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, the Institute of Clinical Psychologists, the Australian Association of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, the EMDR Association of Australia) 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 $260 as of July 2020 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.