Well. 2022, wtf?
As I write this, roughly 3 months after my last post, which was full of hope following the prior two years of hard, RADICAL acceptance, we’re all witnessing (and some of us, more directly experiencing) a whole lotta more, and not necessarily in the enjoyable ways. More Covid variants with more infection possibilities as employers and employees alike wrestle with in-person comingling opportunities, more financial traffic jams (is this inflation or recession??), and what feels like the piece de resistance — terrifyingly up-close images and sounds of senseless, deadly war.
How are we holding up?
I won’t bother to offer simple consolations on the above-mentioned. I do, however, offer space and room for shaking it off, putting all the thoughts (including the hardest) out on the table for display, airing, deconstructing. I may occasionally offer a different POV; sometimes, though, my own brain comes up short. Human, I am.
I am a fan of humility.
The only way that I know of (okay, maybe not the only way, but it’s what’s coming to mind right now) to make Humility a good — no, REALLY good — thing in my existence, is to connect it with the rest of that stuff that keeps me from crumbling: For me, those things are dogged persistence, deep deep deep belief in The Good including Nature, and years of experienced knowledge that if I let life impact or influence me and I ride it like a big wave on a long board, I can not only survive but find joy in the journey.
What and who are you allowing in, on, around – to influence who you are? And who is that, exactly?
One of the ways my influences are shaping me is toward bringing my session fees up to market standards. My practice has been based all these years on making sure I’m at least offering lower fees and including a sliding scale for uninsured people who are living on wages considered lower-middle to lower income. Getting in-network with the insurance ‘train’ in 2021 was another way of making my services available to people who cannot afford full fees for mental health services.
Starting in June 2022, my regular fee per session for new clients will increase to $150 per session hour (still below the market rate for my location.) Now, if you’ve been a client of mine for awhile, you already know that I don’t bump everyone’s fees up when I raise the rates for new clients. You have each experienced a $5 raise starting in the past January, so whatever your fee is now is good to go. But — if you’ve ever considered referring a friend, acquaintance, or family member to me, now (before June) would be a good time, to save them a little money.
One big reason for accepting this influence toward bringing my fees closer to market standard: I’m now available more often to see clients in person at my Lacey, Washington office. My in-office hours are technically 3 days a week, but as things with the pandemic change for the better, my in-person availability will change as I and my clients see fit. In short, keeping an office available for more days each week requires more office rent. It’s all interdependent (or, as we like to say in the LMFT world, “it’s all relational”…)
So — if you refer friends, family, colleagues to me, be sure to advise them to let me know you’ve sent them. Also, if you have any concerns about being able to afford therapy for yourself, please please let me know: I will work with you to see that your mental wellness needs are addressed. And finally, I encourage everyone to intentionally practice bringing to their mind those times in life when comfort and joy were the prevailing emotions — dwell in those moments regularly, to feel the influence of your own life’s wisdom, so that you can keep putting one foot in front of the other and influence others around you thusly.