Husband vs. Wife: Getting Therapy on the Cheap

Lori and Marek Fuchs have never fought in their 16 years of marriage—except over money. In this column, Mr. and Mrs. Fuchs, a real-life married couple with three kids (ages 12, 7 and 5), articulate their very different approaches to personal finance.

In this round, he says: Pyschotherapy is too expensive for just anyone. She says: Think again, there are definite ways to save.

Mr. Fuchs: Dr. Mrs. Fuchs, when you are not dispensing financial planning advice in this column, you work as a therapist.  My only experience in the mental health field is as a patient, but there is one thing I do know: Psychotherapy is expensive. But sometimes, during difficult times like these, people really need to talk to someone. Problem is, the expense of psychotherapy can itself add to their troubles and anxieties.

Mrs. Fuchs: That’s true. But Mr. Fuchs, if you are really keen on addressing yourhmm, shall we call them “your issues” there are plenty of places to go besides the private, pay-big-bucks-out-of-pocket route.

Mr. Fuchs: Good, because $175 an hour, which lasts forty-five minutes in your racket, will give me more issues than I have to begin with.

Mrs. Fuchs: Really? Whatever the case, you — and others — have three good options.

Mr. Fuchs: Do tell.

Mrs. Fuchs: Well, first of all, many therapists, both psychologist and licensed clinical social workers, have a sliding scale, especially if they are starting a private practice.

Mr. Fuchs: A sliding what? What is this psychology or the local playground?

Mrs. Fuchs: A sliding scale meaning that they are flexible with their fee if you ask and can explain why you aren’t able to pay the full fee. Some are willing to go quite low in certain cases it never hurts to ask.

Mr. Fuchs: Ah, sometimes a fee is not really a fee. Didn’t Freud say something like that about cigars? Anyhow, any other options to prevent psychological care from becoming a major source of financial anxiety, Doc?

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