You may be wondering?
Why are the fees set at what they are? Why is there no bulkbilling… ? Surely my clinician is living the high life with what they earn from the session fees…?
Some background information… to become a Clinical Psychologist, requires a minimum of 6 years University education. However, I completed 8 years, as I also completed a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the same time as my Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology. All of this education also comes with significant student debt. Following this education, I was then required to complete two years of supervised practice at a significantly reduced earning rate. So the cost of my education has been significant.
However, although it looks like I must be “raking” in the moolah… this is just a short overview of where your session fees get utilised…or what it might cover…
- the cost of my professional registration fees to AHPRA
- the cost of my professional insurance
- the cost of the belonging to my professional associations (Australian Clinical Psychologists Association and the Institute of Clinical Psychologists) to make sure I get the best and most up to date advice and support to help me continue to be an ethical and up to date psychologist
- the cost of renting my rooms from my landlord.
- the cost of electricity, cleaning and office supplies
- the cost of my computing equipment and software
- the cost of my stationery and paper
- the cost of my business cards and marketing
- the cost of running my website
- the cost of running my telephone and internet
- the cost of appointment reminder fees
- the cost of processing Medicare rebates
- the credit card and EFTPOS processing fees charged for each fee I receive.
- the cost of my professional clinical supervision
- the cost of undertaking my compulsory professional development as required by AHPRA.
- the cost of specialised training that I undertake to serve my clients to the best of my ability
- the cost of maintaining my professional library and resources
- Plus- the normal living expenses that we all have.
And there are probably a few more things that I have forgotten about. I hope this helps you understand why I charge the fee I do and why I don’t reduce my fee when people ask me to. When psychologists work for low fee, they often burn out because they must see high volumes of clients in order to make a reasonable income.
As you may be aware, the Australian Psychological Society (APS) recommended fee is $254 as of July 2019. This is the fee they recommend that psychologists need to charge in order to run their businesses and receive a reasonable income.
Currently, I do not charge that as I want to make my fee accessible to the people I serve.