Pros and Cons of Concierge Therapy
San Jose Counseling and Psychotherapy
Concierge therapy is a model that mimics concierge medicine. Concierge or boutique medicine is growing as busy people of means look for a way to bypass the red tape, waiting times, and inconveniences that may accompany a visit to the doctor.
On the therapist’s side, doctors, including primary care physicians have joined concierge groups to avoid the long hours, incessant forms and high overhead of an overworked, understaffed practice.
Surveys have shown that concierge therapists and their clients are typically happier and more satisfied. Concierge therapy can create better outcomes, make clients happier overall, and can even cut costs by shortening the amount of time required.
This explains why more clients and therapists are making the switch to concierge therapy each year. Clients are much happier and satisfied with concierge therapy and the perks and benefits offered; as demonstrated by countless patient reports. The following are the main ways concierge therapy boosts client satisfaction.
Improved Access to Therapy
Concierge therapy providers provide their clients with increased access to their therapist and often handle simple issues and follow-ups via phone. While it might seem like this would result in clients contacting their therapist at all hours, the opposite is actually true. The reason for this is simple: whereas traditional practitioners may have their clients wait weeks for an appointment, a concierge therapist has much shorter waits. Urgent needs are seen to right away and general appointments are arranged in days, not months. Because clients can see their therapist with ease, there are fewer emergencies and night calls, so not only are clients happier, but therapists experience considerably less stress.
Managing multiple modes of communication becomes more difficult the larger a practice becomes. With this in mind, many offices only operate via phone, simply as an aid to ensure communication doesn’t fall through the cracks. The assembly-line mentality may help avoid these issues, but it isn’t exactly convenient in today’s busy world. Concierge therapy practices see fewer clients and there are fewer opportunities for the communication chain to be broken, so they can be more flexible. It’s far more common for a concierge therapy practice to work via phone, email, text, and other forms of communication than for a traditional practice too.
When you can reach your therapist at any time and can have an open dialogue as needed, you feel better about the communication. Clients who visit concierge therapy practices often report that they’re more satisfied with their interactions. Additionally, clients feel that their concerns have been heard and properly addressed.
Disadvantages of Concierge Therapy
Now, let’s dive into the disadvantages of concierge therapy. Like most things in life, it’s not for everyone and has distinct disadvantages for some clients as well as come therapists.
For one thing, the premium nature of concierge therapy means that not all patients can afford this service. For therapists, this limits their potential client base and could lead to problems sustaining a therapy business. For clients, there could be implications in seeing a struggling therapist.
Another problem with concierge therapy is insurance limitations. Concierge therapists often do not accept insurance, which can be a disadvantage for clients who rely on their insurance coverage for healthcare services.
A discussion of the disadvantages of concierge medicine in general would be incomplete without discussing ethical concerns. Some people claim that concierge medicine is already having a negative impact on the middle and lower economic classes that can’t afford boutique services.
As more primary care providers have joined concierge practices, less physicians are available to provide general medicine to the masses. This causes a larger workload for the physicians who are left in the mainstream. Some claim this has led to lower quality care because visits are shortened and patients are referred to physician extenders like physician assistants, nurse practitioners, etc. Some fear that the result may be less healthy patients missing out on the advantage of preventive care.
Granted, not every concierge therapist offers the same level of care, and each has unique perks as well. Despite this, concierge therapy is breaking the mold as a whole; with more clients reporting high satisfaction with their therapists across a number of areas.
You should feel like you’re the priority when you’re choosing a concierge therapy practice. Urgent needs should be seen to swiftly and well-care appointments shouldn’t require lengthy waits. I get my clients in for therapy as soon as possible. To learn more about my concierge therapy practice or to schedule a complementary consultation, please go here.