Fee arrangements for services have different significance for others. Since opening my private practice, I have heard various responses about my fee-for-service from “good for you” to “I’d never pay” to “Sounds great but I couldn’t afford it.” Interestingly, as much as I even received flat out insults from my own family (“I’d never pay for weekly therapy”), I didn’t waiver to accept insurance or commit to a sliding-scale. My marketing company recommended a package deal during the holidays, which I did succumb. After all they’re the expertise in attracting new cyber business; yet, I still feel like I’m pimping out my services.
A couple of months ago I was uncertain if I wanted to continue participating in my supervision group. I felt dissatisfied and furious for not earning more money in my business. Smack! In the midst of my vulnerability and rage, my supervisor raised our rates. I screamed, “You did this on purpose. I was right — you just want to get rid of me. I’ve been complaining about not being able to pay myself and you go and raise the rates!” Nobody wants fees raised.
Every couple of years, I also raise my fees by $10 and disappoint some of my existing patients. I believe the rates and services are an investment in our therapeutic relationship. My peer in my supervision group raised her rates by $25 and shared her celebration. I felt giddy and even fantasized about the courage to hike my rates by $25 rather than the comfortable $10. Dare I give myself more?