Privacy and Value

When you receive services managed and reimbursed by your insurance carrier, you agree to share with the insurance company some very private and confidential pieces of information about you - date of birth, social security number, and mental health diagnoses (to name a few).  Most of these companies also require me to submit claims electronically (online).  To best safeguard your personally identifiable and confidential information, I encourage you to consider a self-pay option.

Since you will likely be obligated to pay a copay, and then will have to pay down your annual deductible, it may be worth considering paying for counseling yourself - allowing you to cut out the middle-man and enhance the security of your protected health information.

Also, you must understand that professional mental health and substance abuse counseling are not commodities - that is, every counselor is not created equal.  Looking for a counselor who charges less per session may save you money, but there's no guarantee that the quality of care will be the same.  I am very confident that the professional behavioral health services I render are of the highest quality and that you will be satisfied with our experience.  First consultations are always free, and if you are not satisfied after 6 to 8 sessions, I will provide your with three or more referrals to alternative providers.

Fees and Insurance

Your choice to engage in psychotherapy should be a deeply personal one and so I encourage you to consider all your options around payment.  By using the typical high-deductible insurance plan, you will likely have to pay out of pocket for many sessions before your insurance carrier begins to share the financial cost.  I encourage clients to consider a self-pay option in lieu of using insurance plans - in this way, you enhance your confidentiality and privacy while likely having little or no impact on your out of pocket expense.

That said, I am credentialed with many commercial insurance plans as well as most of the New Mexico Centennial Care Medicaid managed care companies (Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Presbyterian, and Molina).  Please confirm your coverage and my credentialing before a second session with me.

My standard self-pay fees are as follows (full 60 minute hours):  Individual session $170, Couples/Marriage session $175, Clinical and Diagnostic Assessment $325, Group psychotherapy session (90 minutes) $50, Assessment and Progress written report $350, attorney contacts/depositions/court testimony $350 per hour (including documentation and travel time).

Other services may be available and associated fees will be agreed upon prior to rendering of those services. I accept the following forms of payment:  cash, personal checks, credit and debit cards (Master Card, Visa, American Express, and Discover).  Those using credit/debit cards will be charged a 5% surcharge to cover bank fees.

Clients are required to provide notice of at least 24 hours should they need to cancel or reschedule a planned session by giving telephonic notice unless an emergency arises; clients who do not provide this notice may be charged a cancellation fee of at least $50 and up to the full fee for the session.  Failure to plan for transportation or childcare does not constitute an emergency; generally speaking, I consider accidents, injuries, and other health emergencies to be situations serious occurrences.  I honor clients’ time as a valuable commodity, and ask that clients return the favor.

Privacy and Confidentiality

You will find a wealth of very specific information in my Notice of Privacy Practices in the Forms section of this website, and I also want to make a few important statements here about how I safeguard your privacy and confidentiality.

The unfortunate reality is that information about you and your healthcare is not, and cannot be, absolutely secure when stored or transmitted in electronic form.  Therefore, I go to lengths to use electronic means of storage and communication as little as possible.  My records are mostly paper, and those that are electronic are stored on devices which are double locked in my office. 

I file paper claims whenever I can, but some insurance carriers require use of electronic claims clearing houses which may expose your information to breach. You should also know that I am required by law to maintain client records for at least five (5) years, and in some cases much longer. 

Finally, you must understand that you may encounter other people in my waiting room, around the office building, or in group treatment.  My expectation is that you respect other clients’ privacy and confidentiality as you would have them respect yours. 

If you have concerns about the security of your health information, I encourage you to ask me clarifying questions at any time.

PROFESSIONAL DISCLOSURE AND DISCLAIMER STATEMENT

I earned my master’s degree in Counseling and Educational Psychology in 2002 from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  Since then, I have provided mental health services in private practice and as an employee at a number of community mental health providers around the State.  I have served in the position of Clinical Director and Supervisor and have worked in an executive capacity in managed care, with oversight of clinical services for both public sector and commercial health plans.  I have worked extensively with children, adolescents, and adults across the spectrum of clinical concerns.  Prior to obtaining my professional credentials in New Mexico (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor– LPCC – NM Lic. No. 0085791), I worked as a paraprofessional mental health worker (group home, emergency shelter, community based behavior management, etc.) in Vermont, Maine, California, and here in New Mexico.  

Disclaimer: The person contemplating engagement in mental health counseling must understand that people have vastly different experiences in counseling.  For many people, counseling can be an effective way to tackle difficult issues and move forward with their lives.  For some people, the counseling process is less effective.  Everyone who chooses to come to counseling should expect that the process I offer will be challenging and at times even emotionally painful.  In my experience, you will get out of the process what you put into it.  

About Medications: I understand that the dominant treatment paradigm endorses the use of psychotropic medications to manage mental health symptoms and disorders.  In my opinion, there exists significant evidence to suggest that the efficacy of psychotropic medications is overstated and the potentially deleterious side effects are vastly minimized.  I will work with you and your prescriber (at your request, and upon your authorization) to conscientiously coordinate your care nonetheless. 

A note on physical activity:  While much of my work with clients occurs in an office setting, some does not.  Abundant current research has shown that physical exercise can have significant positive impact on emotional wellbeing – as good as or better than effects induced by use of psychotropic medications.  Accordingly, some sessions will likely involve time spent out of doors, walking, hiking, or engaging in other light physical activity intended to stimulate holistic healing.  I assume that clients are in good enough health to participate in these kinds of activities unless clients inform me of physical and/or constitutional limitations. Tell me immediately if you are under the care of a physician for a serious health condition.

To see my full Informed Consent document, including practice policies, please click here.