Money, Money, Money

Money or lack thereof, is not a barrier to finding therapy support for you and your family while caring for your family member who is chronically ill. Here are some ideas we found that may help you stretch your therapy treatment dollars…

Look for inexpensive options.

Counselors in training have to put in a minimum amount of treatment hours before earning their license, which means they sometimes offer sessions at a discount while being overseen by a licensed therapist. The same goes for students, supervised by a clinician,  at the master’s and Ph.D. level. Some report that after becoming licensed many counselors will keep their clients at a discounted rate as a form of loyalty.

Frequency and format are also places to get creative and have an impact on price. Instead of going every week, you can talk about going once a month, or switching your sessions to Skype and/or email. Today, online therapy services like BetterHelp, 7 Cups of Tea, BlahTherapy and Talkspace are reported to be effective and inexpensive alternatives for many. In many cases you can ask them to work on a payment plan.

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One frequently overlooked source for affordable assistance is your employer.  A growing number of employers offer Employee Assistance Programs (E.A.P.) benefits, which provide low cost or free, short-term care options for employees who need help from a trained psychologist, social worker or therapist when confronted with circumstances that create emotional stress.  If you are not sure whether your employer offers this type of benefit, ask your manager or your human resources contact.

The bottom line…

Self-care as a parent caring for a child with chronic or life-altering illness is a critical component of successfully navigating the journey of care. In our blog post from September 26th entitled Quiet Warrior Next Door: 5 things you may not know about your friend or family member who cares for a chronically ill child, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), burnout, marital strife, home and job loss were noted as frequent outcomes found in situations when families are on this journey. If you are on the journey of care there is no reason not to get help. The aid of a qualified, competent therapist can help you care for your family, remain productive at work and even help you take care of yourself — So you can in turn care more effectively for your family.

If you are new to the journey of care you may feel relieved to know that there are some very reasonably prices solutions you can fit into your budget. No matter how stretched you are financially you can find effective emotional support for you and your family.

In the next installment of this four part series we will summarize some of the key ideas we shared related to family therapy and support.

Tom Nieman is a Founder and President of The LIV Foundation and a financial services industry veteran. The best place to reach Tom is on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomnieman/ or email at tommynieman@gmail.com

If you want to learn more, need help or know someone who needs help check out the following resources:

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Department of Social Work and Spiritual Care: http://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/social-work-and-spiritual-care/about

The LIV Foundation: http://www.thelivfoundation.org/

References used for this blog post:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freudian-sip/201102/how-find-the-best-therapist-you

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/choose-therapist.aspx

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/how-to-find-therapist#1

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/17/smarter-living/how-to-find-the-right-therapist.html?mcubz=3

https://www.thespruce.com/when-do-i-need-family-counselor-1270709

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