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The Benefits of Private Pay Over Insurance

There are lots of benefits to not using your insurance for counseling services. You read that right!

Insurance companies often don’t pay for the entire cost of your session, which leaves you still footing a sizable cash bill even though you used it.

When you use your insurance company they have access to certain things you may rather keep private like what you’re being seen for, what your diagnosis is - in fact, most insurance companies require a counselor to provide a diagnosis to justify your treatment. This means that even if you don’t merit a “diagnosis” you may land one. This also means that if you're being seen for something "non diagnosable" like highly sensitive personality trait, that your insurance may not pay.

Your insurance company will dictate how many sessions you’re entitled to and what modality of treatment you receive, as well as who you receive it from. It doesn’t make a lot of sense considering that the counselor in front of you knows best what methods will fit with you and you and your counselor should work together to decide how frequently and for how long you’ll go to counseling.

All the research shows that your outcome is best predicted not by method or length of treatment but by your relationship with the counselor. Your insurance may cover a counselor or two, but are they the right counselor for you? Counseling is both science and art - the art lies in the personal connection and if you don’t click with someone on your insurance you aren’t likely to get the results you’re after.

Lastly, most counselors will work with you on rates, depending on the area you’re in. You won’t know if you don’t ask! So, when you find a counselor whose picture, Psychology Today profile, or website clicks with you for some reason, go ahead and call them - even if they aren’t on your insurance.

Consider what’s most important in successful counseling outcomes:

1. The “click” or connection, which we call the “therapeutic alliance” 2. Your privacy (or at least I hope you care about it!) 3. Getting treatment that will work 4. Determining how often and what type of counseling treatment you receive - having a say in how you're treated

Happy counselor-shopping!


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