Protecting Your Rights


About The Guild

What Is Psychotherapy?

Protecting Your Rights

Member Directory

Some information in this section
is adapted from the pamphlet
"Insurance Quandaries & Questions"
(Consortium For Psychotherapy).


Changes in health care have caused increasing confusion about the complex variety of payment options that may be available to you. The following information is intended to assist you in becoming an informed consumer of mental health services. Although some of this material is rather technical in nature, it is included to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the range of payment options that currently exist. We hope that this information will make it easier for you to address the financial aspects of psychotherapy openly and directly with your psychotherapist. 

One business aspect that will require your attention is deciding on the method of payment for your psychotherapy services. Psychotherapists understand that financial circumstances frequently may be an important consideration in your decision about starting and/or continuing therapy. Financial matters are sometimes difficult to address especially in the context of a psychotherapy relationship. Although it may feel awkward to discuss financial matters openly and honestly with your psychotherapist, this approach generally is the most productive way to address such concerns. 

There is much diversity in psychotherapy fees. You are encouraged to inquire about the cost of the psychotherapy services you are seeking during the process of selecting your psychotherapist. You should know what fee you are expected to pay prior to your first psychotherapy session. 

Once you have determined the amount you will be charged, you then can evaluate the methods of payment available to you. It is important to remember that there is no single right way to pay for psychotherapy. Payment options range from self-pay to third party reimbursement such as insurance or managed care. You will need to determine which options are available for you. 

As you make your decision we suggest you consider, in addition to cost, the values of choice, control and confidentiality. To be more specific, think about the choices you are allowed by your health insurer, the degree of control you are permitted and the security of your confidentiality. These values are important factors that support successful psychotherapy. 

The Psychotherapy Guild does not endorse any particular payment option. The Guild supports diversity in payment options for mental health services. The Guild also recommends consumers of mental health be informed of the business aspects of psychotherapy. The Guild supports the right of self-determination for individual psychotherapists to establish the actual fees they charge and the methods of payment they do or do not accept.


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Copyright © 2002 The Psychotherapy Guild
Last updated December 2002.