You have searched on every website out there hoping to find a good therapist but it just doesn't seem like the ones you like are affordable. Why on earth are these therapists and counselors in Temecula and Murrieta so mean? Why do they cost an arm and a leg? Don't they want to be helpful?
Well I'll tell you why from my point of view:
A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) is a professional with at least a master's degree. Some have PhDs or Doctorate degrees. I even know one who has 2 PhDs! This means it took a minimum of 6 years of college for your therapist to actually learn her specialized skills. Some MFT masters programs take 3 years to complete, increasing the learning time. If the therapist has a Phd it probably took her (or him) anywhere from 3 to 6 additional years of school after the masters' degree.
To become licensed in the state of California, in addition to spending all that time in school, a therapist must also become an intern while in school. So for 1 to 2 years, not only are we taking a large number of classes, learning about law and ethics, diagnosis, human relationships, child development, research and a wide array of other important topics to help you, we are also spending literally thousands of hours seeing clients to make sure we know what we are doing. We are honing our skills and getting shaped into the professionals that sit in front of you today. It is similar to how a surgeon goes through a residency to sharpen his or her skills.
Once we graduate from university , we must get 3,000 hours of client experience while we are under the supervision of someone who is licensed. So even though we've studied for years, completed a supervised internship, we still need to continue learning. 3,000 hours of client experience doesn't mean we are just sitting in a room for 8 hours a day and racking up hours. It means the hours that count are those spent sitting in front of clients. It takes years to complete these hours. Anywhere from 2 to even 6 years, depending on the situation. We also meet with our supervisor every week for 1 to 2 hours while we are interns. Our supervisors check our paperwork, ask us questions about the clients and basically make sure we aren't ruining people's lives. So 4 years of undergrad, 2 to 3 years of masters', and possibly another 3 years of on the job work.
After our 3,000 hours are done, we then sit through 2 rigorous exams. It took me months to study for and pass the exams. So when you think of it, your therapist spends anywhere from 8 to 12 years training to get their license. We might not be physicians, but we sure do train like long and hard like them.
Therapist's attention to detail
Usually when a therapist charges higher fees, it typically means that he or she can be very picky about the clients he or she takes on. Why is this important? Because if I took on every client who called me, I would be doing them a huge disservice. I only take on clients whom I know will be a great fit for me. No one is a jack of all trades, so I choose wisely. I see very few clients, but I know that the few I have are getting the best of my attention. Before I even meet you, I am already trying to figure out the best way to serve you. And after you are out of the room, I create a treatment plan-a document that describes what goals and objectives we will be working on together. Let's be honest. No therapist is great at treating all types of clients, so have a conversation with your therapist about who they're great at working with. Don't just sign up with a therapist because they're cheap or they take your insurance. This is your life we're talking about here.
You might think you're paying for an hour-long session, but really your therapist is working on helping you before you sit in the couch and after you're gone.
Before each session, many therapists plan and prepare to make sure we will be of good service to you, and after you leave we do some documentation detailing how the session went and our plan for the next session. It's how we track progress. If your insurance is being billed, then the documentation is a lot longer. We would have to meet insurance standards as well.
My small client load allows me to give my best work and to be as attentive to you as possible. Have you ever sat in front of a doctor and felt that he was trying to rush you out of the room? Or that he didn't know you? That's a feeling I never want you to have. I pride myself in giving each client 5 star service. But honestly, if I charged lower fees and saw each client for only 30 minutes, I'll start to forget your name and you become inconsequential. But when I charge slightly higher, I only see a few people at a time and I give you the best of my energy. I know what direction your life is going, I know exactly how close you are in meeting your goals-I actually remember you.
Charging very low fees could potentially lead to resentment of the client as the therapist might not be making ends meet-which will be sad considering the years spent on honing one's skills. This will be a waste of my time and yours.
It's similar to the service you get when you go to a discount store, compared to the service you get at a small upscale boutique. Now this doesn't mean that therapists who charge higher are better, it just means that they typically see fewer clients and they have more time to do the back end work.
So, what do you think of therapists' fees in the Inland Empire or Murrieta area?
If you're tired of carrying around, anxiety, resentment and stress, schedule a free 15 minute consultation call. It's time to find your calm and get back to the real you. Call me at 951-905-3181 at my counseling office in Murrieta so we can help you ditch the anxiety.