Finding the right therapist can be a daunting process. Will my therapist be able to help me? What skill set best matches needs? So many important questions.
Those seeking therapy or counseling in Seattle, where the cost of living is stratospheric, are also mindful of the therapy price tag. This is why so many Seattle therapy clients hope to work with providers who accept insurance. This is understandable: clients pay the monthly insurance premium so, naturally, they want use their benefits.
While skill set and cost are certainly an integral part of therapy, the best predictor of treatment outcomes is the strength of the alliance between client and therapist. In other words, clients do better when they feel a deep connection with their therapist. This was the primary reason I stopped taking insurance. I'll explain why.
Many clients assume that utilizing their mental health benefits will be simple: schedule the appointment, bring the insurance card to the first session, pay a nominal co-pay, and leave. Sounds pretty straight-forward, right? Actually, it's anything but.
Just as an email makes its way through a complex series of invisible gatekeepers before it lands in a recipient’s inbox, so too does a mental health claim after it's been filed. And what goes on behind the scenes may cause you to think twice about pulling that insurance card out of your wallet.
Here are the top five hidden truths every client deserves to know before deploying their mental health coverage:
At this point, you might be wondering if it’s even possible to get good therapy with a contracted insurance provider. I think it is. At least I hope so—I was a contracted provider for the majority of my professional career and I was committed to helping my clients!
It is important to acknowledge that, when third party payers are involved, the therapy will be impacted by forces that cannot be found on any insurance website or glossy-paged benefits booklet. Knowing what these forces are ahead of time can help prevent unwanted or unpleasant surprises from popping up down the road.
The decision to begin therapy or counseling may be one of the most important ones you make. Regardless of whether you choose to seek services in or out-of-network, what matters most is that you have as much (accurate) information as possible before deciding which path is right for you. If you've read this, you are on your way to making a well-informed decision about the future of your mental health care.
If you’ve got anything to add to the discussion, feel free to speak your mind in the comment section below.
Dr. Jill Gross is a licensed psychologist, therapist, and counselor. She offers grief therapy, divorce support, and other counseling services in the Phinney Greenwood area of Seattle, WA. Interested in finding out more about how counseling and therapy can benefit you?
Dr. Jill Gross is a licensed psychologist, grief counselor, and dating coach. Her coaching and therapy practice is located in the Phinney - Greenwood area of North Seattle in Washington.