Fees & Insurance
I wish that everyone could have access to genuine Christian counseling, regardless of income. This is why I believe I was called to have a Fee Policy where those who are able would pay my standard fee, and those who are currently unable might pay as the Lord provides.
Notice: Minnesota State Law now requires most counselors and therapists to keep your personal, confidential counseling / therapy records in online storage. Thankfully, Agape is currently exempt. More information can be found here.
Your initial consultation is free (this is not required if you desire to enter counseling immediately and we both agree). The initial consultation’s purpose is to give us a chance to meet and make sure counseling together would be a good fit. I also want to make sure that I am the right counselor for your needs, as I am sure you do as well!
My standard rate for a one-hour session is currently $110, pro-rated after that if we agree to go over. The first one-hour session, or Intake Session, which takes more time for me outside of our session, is $135. Each session is generally scheduled for one hour. My rates are considered pretty reasonable by Twin Cities standards.
The easiest way to pay me is using your Health Savings Account ("HSA") card. I have not had any trouble accepting these from clients before. The second way is to pay by cash, check, major debit card or major credit card. The final way it to pay for your visit and use your health insurance to get reimbursed. I will work with you to help you do that.**
For integrity purposes, you need to know that any time you use your insurance to pay for counseling you have to be diagnosed with a mental disorder in order for the insurance company to pay your claim (most counselors / therapists do not explain this if this is the first time you are hearing about this – they simply diagnose you and bill your insurance company).
Therefore, if you have a diagnosable disorder, I can make such a diagnosis and then provide you appropriate documentation to submit to your insurer for reimbursement of your expenses at the rate paid for out-of-network coverage according to your plan. If you already have a diagnosis from a psychiatrist or physician, please let me know because that is also valid for insurance. I encourage you to read below to get more information about using health insurance – information that you may not be aware of.
**Please check with your insurance provider to see whether they cover out-of-network behavioral health care (therapy) and at what rate they reimburse for that care. We cannot be responsible for your insurance process. Thank you.
What if I do not earn enough, or have enough, to afford Agape's Standard Fee?
I understand that some of you do not have the resources to afford the standard rate. I understand that and honor that. That is why Agape has a faith-based way of working with you to find an appropriate hourly rate in these circumstances. What I ask is that you humbly pray to God for wisdom and discernment regarding the amount you can afford, assuming you will see me once a week at the beginning.
As you discern this amount, I want you to take into account several important things. First, counseling should be considered a priority in your life and an investment in the healing of what you are facing to live an increasingly joyful life in Jesus. Second, if you are coming in for marriage counseling, you are investing in living the rest of your life more joyfully with your husband / wife in a more joyful marriage (not just a tolerable one!) or whatever relationship you are struggling with. Finally, fighting to overcome this present darkness through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, no matter what the issue you are dealing with, gives great glory to God, which returns to you for your satisfaction and highest good. That is a wondrous reality!
You make a meaningful difference in other people’s lives by allowing me to provide counseling to other people with limited income if you would consider whether other sources of payment might be available to you. Sometimes churches, family members or other Christians / groups are happy to invest financially in your counseling. They might pay for some or even all of your counseling expenses. I regularly work with such people, so feel free to utilize these or other resources. And, please know that no details of your counseling will be shared with those who are making payments on your behalf, unless you want them shared and you provide us with your prior written authorization.
Once you determine the amount that you can invest in your counseling after following these simple steps, please contact me by email or telephone and I will be very encouraged that you were willing to do this. I will also be very happy to talk about the amount you are able to afford and try my best to work with you. Sound fair? Also, I want to assure you that there should be absolutely no feeling of shame at all in whatever hourly rate the Lord gives you wisdom regarding. My joy is seeing the Gospel at work in your life or lives. The Gospel always gives me great hope that you may have hope and that together, we can share in the joy.
Why Risk Such a Fee Policy?
When I was a relatively new Christian (God saved me in 1987 at the age of 19), the radical faith of musician Keith Green affected me in powerful ways. He was never a perfect man, nor did he have perfect theology, but like me, he had been a great sinner prior to becoming a Christian and God kept changing him along the way to a deeper and deeper relationship with Him. And a radical faith that still inspires me. One of the ways in which God changed him was in the way he ran his music business. He began offering his products for whatever people could afford. There were some wrinkles along the way, because even Christians act sinfully and took advantage of him, but there was something beautiful about his trusting in God so directly to provide the money for his family's needs while still providing enough money for the expenses of his ministry. That is what inspired the Fee Policy. My wife and I are willing to risk such a Fee Policy for God’s glory and our joy because we want the joy of seeing everyone who needs truly Christian counseling receiving it for the Glory of God!
Insurance: What You May Not Know
I feel ethically bound to explain to you how insurance and mental disorders work hand-in-hand to get you covered by your health insurance carrier. I want you to be able to use insurance if you would like and I will help you if appropriate, but, I do want you to be an informed consumer. You should always ask your mental health provider what clinical diagnosis of a mental disorder they have made about you , and what form of treatment they are going to use, in order that they may bill your insurance company and be paid by your insurance company. For, only mental health providers approved by the state for diagnosing mental illnesses, and who have made such diagnosis, and who are using approved methods of treatment, are approved by insurance companies for payment.
Insurance companies do not pay for help with spiritual issues. Insurance companies do not pay for "Christian" counseling. Insurance companies do not pay for marriage / couples counseling (one of you has to be diagnosed with something and the other is along for help in therapy for the other person). This does not mean that you cannot use your insurance with me. It just means that when I do Christian counseling with you the Truth will be the Truth - and you will not have to be second-guessing everything you are learning. I also need to be able to make a legitimate diagnosis of a mental disorder. If so, I can do actual Christian counseling with you. Why don't most? Because many Christians who are therapists / counselors avoid faith in their counseling altogether because their secular education (or even Christian College) did not train them that way - or it was strongly discouraged and they fear doing it. So, you wind up with a Christian who does secular counseling instead of a Christian who does Christian counseling using prayer, Scripture, the Gospel, etc.
There are also ethical hurdles for licensed counselors / therapists to provide you with Christian help. Licensed counselors will very rarely, if ever, point you to the truth of God's Word, because, ethically, they are challenged not to be objective about truth in matters that do not constitute certain crimes. If your licensed counselor who is taking insurance is going to do Christian counseling with you, then you will need to fill out certain forms that give you pretty specific notice about these practices. Our forms contain that notice.
Rarely, if ever, do counselors, Christian or secular, explain how the insurance process works to you. In fact, I am not aware of one doing such an explanation.
Finally, after you are diagnosed with a mental disorder, this may impact your ability to get a security clearance, your ability to serve in the military, certain government jobs, or certain private jobs, your life insurance premium rates, and other areas of life which you were not anticipating. And, now that medical records are going online, that information may be circulated in unanticipated ways.
If you have, or are found to have, a diagnosable mental disorder, Agape will be more than happy to help you in your treatment. We have absolutely no prejudices against mental disorders! We just want you to be informed. If you can properly be diagnosed with a disorder, we will provide you with appropriate documentation so that you can be reimbursed by your insurance carrier at the rate they reimburse for out-of-network behavioral care. Please check with your insurance provider to see whether they cover out-of-network behavioral health care (therapy) and at what rate they reimburse for that care. We cannot be responsible for your insurance process.
If you have a mental illness or disorder
If you have been diagnosed with a mental illness; please, please do not take anything I have said make you feel condemned in any way! God loves you as shown through the work of Jesus on the Cross. God created you in His image and as His image bearer you have infinite value. YOU ARE NOT A MISTAKE. He is a good, loving and sovereign God who was not surprised when you were born or when you started having symptoms. God stands ready to hold you in His loving arms if you will simply rest in them. And if you feel that you cannot rest in his arms, we are here to help you through that process. Please visit our Mental Disorders & Medication page for more information.