1) You may be thinking, "Hey Jenni -- does TouchingTrees take my insurance?"
There's a short answer to that question, but I'd like to start with what would probably be your quick second question: "Why not?"
2) "Why don't you take insurance?"
You know, until I became a mental health practitioner, I had no idea there was a unique relationship between mental health and the insurance process. We all assume that our medical and mental health information is confidential, right? And that's true, except for when we sign that little authorization form that allows our medical providers to communicate with our insurance company. Now, I'm totally okay letting my doctor tell my insurance company that I've got a need for antibiotics -- that way my appointment and my antibiotics will get paid for (or at least applied toward my deductible). Over time, I've become less okay with the idea of insurance companies having information about relationship issues.
3) "What's wrong with insurance companies to have information about my relationship issues?"
That, by itself, isn't necessarily the problem. The problem is that insurance companies require a diagnosis of a mental disorder in order to process a claim for treatment. If I have an infection, it gets diagnosed and I get treated. However, relationship issues aren't infections. They are specific issues related to how we communicate, trust, attach, decouple, stress each other out, and interact. In order to use insurance, you have to receive a diagnosis of a mental disorder. If you're coming in as a couple in crisis, only one of you gets a diagnosis, which can be a problem because...
4) "Because what if I'm a mess because my spouse is cheating and I show up anxious and depressed?"
Exactly. In that case, you'd be the one who gets the diagnosis. What I've seen happen are a few things that can be a particular bummer for the individual who gets a diagnosis. A) The couple splits up and the diagnosis is used against the partner who has it... and/or B) The couple splits up and the individual with the diagnosis -- particularly if it's a diagnosis of depression -- has a more difficult time securing life insurance later (sadly, this is a real thing)..., or C) the couple stays together, but one of them has the label of being less mentally secure than the other -- tilting the balance of power in the relationship.
5) "Okay, so you don't take insurance. Why should I come see you then?"
Thank you for asking! The fact that I DON'T take insurance benefits you in 4 specific ways.
a) Your protected health information is ALWAYS private and confidential. With rare exception, an ex can't use a diagnosis against you. From a financial standpoint, you don't have a diagnosis that can cause you to pay higher rates for other types of insurance.
b) Your therapy plan is designed to meet your needs and is not dictated by an insurance company's algorithm of how long it "should" take to treat a specific issue.
c) My rates are slightly lower because I don't have to split fees with the insurance company.
d) You can still submit my fees to your Health Savings Account for reimbursement.
6) "Great, when can I come in for an appointment?"
Call or email any time, day or night, and I'll respond within 12-18 hours. It's that easy!