The most important question, right?!
Sessions with Dr. McCleese are $200 an hour and that fee is due at the time of service. Sessions last for 50 minutes.
My students see clients at $75 a session. They are under my direct supervision and work with a variety or relationship and personal concerns. My students have a Master’s degree and several hours of direct face-to-face client care prior to working in my practice and they are currently working on their doctorate degrees. If you are interested in learning more about working with my students and when you might choose to do so, click here.
People sometimes wonder what we will talk about during that 20-minute call and why we need to do that first. There are a couple of reasons why I do this. First of all, I want to make sure that I am the best choice for you based on your need. On that call, I’ll ask for a brief description of what your reason is for seeking counseling. This is not an interview, so I will not be asking you why you want to work with me. I will simply get a 5-10 minute explanation of your concerns. I will then tell you if I work with similar concerns and how I would move forward with treatment. You then have several minutes to ask me any questions you have that have not already been answered. You are under no obligation to commit to services after that call and if I feel that someone else may be a better fit for you, I will offer a referral for that therapist.
The other reason that I require the 20-minute phone call is because I know from research that one of the most powerful factors involved in helping you meet your goals has to do with if our personalities mesh well or not. If you feel a connection to me and feel like I’m a good fit for you, you are much more likely to meet your goals. On the other hand, if you do not like my approach or if you feel I can’t relate to you, you are much less likely to get what you need from counseling. If you can’t get what you need, you end up wasting time, money, and energy. I want this to be a positive experience for you. From my work with people, I’ve seen that we are often able to determine if this is a good fit within that initial phone consultation. If you’re ready, you can schedule that initial call here.
Marriage counseling can definitely improve your marriage if it is the right approach for you. In fact, we have 50 years of research that shows the effectiveness of therapy. Therapy can people communicate more effectively, resolve their conflict, and better connect with the people that are most important to them. At the core, counseling services help people see their situation from a new perspective and learn some problem-solving skills and strategies to meet the goals they set. If you’d like to know a little bit more about making the process of counseling as effective as possible, I encourage you to read this article.
Counseling is certainly a difficult process. It requires a commitment to meeting with your therapist, time outside of the session to practice the new skills you are learning, a good amount of energy to practice making changes, and a fee every time you come to session. Though the cost can be high, the cost for not seeking services is typically much greater and felt for a longer amount of time. Not seeking services could mean the loss of a marriage or loss of important friendships. For some, there can even be a loss of job if personal concerns are starting to affect them outside of the session. In deciding if you are ready to commit to the process of counseling, it can be helpful to assess the cost of not going along with the cost of engaging in services.
If the financial burden seems overwhelming right now or if you’re looking for a less time-consuming approach, check out this article.
I have chosen to operate as a cash-pay practice only. I have two main reasons for doing so:
(1) Working with insurance companies means that I have to plan my treatment around what insurance companies believe is the quickest and most effective form of treatment. Unfortunately, insurance companies have no education or training regarding mental health concerns and their primary goal is to spend less, not provide you with more time. For this reason, insurance companies cannot possibly be aware of what services you need or how many sessions it will take for you to reach your goals.
(2) Unfortunately, insurance companies reimburse very little for services and it takes a great deal of time to complete necessary paperwork for reimbursement. This means that I would need to load up my schedule with clients to keep my business open. If I were to do that, my clients would suffer the consequences because I would not be able to give them appropriate attention they need.
Insurance may partially reimburse you for these services. If you are interested in knowing if insurance will reimburse, call them and ask them the following: “Do you provide reimbursement for out of network providers?” If yes, ask them: “What is the reimbursement rate per unit for 90791 (this is your first intake session), for 90834 (individual sessions), and for 90847 (couple sessions).” Also find out if they reimburse for the diagnostic code Z63.0. This code simply means that you will be working on relationship concerns.
Once your insurance company gives you their “reimbursement rate per unit” you will know how much you can expect to receive from them for each session that you attend. Please keep in mind that all fees are due up front and insurance will reimburse you after you file all paperwork.
Many people prefer to use their insurance to seek counseling services and when they choose to do so they are limited to the providers that accept their insurance. This means that they are likely to work with someone who has some experience in a large array of situations instead of someone who specializes in a specific area of concern. This is one reason that many people choose to see service providers outside of their insurance benefits. In doing this, they are allowed to choose their provider based on areas of specialty for the provider and a personality match between the provider and person seeking services.
Additionally, with the changes in managed care, many people are finding that deductibles are so high that they cannot actually meet them in the span of one year or they find that counseling services are not reimbursable through their insurance. This is particularly true of people seeking marriage counseling or sex therapy as these services are not typically deemed “medically necessary” and therefore not paid for by insurance companies.
People who choose to see providers in fee-for-service private practice often appreciate the higher level of privacy afforded by those not on insurance panels. Since I am not on panels, my notes will not be audited. This means that you will not have to worry about insurance companies looking at the notes I keep regarding your care. Your information (including diagnosis and treatment) stays 100% private. Since I’m not on insurance panels, I also keep paper notes instead of notes on a cloud-based server meaning that you never have to worry about your information being found by hackers. My treatment notes are only accessible to me (and you if you request them). Even when I have students working under me, my notes are secured in locked file cabinets that my students have no access to.
Yes, I do offer online sessions. These sessions are conducted through a free cloud-based HIPAA compliant system. The cloud-based system means that you will not have to download any extra software to meet for our sessions. Using HIPPA compliant software means that your data is protected, however, you still bear the responsibility of having your session in a private area. For instance, going to your local coffee shop will not provide the protection or privacy that you would have in your own home.
If you opt for online sessions, you will receive an enhanced consent form that will fully describe the process of telehealth including risks and benefits of an online format.
Cancellation is required 24 hours in advance and I really appreciate if you cancel within 48 hours of your session. If you do not cancel your appointment within 24-hours, you will be charged for the missed session and the charge will be equal to the cost of your session.
If an unavoidable emergency situation prevents you from coming in, you will not be charged for that session. However, if this happens twice in the span of 3 months, we will need to discuss your current schedule and determine together if this is an appropriate time for you to be involved in the counseling process.