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What am I Paying for in Counseling?

What am I paying for in counseling? Where do my counseling fees go?

I don’t know about you but sometimes it is helpful for me to know the “why” of things, for this reason, I offer an explanation of the expenses that go into the hourly fee, and what that means for you.

Becoming a counselor requires years of expensive education entailing completion of undergraduate and graduate school. Think of how much you pay other professions where this much schooling is needed like lawyers. Remember, you aren’t paying to chat with a friend, but a trained mental health professional with years of training and development.

Also consider the costs to get and stay licensed which involve years of supervision (with supervisors who bill at much higher rates), continuing education (which can range from a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars yearly), and registration with the state (couple hundred dollars). Some counselors will do the bare minimum in continuing education and supervision but that often means fewer or less quality trainings and supervision, and less professional development which inevitably is passed on to you, the consumer, in fewer tools and resources they have from which to draw when approaching your concerns. Also, other related costs are membership in other professional associations (also several hundred dollars), therapy-related books for self-study or other resources bought for clients’ use.

In private practice, therapists aren’t billing every hour they work as it would be unmanageable to see 40 clients a week. Therapists also need to set aside time for organizing and documenting client information, marketing and development, performing administrative duties and in continuing professional development that was just mentioned. It may help to imagine if your company only paid you for 25 hours of the 40 you work each week, you likely would have to raise your hourly to account for it.

Every therapist needs to practice adequate self-care which means a healthy work-life balance, seeing a therapist themselves, and other medical care professionals when needed (I practice what I preach), and this also comes at a cost. If I’m going to claim to be an expert in creating joy and wellness in others’ live, I need to have the resources to do so myself so that I have a great well from which to draw in our sessions. 🙂

Finally, of course there are the sheer overhead expenses which include: website hosting and development, marketing, networking, rent, and office furniture and equipment which can easily be over a thousand a month.

I hope this helps to understand the “why” behind your counseling costs. Please contact me if you have any other questions or concerns.

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Embodied Counseling
Denver, Colorado
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