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  • Autumn Quiles, LCSW

Fees and Gratitude

Money and Therapy don't match in my head. These things don't match in the heads of most therapists.

I have a strong ethical belief against exploiting vulnerable people and I feel that many of the families who come to me are, initially, in a vulnerable position. However, as the years have passed, I have developed the concurrent belief that I am pretty good at helping vulnerable people and that has monetary value to some folks.

I have achieved a sort-of respectful, though wary, polite friendship between Money and Therapy in my head. I take Money and sometimes I give a bit More therapy. I work, every week, on this balance of giving and receiving. Fortunately for me, many of the families that see me are much more savvy about business and value and money and time than I am. They often suggest- in a loving, caring way- that I should be getting More Money because they are getting Good Therapy.

So, I am raising my rates. By $25.

I agonized over this increase. I talked to my loved ones. I talked to colleagues. I talked to everyone I could find about whether this was a good choice and how to actually do it. I was afraid that, once I asked for more, there would be a mass exodus; families would run for the proverbial door and my business would nosedive.

I felt that fear, and did it anyway. I chose to be brave. This is like the humans who come see me each week; they feel the fear and choose to be brave, too.

I found that, when I told my families about the plan, not a single. person. flinched. Several shared stories of taking the same chance of raising fees at their jobs. Many congratulated me on my bravery. All of them whole-heartedly agreed that it was a good plan.

This is where the gratitude fits. I am grateful to have open, easy and communicative relationships with the families I serve. I am grateful to serve families who recognize, and appreciate, bravery. And I am grateful to serve families who feel my work is worth More.

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