Concierge therapy or counseling involves mental health services intentionally offered on a small scale. This type of therapy centers on individualized, client-centered, approaches to mental healthcare. This type of therapy is not, in itself, an evidence-based practice. Therapists still use science-based methods of treatment but how it is administered is how concierge therapy differs from other forms of therapy.
Traditional mental health services might have clients coming into the office or visiting via telehealth once a week or a few times a month. Concierge therapy is less structured than traditional practices, making therapists more accessible to clients during their healing process.
In most concierge settings, clients can access their therapists in-person, online, and through messaging while simultaneously being able to access their billing, scheduling, and assessment tools online.
Mental health providers that offer concierge counseling generally do not accept insurance as a way to eliminate barriers to services. Insurance providers usually have a limit on the amount of visits the plan beneficiary is allotted to use each year. By removing insurance from the equation, clients can come as much as they want or need to.
Providers who offer concierge therapy usually only accept a few patients at a time in order to remain available and open to each of their clients throughout the healing process. For example, if a client is going through a particularly difficult moment or situation, they can pick up the phone and call their therapist right in that moment rather than having to wait until their next scheduled visit for help and attention.
Benefits of Concierge Therapy
Concierge therapy encourages the personalization of care for each client. Rather than adhere to a standardized treatment plan structured by insurance and prior authorizations, patients get a formulated and unique plan as well as increased access that makes their care different than anyone else’s. This kind of personalization. For providers, this means improving the quality of care that is offered to clients who come through their organization.
Providers know just how difficult it can be for clients suffering from severe mental health conditions to find the energy or courage to come to their scheduled services. Some clients need more dedicated attention and convenient options in order to stay effectively engaged in their mental healthcare. Concierge therapy opens up the door for simple access to mental health services so that the client never has to wait too long or go too far to receive help.
Concierge therapists often get more flexibility in their schedules. While it may sound overwhelming to give patients more access to their provider, there are fewer clients on the docket and a far less regimented schedule. This flexibility also extends to clients with unique or challenging schedules to ensure they get the help they need.
Sometimes the allotted hour or 30 minutes a week is just not enough time for a client to truly process everything they need to with their provider. Patients who are made to leave exactly at the hour mark might end up feeling cut off or like they didn’t really gain closure on the issue they brought to their provider in the first place. Concierge therapy is able to offer unique flexibility in session lengths, enabling the client to take all the time they need to really explore what is on their minds. By opening up session lengths and allowing patients to take the time they need, they are able to navigate more clearly through difficulty or challenges and benefit from the time they do spend with you.
At this time, there are not very many providers that offer concierge therapy. Most clients generally go with therapists that take their insurance so that they can cut down the costs of mental health services. Even though concierge therapy sounds like the ideal situation for clients who need that extra time or personalization, it can quickly get expensive depending on how often the client utilizes services. Some providers who offer concierge therapy have turned to offering bundled packages for their clients to cut cost, but it still ends up being more than the $25 copay the average client pays to participate in a traditional setting.
As the field of mental health changes and evolves everyday, it is hard to predict the potential growth of this niche approach to mental health services.