you or I think this is appropriate.

My Approach Works Best Without Insurance-Imposed Limitations

I book longer session times with you so that we can focus on resolving what we are working on without time pressure, rather than having to limit our time to 50 minutes. My approach works best when instead of having to do a lengthy assessment and predetermining an entire treatment plan and goals up front, we decide each session what target goal to work on. This always depends on what has come up for you. Using this approach, we can resolve issues much quicker, sometimes in one session.

Using insurance only makes sense if you already have an existing diagnosis, or need to get one in order to obtain a prescription. Even in these cases, I prefer not to work with insurance for the reasons mentioned above. I'd be happy to talk to you about other reduced payment options available.