Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost of counseling sessions?
I hold a firm belief that quality counseling doesn't have to come at an exorbitant cost. I also recognize the challenging economic climate we are now living in. Therefore, I charge 70.00 for one hour of counseling. For those in need, flexibility and a sliding scale fee option is available. Payment may be made via cash, check, or credit card. Contact me directly for more details.
Do you accept insurance?
At this time I have chosen not to work directly with the managed care / insurance industry. The reasons for this are numerous (see the final entry in this FAQ) but ultimately boil down to my desire to serve my clients to the very best of my abilities, free of the demands, dictations and constraints imposed upon me by an outside agency whose ultimate concern is financial in nature. Because of this, I offer sessions at a fee below average for the greater Asheville area and am willing to discuss a sliding scale fee for those in need.
How often will we be meeting?
Initially, I recommend we meet for an initial evaluation to better understand if my services are the best fit for your needs. Determining the frequency of your visits is a co-creative process unique to each individual or couple. Generally, I see clients weekly to address the concerns that are bringing them to counseling, though less frequent meetings may at times be equally appropriate. Conversely, it can sometimes be helpful to include additional sessions or group therapy as a part of your treatment. Such a decision would, of course, be yours and we would discuss, in depth, the benefits of group therapy or meeting more frequently before you decide.
How many sessions will I need?
It will depend on your presenting concerns, how long the issues have persisted and your own needs and goals. People tend to stay in therapy with me anywhere from a few months to a period of years. Together, we will continue to evaluate your need for treatment.
What is the best way to make an appointment?
If you would like to schedule an appointment or have questions about my services, please call (828) 989-6004 and leave a confidential voice mail message.
Why do you avoid working with insurance / managed care panels? It seems to place an additional burden on clients.
At first glance, my discomfort with managed care and insurance may seem burdensome or undesirable. Yet my ultimate goal is actually greater client/therapist freedom. Please consider that many insurance companies demand a fairly substantial premium (sometimes in the thousands of dollars) be met by the individual before financial coverage truly begins. In addition, managed care staff often ask extremely detailed and intimate questions about the content of psychotherapy sessions in order to approve treatment. I am concerned that this highly confidential information can easily be available to numerous people within and outside of the insurance/managed care organization (through error, negligence and theft).
To further complicate matters, the federal government and the insurance industry have developed a national database of medical and mental health records, to which your managed care records are reported to and stored. Regardless of the regulations, there is no way to tell how the information from the National Data Bank will be used or abused. Similar to your credit report, it will be easily accessible and potentially easily abused. In this case it can be easily used for the benefits of health or life insurance companies or employers who are highly interested in any history of information about your health so they can protect and assure their future profits.
Many providers are expected by managed care/insurance providers to provide only the minimum of care and complete treatment in a very short time. If therapists consistently request more sessions because life problems, such as depression, anxiety, panic, grief, marital problems or difficulties with children, cannot be resolved in a few sessions, they are often dropped from the panels and thus face financial hardship and endanger ongoing treatment sessions.
Most managed care companies do not give patients the freedom to choose their physicians or psychotherapists. Instead, they have pre-approved providers from whom you must choose. Psychotherapist-providers often qualify for panels if they are willing to focus exclusively on short-term care (sometimes as short as one or two sessions); agree to share intimate details about you with the managed care company; and are willing to give up control of clinical decisions to administrators and CEO's.
For these reasons I believe managed care companies are often unethical, self-serving, and even dangerous and thus choose not to work with them.
Having said all this, should you chose to pursue reimbursement from insurance/managed care entity on your own, I can provide you with a receipt of services to assist in such a process.
What if I have additional questions?
Please call me at (828) 989-6004 or email me by clicking here. I would be happy to answer your questions and discuss in more detail how I may be helpful to you.