Laura Umfer, Psy.D.,C-MI, CCH, SFN, LLC:Tampa Psychologist
Payment: Cash, check, credit card (credit cards may include a sales tax charge and will include a convenience fee depending on the transaction. Visa and Mastercard are preferred). People with Health Saving Account Cards are also accepted if it is a major credit card.
For evaluations, the cost is generally $250.0o per hour, but a set fee is often established depending on your needs. Evaluation fees are separate from court fees, in the event I am needed to testify. See the informed consent page for more information. You are probably thinking that is steep, but consider the following. I have twice the training and education as a lawyer, am a doctor, and you see me once. I bill like an attorney when needed for court. The price for potential freedom, a lighter sentence, staying in the US, getting a child back in the home, being able to work again or getting disability payments deserved or other reasons you are seeking an evaluation is usually worth the price. There are never guarantees, but at least with a full psychological evaluation, you will know what your strengths and weaknesses are to better help your lawyer help you.
My policy for initial therapy appointments is to pay a $180.00 fee (your session fee) as a deposit via credit card that can be taken over the phone. I have a zero tolerance policy for no-shows. It cuts into my time and prevents other people from being seen. Nobody likes being stood up. No-shows are a no-no and will be billed for a 180.00 cancellation fee (more for evaluations or hypnosis sessions), regardless of your set fee or if using insurance. Just call, leave a message, you don’t need to give me a reason, just do the right thing and cancel in a timely manner, 48 hours, rather than no-show. Currently cash, checks and credit cards are accepted as well. I have spent over 20 years studying and practicing in this field. Your wellness and state of being are well worth the investment in yourself. The average length of treatment is about 6-16 sessions, sometimes more, sometimes less. If you have 6 sessions at $180.00 it would cost about a grand. Often people spread out their sessions to help offset the cost, and can do therapeutic tasks in between sessions to continue changing and learning.
Ask yourself this. How much money is wasted on destructive behaviors such as drinking, possibly drug use, overeating, sexing, shopping too much, being so stressed you get sick and lose time from work etc? How much are you suffering with anxiety, depression or strained relationships. You are worth investing in yourself to feel the way you want to feel. I generally don’t offer a sliding scale. I also don’t deal with most insurance companies or managed care for various reasons. People with very little education try to tell me how to treat my patients, and there is limited confidentiality. Your diagnosis, treatment plan and treatment notes usually get sent to the insurance companies and get stored electronically. Many people can access the information. I store records digitally and in a locked cabinet behind a locked door. So unless you meet one of the limitations described in the informed consent section on the Informed Consent page (suicidal, homicidal, child abuse, court order etc.), then your information stays private, as it should. When I do use the cloud as a back-up, I will inform you.
Some insurance companies might reimburse you for part of your payments, since I am considered an out of network provider. I will be happy to provide you with information to help you get reimbursed from your insurance company. I offer a brief free initial phone consultation to determine if you want to work with me, and if I have the expertise to help you with whatever is troubling you. Please call 813-385-7974, and leave times when you are available to avoid phone tag. I can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regarding appointments: I believe and encourage people to be responsible, and this extends to appointments. If there is no contact between us after one month, (unless other arrangements have been made) for bookkeeping and liability reasons, I will close your case. I will not send you a letter about this. Should you want to resume treatment, simply contact me and I can reopen it, and we can go from where we left off. Should you no-show for an appointment I will call you once to check in with you. I often worry when people do that. Please call to let me know you are safe. Again, I am available via email or phone.