How often do you see your eating disorder recovery clients? Cost is an issue.
- Category: Healing Resources
This question often comes up during a first consultation. I thought I'd answer it here so you can see the reasoning behind my response.
In my Los Angeles private practice, seeing a client once a week is minimum. Twice a week is usual. Three and four times a week is not unusual. And there are times in early work when seeing someone every day or more is necessary for a while.
The therapy work is unpredictable because each person is unique. However, for the work to have a chance at being successful, time, place and finances have to be secure.
You can't be in a situation where you need more time and more contact but can't afford it and have to wait two weeks or two days or even two hours while you are going through some kind of crisis.
By crisis, I mean a critical time when powerful emotions are emerging. Crises experiences like that are predictable. In fact, they are necessary and are a sign that good work and change is occurring. Even so, you will feel horrible and desperate in this situation and need the stabilizing presence of your therapist to hold on to yourself. You may work through this crisis to meaning. The meaning may be involved or the meaning may be that such feelings will not destroy you and make you act out but that, in fact, you do have a way to bear them until they pass.
These unexpected and powerful feelings will come up periodically throughout therapy work. Without the eating disorder behaviors to shield you, you can feel frantic and near collapse. You and I don't know what or when or why these episodes will occur from this pre-therapy position. But nonetheless we have to build a therapeutic structure so we can handle those crisis experiences and make them a positive and healing aspect of your therapy experience.
So we have to be sure, in advance that you can keep your appointments and schedule more if and when you need them.
That said, if my services are too expensive, I will try to help you find less expensive ways to secure that kind of therapeutic structure. I believe with all my heart and all my professional experience that such a structure is essential.
I may suggest classwork, support groups or 12 step programs as inexpensive support that will help sustain you between appointments.
I have a good feeling about some clinics that offer prices lower than my fees and will suggest them. Sometimes, when a person goes into recovery their circumstances change, and they enter my practice at a later time.