Cost of Counseling
There's a well-known parable in the field of therapy. It goes something like this: A client accuses her counselor of only caring about her because she pays her too. The therapist responds:
"You pay me for my time,
overhead, education, and expertise.
The love is free."
It can feel very strange on both sides to exchange money for such a personal thing as therapy. In my ideal setting we would all get therapy for free! However, another way to look at it is to see that money is simply an exchange for the value we place on a service. I try to provide the highest value possible, and offer you everything I know about healing effectively and quickly from anxiety and PTSD.
Here are some commonly asked questions and answers about paying for services with me (Jennie) at The Counseling Palette.
Do you offer a free consultation?
Yes. If you're on the fence about whether therapy can help you, I encourage you to make use of this. We can schedule a 30-minute call, or you can come meet me in person.
What do sessions cost?
Sessions after the first consultation are generally $100 for 50 minutes. Most of my clients with high anxiety and PTSD start to feel better within 6 to 10 sessions, so that can equate to a cure for PTSD and related misery, often for less than $1,000.
Do you have a sliding scale?
I have a few moderately lower fee spots, generally for those who meet the following criteria:
Have lower income and no other means to pay full fee
Are not able to use out-of-network benefits, or have no insurance
Are dealing with areas Jennie specializes in, like high anxiety and trauma or PTSD
Are highly motivated to get better, available to attend sessions, and willing to complete homework
If this sounds like you, let me know about your situation and ask if one of these spots are open.
Do you take insurance?
The very short answer is no. However, many clients are able to get a good portion of what they pay reimbursed through out-of-network benefits. This is particularly true for those with some federal and University of Missouri insurance plans.
Why don't you take insurance directly?
I looked into this when I first opened a private practice. I was not able to get on the major panels in the Columbia area. I did initially get on and accept one plan, however found that I spent so much time dealing with rules and claims that it took away from time I could have spent on client care and education about anxiety, trauma and PTSD. As I learned more about this, I began to understand that it's very difficult for small, private practitioners to deal with insurance and stay in full-time practice. When I worked with larger agencies and non-profits, they had entire departments dedicated to nothing but dealing with insurance billing! For that reason I've made the choice to deal with direct pay, and I can assist with special receipts that you can turn in to possibly get partial or majority reimbursement (see above).
Can going out-of-network actually save me money?
Possibly! Depending on your deductible, co-pay, and what you're giving up in time, sometimes out-of-network can actually be a cost-saver. I know this because I've worked with clients who were in therapy for years and still struggled with active, high anxiety and/or PTSD symptoms. They were seeing more of a "generalist" therapist rather than a specialist in their specific area of need. The vast majority of my clients are better from major symptoms within about three months. (At that point some choose to "graduate," from treatment, and others still come occasionally for support and continued growth.)
If you break that down by initial cost, it might look something like this:
80 sessions over two years with a $40 co-pay = $3,200
(and still struggling with symptoms and meeting
12 sessions at $100 session = $1,200
(with a specialized, targeted therapy and
no longer having PTSD symptoms)
What if I can't afford this therapy?
I understand you need to make choices that take into account cost and budget (me too!). If you feel called to connect with me but know you can't afford services at this time, I'd still like to hear from you. I can provide some general tips, help you look for another therapist, or let you know about anything else I'm offering at the time like classes, groups or educational pieces. So feel free to go ahead and contact me! I'm always happy to hear from you. Meanwhile, you can learn more about anxiety counseling and PTSD counseling on this website.
Counseling for Anxiety, Trauma and PTSD | Columbia, Missouri | Jennie Lannette Bedsworth, LCSW