Time and Energy: In addition to the commitment to regular meetings, your counselor might also encourage you to use the time between your scheduled sessions to invest in your own transformation through journaling, prayer or some other method aimed at increasing awareness and activating life change.
Fee: We work hard to make our fees affordable for everyone. In most cases your fee is determined by your total household income and ranges from $50 per session to $110 per session. Dr. Hogan’s fee is $125 per session. A scholarship fund is also available for people who cannot afford counseling. We accept cash, checks, debit cards, MasterCard and Visa. Please contact our office to determine your fee and/or learn more about the scholarship fund.
Some people have health insurance that covers mental health treatment. While we do not work directly with insurance companies, some insurance plans will cover the services we provide. We can help you to work with your insurance company to maximize your reimbursement. We will provide a receipt and help you complete the paperwork needed to get reimbursed.
You also might want to explore whether or not your employer offers a flexible spending account for healthcare expenses. Our staff can help you learn how to get the costs of therapy reimbursed by these plans.
(i.e., What outcome can I expect?):
The past ten years has produced a large body of evidence showing the profound positive impact of good, skilled counseling. This is a huge body of research and can be divided into two groups: Efficacy Studies and Effectiveness Studies.
Efficacy studies are carefully designed experiments that show that a specific form of counseling is more effective than a “placebo” as a treatment for specific problems. (A “placebo” would be, for example, having an unfocused conversation with a counselor.) These studies have scientifically proven that, for example, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (“CBT”) is an effective treatment for both depression and anxiety disorders; Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) effectively helps people with traumatic stress, and Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT) effectively helps distressed married couples to transform their marriages.
Efficacy studies are important because they show us specifically what needs to happen in a counseling session for people to get better. This is why many of our counselors have advanced training in several of these areas, including CBT, EMDR and IRT, to name a few.
Effectiveness Studies are designed to determine if those who seek psychotherapy “in the real world” find it effective. Rather than recruiting people to participate in specific treatment, these studies survey people who sought counseling on their own. Effectiveness studies are important because most people do not seek counseling for one discreet problem (i.e., “I have symptoms of anxiety but otherwise everything is great!”). Instead, people usually come for counseling when there are several problems happening at the same time (i.e., “I’m depressed, my marriage is hurting and I no longer feel close to God). In the “real world” counselors help clients to skillfully prioritize and focus sessions in a way to get maximum transformation. Effectiveness studies, such as the now famous Consumer Reports study have come to several conclusions:
- Most people who get professional counseling feel much better and are satisfied with their treatment.
- More than 87% of people who feel “poor” or “very poor” at the start of counseling feel “good” or “very good” at the time of the survey. (These findings are very similar to those of the efficacy studies mentioned above.)
- People who persevered in counseling for the long-term (i.e., more than six months) experienced more improvement than those who came for brief counseling.
- Family doctors were just as effective as counselors in the short term, but for those needing long-term counseling, counselors were much more effective.
- Getting additional targeted social support was very important. For example, people who also attended Alcoholics Anonymous experienced profound improvement.
- People who actively chose their counselor and remained active in counseling (i.e., chose to be open and honest, did their homework, asked questions when confused, and discussed their feelings about progress) did better than passive recipients of counseling (i.e., those forced into counseling by their spouse or employer).
- People whose choice of counselor or duration of care was limited by their insurance coverage did worse than those who chose their own counselor and had control over the number of sessions they received.
There are many other studies that document the practical benefits of counseling compared with other helpful life events. For example, in the November 18, 2010 journal Health Economics, Policy and Law researchers found that the increase in happiness that a person generally gets from a $1329 course of counseling would require a pay raise of $41,542. Not surprisingly, other studies have also found marital therapy to be profoundly less expensive than divorce.
People’s values change through the counseling process. This research is summarized in a book co-authored by Dr. Hogan (with Dr. Archibald Hart), How to Get the Help You Need. Generally speaking, people who experience positive change in counseling also experience a change in their value system in the direction of their counselor. In other words, people who are beginning counseling ought to take a good look at the values of their counselor because their values are going to look a lot more like his or hers when they are finished! This is why we believe it is very important that you find a counselor who shares your optimal beliefs and values, particularly in the areas of spirituality, marriage and relationships.