diagnosed with PTSD. I applied for and was originally told I was awarded
$10,000 in counseling costs. I saw until recently a psychologist; I have
had sessions regularly for the past year. Recently, well a couple of months
ago, a letter was sent to me from the state office of Victims of Crimes (Victim
witness assistance). This informed me that the therapist I have seen was
last paid in February 2002. This office would not pay beyond this date. I
now am in serious debt for 15 or so additional sessions. I will and have
begun to pay this therapist. He also informed me that he would have to stop
our sessions. I am in a haze of dismay as to what to do. I have no counselor
and no financial means to see one, as I will be paying the previous psychologist,
for the next two years. I am not angry at him of course, but I feel sort
of like I am hanging out to dry and heal myself.
Your story, sad as it is, points to two principles about
FIRST, it illustrates
quite graphically that whenever you ask a third partysuch as
insurance or managed
careto pay for your psychotherapy, that same third party will not
only determine whether it should pay for your treatment in the first place,
but it will also tell you when you should be cured, and when
you reach that point, thats it. Period. Treatment is over whether you
like it or not. If you complain, they will just refer you to what is written
in the fine print to which you agreed when you signed the treatment
Still, you should
read the small print in the Victims of Crimes contract to determine who really
is liable for any sessions that Victims of Crimes disallows. Sometimes, when
a psychotherapist accepts such cases he also accepts personal liability for
providing any treatment beyond what is authorized.
psychologist is ethically bound not to abandon a client. It may be too late
for this, but you might ask this psychologist to offer you some free help
in finding treatment somewhere else.
SECOND principle is no more
pretty than the first, and I emphasize it throughout this website: No
matter what happens to you, youand you alonemust take personal
responsibility for your own healing. Your mental health must be more
important to you than any other material aspect of your life. If you understand
this point, then you will see that you have a few more options available
to you right now than you think.
On the one hand,
in order to pay for continuing treatment, you may be able to reduce expenses
elsewhere. How much money, if any, do you spend on cigarettes and
alcoholor other drugs? How much money do you spend on your telephone
extras, that, if youre like most people, you dont really need?
How much money do you spend on cable television? How much money do you spend
on movie rentals and theatre tickets? How much money do you spend on eating
meat, when you could eat vegetarian foods? How much money do you spend on
fast foods or restaurant dining when you could eat simple food at home? The
fact is, many persons could save hundreds of dollars a month by paring away
frivolous expenses. And all that money could be used to pay for
On the other
hand, you may be able to increase your income by taking a second job just
to pay for psychotherapy, even if the psychotherapy has to be in a low-fee
clinic with a student intern.
Now, you may
sneer at all these suggestions. And I dont really know your particular
circumstances, so my suggestions may not be practical for you. But think
about it a bit. If you did any of these things, it would prove to
you that youre not as much a
victim as you think.
And thats what psychotherapy is all about.
advertisingno sponsorjust the simple truth . . .