What are your rates?

My insurance based fees for therapy are as follows:
Initial Evaluation – $140
Individual Therapy – $120
Couple Therapy – $125

Where are you located?

I have an office in downtown Portland. Click here for specific location information.

What is your philosophy of counseling (what theory do you use to guide your work)?

Twenty-five  years ago I was introduced to a saying (now considered trite and overused, perhaps, but no less powerful in imagery or metaphor) that has been the backbone of my counseling philosophy and practice. The saying goes: “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” (Abraham Maslow)

My first few years as a therapist were spent doggedly pursuing the Holy Grail of therapy – the theory and set of techniques that would always help every person seeking assistance. After considerable trial and error, I realized what now seems obvious – the uniqueness of each of us guarantees that no single approach or set of techniques can work for everyone. As I had that understanding, I also ran into the quote above, and a lifetime career direction began to evolve: my goal/aspiration would be to cook up a unique flavor of therapy for each person I saw, with techniques and tools custom fit to the person, their history and their goals. If “tailor made” is synonymous with the highest quality and best looking outcome, why not use the same idea in therapy?

What I had learned in graduate school and in early jobs would not be enough, so I focused on participating in continuing education across a variety of theories. To that end, I realized I would have to gain in-depth knowledge (a mega-toolbox, or a pantry stocked with spices from all over the world) to be able to create subtle nuances of flavor for each person’s “therapy recipe.”

My licensing board requires that I complete 20 hours of continuing education every year. I have averaged over 50 hours a year for the 34 years I have been in practice. As an additional source of growth and learning, for the last 15 years I have participated in a peer consultation group of senior clinicians that has focused primarily on the study of couple therapy.

How long is a session?

Typically sessions last 50 minutes. Due to paperwork and the specifics of initial visits, sometimes these run a little bit longer.

Do you accept my insurance?

I have a partial list of insurance panels that I am currently credentialed with, which you can view by clicking here.  This is only a partial list, and I am open to working with other carriers or groups.

It is always a good idea to contact your insurance company for benefit details. Some plans require that you see someone “in network” with the insurance company (or credentialed/contracted with the company). Others have coverage for providers outside their network, as well. In those cases, the coverage is often less, or is subject to a larger deductible. That’s why it is best to call and speak to a representative with your insurance carrier to determine exactly what your benefits dictate as covered. (See below for typical questions to ask when calling about your benefits).

How do I check my benefits or find out if my insurance will pay for me to see you?

On the back of your insurance card or insurance paperwork there is a phone number to call for customer service and inquiries. Have your insurance card with member ID number on it, and be ready to give this, along with your date of birth or other verifying details, to the customer service representative.

These are the questions you will want to find out answers to while on the phone with the insurance representative:

1) Does my policy cover mental health visits? If so, is pre-authorization required before scheduling a visit?
2) Are there different levels of coverage for “In Network” versus “Out of Network” providers on my policy?
3) Is my selected provider (Michael Kohler, LCSW) considered “In Network” or “Out of Network?”
4) Is there a deductible associated with mental health visits?
5) What is the copay or coinsurance that I will be required to pay for each visit?
6) Are there limits to the number of visits I may schedule in one year?

You likely won’t need the following information when checking benefits, however if you do want to know if a specific mental health service is covered, these are a few of the most common session or visit codes (called “CPT codes”) that you can ask the customer service representative to check on with your policy/coverage:

Family or Couples Therapy – 90847
Individual Therapy (Initial Evaluation) – 90791
Individual Therapy (Subsequent Sessions) – 90837 and 90834