“I’m not gonna pay a lot to save this marriage”

True Story:

A guy calls up and talk to Daniel, our Intake Coordinator and says:

“Tell me about your services. I want to use my insurance.”

Daniel begins to explain that most health insurance doesn’t cover Couples Therapy.

The guy interrupts him, and in a snarly voice says:

“I don’t believe you. It’s bad enough I have to pay a co-payment…”

Unfortunately for the guy, Daniel has been in sales a very, very, long time, before he (wisely) decided to become a therapist. He knows better than to fight with the guy:

“Well, maybe finding someone who will do excellent couples therapy with you and your partner isn’t that important to you. I’m sure you can find some therapist who takes your insurance. But be aware that they’ll only see you for 45 minutes, and that’s not proven to be effective couples therapy.”

He may have just given the guy the best (free) advice he ever got.

Hey, maybe he can even save the cash he would have spent on the co-payment, and just step away from the relationship.

It wasn’t a matter of money, the guy made that clear.

It was the fact that he paid for this health insurance, and he just couldn’t accept the fact that he couldn’t use it for help with his troubled relationship.

And saying in a sense, that Daniel was lying to him was another clue to why this guy isn’t our client:

He would only accept his own version of reality.

He couldn’t accept that his version of reality wasn’t the only one out there.

Now imagine how this plays out in Couples Therapy:

Him: “I’m going to the game with week-end with my buddies.”
Her: “But wait, this was the week-end you promised we’d go visit my parents. I’ve already called to arrange it.”
Him: “No, you never told me that. I don’t believe you. I’m going to the game with my buddies, and you can do what you want…”

Our clients respond with interest to the news that their health insurance in all likelihood, may not cover their treatment. They ask questions, to figure out how this new information fits with their current understanding. They care about how they’re coming across, to their partner and to strangers who they ask for intimate help.

They don’t say: “I don’t believe you.”

They say:
“That’s a surprising revelation. Can you tell me more?”

I’ve asked Daniel to devise a quick way to get off the phone with these types of people, because they don’t accept influence, and right now, he’s needed to talk to the people who do.

Like the woman who said:

“I’m looking for the best therapist I can find…”

Now THAT'S our client.

And we're happy to talk to our clients, so give Daniel at extension #2

About the Author Dr. K

Dr. K is the President and CEO of Couples Therapy Inc. She maintains her Intensive Couples Therapy practice over the winter in Miami, Fl and the rest of the year in Boston and on the edge of the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts. She is a Gottman Certified Couples Therapist, has advanced training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, and has been a AASECT board-certified sex therapist from 1982-2017. She continues her work in sex therapy.

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