Why Private Pay?

Private pay options safeguard the confidentiality and autonomy of engaging in therapeutic work, as all financial matters are handled between therapist and patient rather than a third party. In this way, the management of your therapy remains in your hands and is kept confidential within the therapeutic relationship and my commitment to your privacy.

The overarching goal of any good therapy should be to produce lasting results in some form and degree of personal change and growth. In other words, effective therapy should provide a return on investment that lasts and extends across your lifespan. Obviously, achieving such lasting change and growth takes time and effort, as therapy is a complex process just as human development is a process. While therapeutic results vary between persons and therapists (sometimes dramatically), it is important to consider that paying for therapy is a way to value yourself by investing in your health as well as your future.

I understand that the cost of psychotherapy services might feel unaffordable when considering private pay (self-pay). Before reaching that conclusion, however, there are many factors to consider. Most importantly, I am open to discussing your financial situation and financial stressors to help you determine if private payment options would be best for you. Feel free to call me so that we might discuss current rates and payment options. If, for some reason, we cannot determine a workable fee, I can provide you with additional referral or resource information. You always have the right to use your insurance with a paneled provider who takes that insurance.

A few things to consider:

  • You should be able to participate in the management of and decision making for your personal health care. Your therapist, as the credentialed professional, should have the ability to determine what types of therapeutic treatments and modalities would be most indicated for your presenting concerns and needs – not a third party. Quick fixes are not synonymous with lasting results when it comes to therapy. Sadly, a number of insurances are reducing or significantly limiting the types of treatment options as well as the duration of services. I take issue with any third party that limits or restricts my ability to provide you with the kind of service that would best meet your therapeutic goals and needs. To me, limiting your health care in such a way poses an ethical problem. Industry goals and needs should not come before patient goals and needs. You should have a say in your therapy and the decisions made about your therapy.
  • Insurances require at least one diagnosis for claim processing, and at times, request other personal information for authorization to continue treatment (often requiring the therapist to provide a case rationale for continued treatment and medical necessity). Additionally, they hold the ability to audit cases and patient records in accordance with company policy. Although they are to collect only the “minimal” amount of information necessary for decision making purposes, concerns have been raised by some providers about the nature of this procedure and protecting patient information. Once a diagnosis is on file with the insurance company, for one example, a psychologist has no further ability to protect that diagnostic information or keep it from being made visible to other external parties (such as employers in some cases). Keep in mind that a patient record for cardiovascular treatment is substantially different from a patient record for psychological treatment. In contrast to the type of information that can be collected, documented, and requested about a heart condition, the majority of information pertaining to psychological treatment is of the most intimate, private, and personal nature (and therefore, should be treated with the highest degree of care, protection, and confidentiality).
  • Insurances are predicated upon the medical model of symptomatology, diagnostic criteria, diagnoses, symptom management, pharmaceutical intervention, procedural treatments, and so on. And while diagnoses can be of significant utility and necessity, I prefer the flexibility of working with additional models of the mind that are not solely based on models of pathology. An overfocus on diagnostic labels runs the risk of oversimplifying a person’s experience to the preclusion of further exploration, formulation, understanding, and growth. Treating the symptom, rather than the person experiencing that symptom, does little for lasting relief and lasting change. Whether deciding to use insurance or opt for private pay, you should be empowered to make the informed decision that is the best for you!

Pouliot Psychological Services, PLLC Payment Notice and Policy

Payment for services is an important part of any professional relationship. Payment or fee arrangements must be arranged and agreed upon at the outset of our work. You have a right to a good faith estimate.

Please note: I do not take insurance of any kind or work with insurance companies or third parties in any capacity. (If you are wanting to use your insurance, please find a paneled provider within your particular network). Rather, I offer private pay options that you and I determine and manage together, including the possibility of adjusted rates based on financial need. I am open to discussing your financial situation and stressors to determine if a sliding scale payment option would be best for you. I charge standard rates per individual psychotherapy session (individual, couples, family or consultation).

Please note: once we agree upon a fee for your psychotherapy sessions, I will not increase that fee during the tenure of our work together, unless you request to do so because of a change in your financial situation. In other words, what you agree to pay at the outset for each psychotherapy session will remain consistent throughout our work together. There will be no surprises in the fee you have agreed to pay for individual, ongoing psychotherapy sessions.

Please note: I practice psychotherapy from a contemporary psychodynamic/psychoanalytic relational perspective, meaning that your symptoms and struggles are treated in the context of a developing therapeutic relationship that seeks to engender lasting change and personal growth in addition to symptom reduction and symptom management. Psychotherapy services of this kind are very different than traditional medical procedures that have a set number of treatments or appointments (ex: colonoscopy, appendectomy, echocardiogram, physical therapy, emergency services in the hospital). Because of the nuanced and individualized nature and intricacies of our work, I cannot provide prospectively, with any degree of accuracy, the number of sessions you will need nor desire. People continue engaging in psychotherapy for a variety of reasons.

Please note: How long you engage in psychotherapy is up to you completely; although, I encourage you to discuss any decision to terminate services during our work together so that we may have the chance to review the work and offer closure/additional referrals.

Please note: I bill on a monthly basis, meaning that each therapy session held during the course of a particular month will be summed at the end of that month and billed the first week of the next month. Payment in full is due by the end of the first week of the new month. For example, if we were to meet 4 times for the month of January at my full rate of $135 per session, your total for that month would be $540, and you would be charged/billed that summed amount the first week of February (when payment would be expected). My practice does not accommodate unpaid balances. If your financial situation should change, you need to let me know so that we may discuss the possibility of an adjusted rate or other options for psychotherapy services. Credit cards (including health savings accounts), personal checks, or cash are accepted forms of payment. Please let me know if there is a specific type of payment receipt that you would like for your records.

Please note: Cancellation Policy/Late fee - Please provide at least 24 hours’ notice if you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment. A scheduled appointment means that a specific time has been reserved only for you. As such, you will be charged a late fee of $50 for appointments that are missed or cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice. You are responsible for such payments in full to this therapist. 

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