There are two primary ways behavioral health professionals in the field charge: flat fees, or an individualized hourly fee. Similar to a car mechanic, I cannot tell you exactly what something will cost until I “look under the hood”. Because the human brain is infinitely more complex than a car engine, I can’t tell you up front how long it will take to complete my investigation. Every psychological “engine” has its own unique nature, dynamics and hidden aspects.
Early in my practice, approximately two decades ago, I charged a flat fee because that idea initially appealed to me, but it did not work well for my clients. I found that, more often than not, I underestimated what was truly needed to ensure a reliable, comprehensive evaluation, and a flat fee prevented me from going as in-depth as I felt was necessary – it placed restraints on the time I spent on each individual. If you interview people who have worked with me, the two words they would use to describe my approach are “individualized” and “thorough”.
A flat fee assumes you are like others – any seasoned psychologist knows that no two people are alike in how they present or experience their problems. But, at first glance, a flat fee can look more attractive. We suggest you do your research and thoroughly evaluate each professional’s track record by viewing their resumes, published research, blogs written, etc. For example, here are two blogs critically related to shopping for the best professional for you:
Long ago, I committed to not cutting corners. That is why I am not just a healthcare practitioner, but have become known as a published expert witness in courts of law, as I receive requests from legal professionals and judges seeking the most credible opinion.
A significant percentage of my clients have had previous evaluations but felt not all factors were considered when assessing their issues. This led to treatment plans based on a shallow understanding, and money wasted on ineffective interventions. I am happy to give you names of clients who can share their experiences, and we can send you examples of our work so you see for yourself what makes us different.
Medicine vs Psychology – Seeing behind the scenes
The fact of the matter is that medicine generally narrowly focuses on finding the biological or physical origin of an issue, and many physical ailments present the same way across different bodies. So, 10 people who have a severed patella tendon in their knee will look virtually the same, and receive the same test (e.g., MRI) and treatment (patella surgery repair). In psychology, 10 people with ADHD look very different, because the ADHD is experienced, expressed, and managed by each individual’s unique personality. Psychologists must account for not only biology, but developmental, familial, neurological, educational, psychological, and social factors.
Because I want to appreciate the uniqueness of each person, I stopped being able to accept copays – like many of my colleagues – about 15 years ago. But, we can provide a “superbill” for you to submit to your insurance provider for possible reimbursement. We also offer a full array of payment options, which my knowledgeable assistant can go over with you. We even can send you helpful language to use to talk to your insurance company!