fee setting

Dear Therapist, Stop Letting Guilt and Discomfort Drive Your Fees

Dear Therapist, Stop Letting Guilt and Discomfort Drive Your Fees

You're on the phone with a potential client, and you’ve really connected with her. She sounds both excited and relieved that you “get her.” She asks about scheduling an appointment, but you tell her before you schedule, you want to make sure she is aware of the cost of treatment. You state your fee, and she pauses. Her slight hesitation seems to stop time.  

As waves of guilt and fear surface, the barrage of negative thoughts begins.  Your sharp- tongued inner critic pipes up: “You can’t charge her that much!  She is hurting!  How can you take advantage of her pain? Did you hear that pause? She is shocked. SHOCKED at your rate! She’s probably wondering just how big your head really is to think you are worth that much money.” Suddenly, despite all the work you have done around feeling comfortable with your rate,  you blurt out that if the fee is too high. you can offer her a discount.  You aren’t really sure what her reaction is; you’re busy beating yourself up for offering a discount when you know you can’t grow your practice if you keep reducing your fees.  As you complete the call, a couple cold, hard truths set in: