Administrative matters and office policies
For a variety of reasons, some of them clinical, some of them practical, I do not work directly with insurance companies. You’ll pay for your psychotherapy out-of-pocket, and get reimbursed by your insurance company if you have mental health benefits. You’ll need to check your policy to see what kind of reimbursement you can expect to receive, as it varies a great deal from company to company and policy to policy.
This means that I work for you–not for your insurance company as a member of an in-network panel of mental health practitioners bound by the insurance company’s limitations. It means that I am able to guarantee you confidentiality, privacy, and discretion. While your out-of-network benefit might not be as good as using an in-network benefit, it allows you to choose the therapist you want–based on expertise and goodness of fit–rather than simply who your insurance company has decided you may see. It also allows you to maintain control of the information you divulge in your therapy sessions.
Session length and frequency
Individual therapy sessions are generally 45 minutes in length, although some people find that longer sessions work better for their needs. Sessions are most typically once a week, though in some circumstances twice weekly is more appropriate.
Group psychotherapy, on the other hand, is a regular weekly meeting of 90 minutes, and group members are asked to maintain as much consistency in attendance as possible.
Payment is expected at each session unless we have made other arrangements. Most people prefer to prepare their payment ahead of time so they’ll have their full time available without needing to attend to administrative matters.
So I can manage my time effectively, I charge for scheduled appointments missed or cancelled with less than twenty-four hours notice. For group sessions, members pay for all scheduled sessions whether they are able to attend or not, much like one might pay tuition for a series of classes even if not able to attend each one.