Psycho-Babble Psychology | about psychological treatments | Framed
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Posted by emmanuel98 on May 15, 2009, at 21:51:20

I've been thinking about Dinah's therapist asking her to pay for a session interrupted by a fire alarm and about what she said to her therapist -- I pay to see you but you need to be paid to see me.

Not too long ago, I had a session with my T in which we discussed my going into the hospital because I had become so severely depressed. I was in tears and he was very concerned and compassionate. As I got up to leave though, he asked me for my $15 co-pay. It was disheartening. However distressed I might be, he still remembered to collect his co-pay, which was his due.

Once I said to him that this was a commercial relationship and he objected to that characterization. He doesn't think of it that way, and neither do I, actually. Yet it is his business and, to stay in business, he needs to be aggressive about collecting his fees. It helps that I have insurance. I don't know if I could handle having to write a hefty check every week, having to haggle with him over money.

Once he told me that he genuinely cared about me and I responded that he wouldn't see me if I didn't have insurance and couldn't pay him. That's actually not true, he said. If you couldn't pay, I would still see you and you would pay whatever you could afford -- maybe even $10/session. I was very touched by that.

Once there was some confusion over the time of my appointment, so I arrived too early and met a patient leaving and another patient waiting to see him. Then I came back at the correct time and encountered yet another patient leaving. This parade of patients depressed me beyond belief. If you were my only patient, he told me, I wouldn't be able to pay the rent on my office.

As a professor, I have nearly 100 students each semester and it's hard to keep track of them all. I worried that he must lose track of people as well. But he told me most T's will see only 20-30 patients a week; they see them for an hour at a time over a long period and remember them well.

Relationships between T's and their patients are so confusing. But I think I'm coming to accept that just because he is paid to see me doesn't mean that he doesn't genuinely care about me. I genuinely care about my students, am very fond of many students, even adore some of them. But I still want to be paid to teach them since this is my livelihood.




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Psycho-Babble Psychology | Framed

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