Counseling Fees, Payment Options and Insurance
What You Get For The Fees
Individual Counseling Fee: $325 per 50 minute session
Marriage Counseling Fees or Relationship Counseling Fees with a Certified Gottman Method Couples Therapist:
[There are less than 500 Certified Gottman Therapists in the world.]
Required Assessment - Three 90-minute sessions - $450 per session=$1,350
Session options after the assessment is completed
Option 1: 90-minute session - $450 per session (recommended)
Option 2: 75-minute session - $400 per session
Option 3: 120-minute session - $550 per session
Group Counseling Fee: $125 per session
Family Therapy Fee: $400 per 90 minute session
Reduced Fee Sessions in rare cases.
If you believe we are a great match and would like to work with me but have determined that my fees are outside of your budget please call to discuss a reduced fee option. However, please note that I do not offer significantly reduced fee slots nor do I offer discounts.
Payment Methods For Counseling Fees
Cash | Check | Credit Card
Your Counseling Fee budget:
If you’re considering counseling you need to have a monthly budget to pay for your counseling sessions. Similar to figuring out how much you can pay each month your rent or your car you also need to figure out how much you’re able and willing to spend per month for counseling.
Planning your counseling budget can be summed up in a 5 step process.
Determine the results and benefits that you would like from your counseling sessions.
Determine the worth, to you, of the benefits and results that you would receive from counseling. In other words, what’s it worth to you to transform the quality of your life? Is it worth $300 per month or $1,000 per month? Or a dollar amount in between?
Determine your ability and willingness to pay that dollar amount every month for as long as it takes. You may determine that the dollar amount that you’re able to pay is not the dollar amount you’re willing to pay. Or the dollar amount that you’re willing to pay is not the dollar amount that you’re able to pay.
Determine if you’re able to use insurance to help pay for your counseling sessions.
The options are:
A) See an in-network provider. This option has the lowest out-of-pocket costs. This typically involves paying a co-payment or co-insurance once your deductible is met. Depending on your insurance, your sessions may be limited, but this does not happen that frequently. Click here for information on co-payments, deductibles etc.
You may have a difficult time finding a counselor who is an in-network provider, mainly because insurance plans reimburse most providers between 45% and 60% less than what the counselor would make with someone who pays them privately. Additionally, many insurance companies state they have enough providers; therefore, they are not enrolling new providers in their networks. Of course, most people looking for a counselor in their insurance network quickly discover it is almost next to impossible to find an in-network counselor despite the insurance companies stating that they have enough providers.
B) See an out-of-network provider (OON). First, you must have OON benefits in your insurance plan. PPO plans have OON benefits. HMOs plans do not offer OON benefits. OON benefits vary wildly among insurance plans. You would need to speak with your insurance to find out your OON benefits. Depending on your plan, your insurance may reimburse you directly anywhere from 10% to 90% of the cost of counseling sessions up to a specific amount. Again, the reimbursement amount is entirely dependent on your plan’s rules and policies.
C) Pay the counselor entirely out of pocket and do not seek any reimbursement from your insurance company.
D) In A through C, you may use your Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to pay for counseling sessions.
Find a counselor that fits your budget.
Understand that counseling is an expense and investment in yourself. You get to decide what type of investment you want to make into your healing, recovery and emotional wellness.
What do you get for your counseling session fee?
Somatic counseling or psychotherapy involves engaging in a set of deep brain, highly complex, emotional, neurological, biological and behavioral processes that are designed to help you make wanted, needed and lasting changes in your life. The main counseling modality that I use is called Brainspotting which is a brain and body based modality.
Counseling is about transitioning from dysregulation to regulation from chaos to order.
Because these processes are experiential, neurobiological, energy based and frequently invisible many people erroneously believe that anybody can do it. When there is a belief that anybody can do a particular task(s) the idea that it should be inexpensive or not cost a lot tends to become the norm.
Counseling with me is a professional, personalized experience that allows you to make desired changes in order to achieve specific goals, and successes and to have the quality of life that you want. You receive expert help for emotional issues and concerns that are painful frightening, incidents that have caused feelings of guilt and shame, change unwanted behavioral patterns that have resulted in a less than optimal quality of life. These issues block you from achieving your dreams and truest potential.
In addition to healing emotional pain and suffering, you can also utilize counseling to achieve specific positive goals or accomplish improvements in performances in the following areas: job performance, sports, acting, singing, or other types of goal-oriented activities in which you are stuck.
Click here for Good Faith Estimate information.
My foci and expertise are:
Somatic counseling with me allows you to transform your life through healing and recovery from emotional pain and trauma. You develop a pathway for personal growth, and you learn how to bring joy, happiness, contentment, forgiveness, lower stress, and reduce distress in your life.
Counseling is about making your here and now more fulfilling and successful, which in turn makes your future more fulfilling and successful.
It is not just about talking about your past, but the past must be understood in terms of its impact and the effects healed. Your past does not have to determine your future automatically. Counseling with me allows you to create a fantastic relationship with yourself along with solid, fulfilling relationships with others and to live the life you truly want.
As humans, we naturally try to solve our own problems, and we are often able to do so. Sometimes, we achieve understanding and solutions to our own problems via our own resources. Other times, we enlist the help of friends and family. There are times when we are not able to do it all on our own and when talking to a friend or family is just not enough. These are the times when an expert is needed.
Over the years, I have met many people, and I am always surprised by the number of people who respond with “Oh, I do that” when I tell them that I provide counseling. Lots of different people, from the barber to the taxi driver, have said to me, “Oh, I do counseling with my clients.” Usually, I smile and nod as I am not about to get into a debate.
Here’s a scenario and question:
You visit California for the first time. The rental car representative tells you that based on California law, you are allowed to make a right turn at a red light after you have come to a complete stop and ensure that it’s safe to proceed. Does this make the rental car representative a police officer or a lawyer? Obviously, it doesn’t. Using this reasoning, it’s safe to state that someone asking “how you feel about something” or giving you a suggestion regarding a problem does not equate to providing professional counseling or psychotherapy.
Core components of the counseling session based on my expertise:
Active listening - where I put aside my agenda and pay complete attention to what you’re telling me so that I can gain a thorough understanding of what you’re experiencing in the present moment, experienced in the past, or thinking about for the future.
I ask questions to obtain a history in order to put your experience in context.
I ask clarifying questions that prompt you to think about your situation in new ways.
I ask challenging questions that really cause you to think about what you’re saying or doing.
An Expert Guide and Interventions:
Sometimes, a person has a vision or dream but has no idea how to make it happen. Other times, a person has the tools but has no idea how to use them and what tool is used for what. Maybe the person lacks tools. I help you put emotional tools to use in helpful ways to transform your life.
Collaboratively, we will develop a blueprint to make needed changes in your life. This blueprint is made up of recommendations, new skills, and knowledge from me, plus your insights, courage, and commitment that are combined and implemented to facilitate personal growth, healing, and recovery. This process is designed to help you achieve and experience the quality of life that you desire.
Hard Work and Commitment:
Counseling is hard work. The standard of care that I follow is a solid weekly commitment or every other week commitment. This can be pretty challenging and difficult at times. Sometimes, there is laughter, crying, anger, protective stances, “aha moments,” fear of change, peace, letting go, and many other complex emotional interactions that occur. This is the path to personal growth and the beauty of the counseling experience.
Most of us work hard for what we want, and sometimes we enlist the help of a paid expert along the way to help us achieve what we want.
Wellfleet/BlueShield of California (SHIP) for UC Berkeley students only. No other Blueshield plan and no other insurances are accepted.
I am able to file claims electronically to assist you with reimbursement from your Out of Network Benefits for most insurances plans when I am not an in network provider.
If you elect to use your Wellfleet/Blueshield of California (SHIP) insurance there are important pieces of information that you need to know.
Insurances pay for counseling services that meet medically necessary criteria. Much like going to see your doctor when you're sick, seeing a counselor or psychotherapist, and having your insurance pay for part or all of it requires that you be "unwell." This means that you must meet the criteria for a mental health diagnosis such as anxiety, depression, alcohol use disorder, or one of the many other mental health diagnoses found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). I will discuss with you at the very beginning if you meet the requirements to have your insurance pay for your counseling sessions. I will also let you know when you've gotten better and will no longer meet the medically necessary criteria for your insurance to pay for your counseling sessions. Sometimes continuing counseling is necessary, but you no longer meet medically necessary criteria as defined by the insurance company. In these instances, you can continue to work with me, but you will need to pay privately for counseling.
Co-pay and/or co-insurance
This is the amount that you must pay the counselor, which is part of the total fee paid by your insurance. The amount varies significantly for each client based on the insurance policy and will be discussed during the initial phone call. You are responsible for knowing the amount of your co-pay or co-insurance. Payment is required at the time of service.
This is the monetary amount that you need to pay before the insurance will begin pay the counselor. Deductibles vary significantly and will be discussed during the initial phone call. You are responsible for knowing your deductible and if it has been met.
Clients are responsible for knowing their insurance benefits and coverage. Clients are responsible for all costs not covered by insurance for whatever reason, including insurance errors, such as the insurance indicating that something is covered, but then it turns out that it is not covered.
Out of Network Coverage (OON)
If you choose to see me and pay out of pocket, you may be eligible to receive partial or, in some rare cases, full reimbursement for counseling sessions. Below are general guidelines. I will speak with you about your specific situation prior to our first appointment so that expectations are clear.
You would need to contact your insurance company to determine if you have out-of-network coverage. This can be done through your online account that you may have set up with your insurance or by calling your insurance customer service directly.
Most PPO plans typically pay a percentage up to an allowable amount for counseling sessions. Counselors bill insurance using specific counseling billing codes known as CPT codes. The most common are 90834 - 45 minute counseling session and 90837 - 53+ minute counseling session. Some insurances do not reimburse for 90837 codes without prior authorization, while others reimburse the same rate for both 90834 and 90837 counseling billing codes despite the time difference.
For example, if the counselor charges $100 per session and you have OON coverage, your insurance may reimburse you 50% of up to an allowable amount of $150. In this example, since the fee is $100, you would receive $50 from your insurance company, as $50 is 50% of the $100 fee.
Another example: If the counselor charges $200 per session and you have OON coverage, your insurance may reimburse 60% up to an allowable amount of $100. In this example, since the counseling fee is $200, you would receive $100 from your insurance as $100 is the maximum allowable amount 60% of $200 is $120, and $120 is more than the maximum allowable amount of $100.
In the case of OON reimbursement, you would pay me the full session fee at the time of service. Then, I would provide you with a statement to submit to your insurance company, or you can utilize my biller for a small fee to submit the claim to your insurance on your behalf.
Click here for Good Faith Estimate information.