Karen L. Kehler, MA,  MSHA - Private- Professional- Affordable Counseling Services
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Kehler Counseling Blog

Why We Charge So Much for Therapy

Unlike many in my field I do hold 2 separate Business degrees.  My Bachelors is in 'Retail Management' and served me well for more than 12 years - my second Graduate degree in Healthcare Administration helped more directly to understand the real costs of having a true professional, private practice.   It isn't about just the actual contact with clients that counts, there are thousands of dollars spent well before the first client takes a seat.   

A professional who maintains a strong mental health practice for 20 years quickly discovers that they have to maintain an office along with heating, cooling, water, safety/security, comfort, lighting, parking, snow removal, noise control as well as insurances, educational requirements, licensing and ethical regulations, and cover their own mortgages, student loan debts, and health insurance.  If we don't bill enough we quickly realize that its a 'hobby' that doesn't pay the bills and many decide that working for an agency, school or corporation is less stressful financially.  Especially if a family is involved.     But that's MY problem. . . 

I'm writing this so that you know why YOU benefit from paying more for having your own individual therapist.  

  • CONFIDENTIALITY - is the most important reason I decided to go the 'solo' route.  I saw firsthand the over-sized -busy waiting rooms of agencies and hospitals.  I saw how uncomfortable it was to sit and wait for the 'available' counselor in a room with other strangers as well as the possibility that the person knew or were related to someone else  in that same setting.   We might think that friends are trustworthy but a scandal is hard to resist sharing. . . I also saw how confidentiality got compromised as numerous 'professionals' were able to access all contents of a file - for countless reasons that many are not aware.   One simple file can be read by the initial assessment counselor, their supervisor, the secretarial staff, the county funding source, the insurance company auditor, the State Department of Health, the agency director and their staff, and any other referring counselor before or after treatment.   Some agencies actually request 'all' documents in the person's file and that includes more personal and detailed 'progress notes' that even government investigations can be restricted from.    What was also appalling was how a file can be 'staffed' or 'talked about' in a group setting where more details are shared as multiple opinions or histories -'off the record' are shared.     In a solid private practice, your file is read only by your counselor, opened and shared only when a referral is the best next option (and even then your actual name may be protected), you select who can see it and even if it is court-ordered you still have significant rights to maintain your privacy.   
  •  It is also protected out in the 'real world' - as your counselor -even in a small town - I will only acknowledge you if you greet or acknowledge me.  Some are very open to be seen and talking to me in public - others aren't - you are the guide but unlike priests, lawyers or teachers, I won't be joining you at your family dinners, or even special celebrations.   My 'confidentiality' mindset is an ethical requirement that I am mindful of at all times.   
  • If I share information for educational purposes I cannot reveal information that would specifically identify a person as a client - and I often go as far as not revealing age, sex, geographic home, or any personal identifier.    This is a constant challenge as my circles of influence expand!    
  • My office offers a private place where you are the only one present and your time waiting is usually only one client at a time for rarely more than 5-10 minutes.   
  • Good therapists value your time and start and end on time.   There are minimal disruptions to your hour.   There should be no answered phones, texts or 'chats' with others while you are present.    For too many, this may be the only hour of a week when this is true.
  • You should know that your therapist will always be there for you for your hour. Having a pre-determined hour each week, or bi-weekly, can be one of the most valuable benefits of a counseling relationship.  You always have that one hour to regroup, vent, process, sort, savor, celebrate and acknowledge the progress or problem you faced in the time frame before or challenges you want support for in the time ahead.  It is your private time - reserved especially for YOU to do just that.  Even some of our 'best' relationships barely have that!  
  • I can also set your appointment to fit YOUR schedule rather than my convenience -so you don't have to change your busy schedule and can plan around your already booked session.  
  •       Friends and family may disappoint, arrive late, cancel, leave early or be distracted throughout the visit we do make.   They may also be poor listeners, shift the attention to themselves or quickly share 'everything' with the next few people they talk to next.   They may have no constraints or considerations about what is appropriate to share with others and what not to.  Their idea of 'helping' may be share it in a way that spins the issue into an uncontrolled mess.    
  • We have all tried to make changes on our own - losing weight, careers, partners, healthier living habits,or  financial adjustments but have also failed, quit, gave in or gave up because no one was either holding us accountable, guiding us through the challenges, cheering us on or adding needed resources to improve our success.    Counseling does all that - we support each step of the way, give the needed feedback, hold the person accountable and listen and manage the resistance that blocks progress.   We help with the feelings and frustrations that others may not explore yet notably improve results if discussed openly,freely and privately.   We chart where you started and where you want to go and what steps you have taken or what stops you so you can enjoy the rewards of the goals you set.  
So when you question what it costs, compare it to other professionals with the same level of training, experience, education and setting.   Add in what the benefits will be to YOU - and add in having your own individual counselor in your life's 'tool box'.     

Call today.  Hours available from 9am -9pm - weekdays.   

Karen Kehler MA, 

The Time is YOURS. . . 

2 Comments to Why We Charge So Much for Therapy :

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Stock Tips Indore on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 8:22 AM
This is perfect blog for anyone who is looking for topics like this. It has got it all, information, benefits and overview. It a perfect piece of writing. Good job.......
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Epic Research on Saturday, April 23, 2016 3:09 AM
Amazing and very interesting article, I was very impressed about it, wish you would have find some more attractive posts from your side.
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