Monday, November 16, 2015. The headline in today's San Francisco Chronicle read, “Therapists at Kaiser plan strike for Monday.” by Kevin Schultz
“Nearly 1,4000 Kaiser mental health workers in Northern California were set to walk off the job Monday in a dispute with the giant health care provider over staffing levels, and they say they will not return to their jobs until more people are assigned to deal with patient loads.”
The workers accuse Kaiser’s management of understaffing mental health services, leaving patients waiting too long for appointments.
One of the good things about private practice psychotherapists is that we typically don't have that problem and, as a result, our clients do not have to wait to see us. No one dictates how many sessions we can have or what we can or cannot work on with our clients.
People say private psychotherapy is too expensive, but so are a pair of Air Jordan’s, a flat screen television, or 50-yard line tickets to a Raiders game. But unlike those items psychotherapy can have a more far-reaching and long-lasting effect on the quality of your life. Whether it’s helping you keep a valuable relationship together or helping you work through ending one, psychotherapy can save you a bundle. It costs and it should. You get what you pay for. At its best, psychotherapy is invaluable, efficient, and empirically validated.
Meet Ted _____ who entered into brief therapy with me. He darkened my door with a drug habit he couldn’t control and a desire to stay stopped. By his own estimate he was spending over $5000 per year on cigarettes, crack, alcohol, and women. He was able to stop after a few sessions and he remained drug-free throughout our time together. With the money he saved from quitting and initiating a relapse prevention plan, he will be able to take a vacation rather than a trip back to rehab.
I’m not at all saying that psychotherapists who work for Kaiser or some other HMO can’t help a client stop using drugs. What I am saying that when you have a four hundred pound gorilla on your back you don’t want to have to wait in line before you get some help or have a healthcare administrator set a limit on how much help you can get.
“Representatives from Kaiser and the union could not be reached Sunday,” according to today’s Chronicle.
I’m sure they will work their problems out and get back to business, but in the meantime, operators are standing by..........SO WHY NOT INVEST IN YOURSELF? You will reap dividends and save money at the same time. Feel free to give us a call.......510-420-4555.