San Fernando Valley Psychotherapists Lower Fees to Meet Community Needs under Economic Strain

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Mental health symptom rates rise as the economy continues to struggle. San Fernando Valley residents find affordable psychological services with a network of Psychologists who serve moderate to low income community members.

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Charles Kairys, Psy.D., local Encino therapist says that the state of the economy is creating an increased need for psychological services at a time when fewer community members can afford them. “We are seeing an increase across the board in symptoms of the basics, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse and relational problems, partly triggered by the pressures of economic stress,” There are fewer community resources available with state budget cuts while private insurance companies are tightening their belts. The system is not providing adequate services at a time when demand is increasing.

Dr. Kairys is bringing together a network of therapists to meet the needs of the strained community by lowering fees and creating resources for those who he calls the “struggling able.” These are uninsured community members who fall between the cracks, because they do not qualify for county benefits and can’t afford private insurance policies that will meet their needs. Kairys has identified a population in need, and is matching it with early career private practitioners willing to lower their fees while growing their practices.

Therapists in the San Fernando Valley Network are Registered Psychological Assistants who are sanctioned to practice through The California Board of Psychology. These are pre-licensed clinicians who have attained doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology and are practicing under the supervision of licensed senior psychologists. Roberta Lichter, Ph.D. (License # 10657) oversees the network as a licensed psychologist who has provided psychological services throughout the San Fernando Valley for the last 30 years. Lichter states, “These are some very tough times for the economy and it’s straining our community members who need psychological services. We have doctoral level clinicians in the early part of their careers willing to lower their fees to help the community while filling their case loads. I think it’s a really great match.”

Average fee for services for private practice psychologists ranges from 150 to 200 dollars per session. Kairys’ network has been able to reduce those fees by as much as two thirds in many cases. The network of practitioners operates on what they call “a sliding scale fee schedule” which is based on household income and financial duress.

Community Members are matched up with providers via The San Fernando Valley Low Cost Therapy Referral Line. Callers are provided a free telephone consultation with a clinician in the network and are offered referrals for services appropriate to their needs that are within their financial means. In some cases, callers are not sure exactly what type of psychological services would be most helpful for their particular circumstances. Callers may be referred to community clinicians, specialists or agencies outside the network for the most appropriate fit.

Kairys points out that the referral line is being used by clinicians as well as consumers of services. Calls come from area discharge planners at hospitals, substance abuse centers, sober living homes, mental health clinics, churches and medical doctors. The clinicians at the referral line have relationships with community service providers and have a large knowledge base of the services available in the community. Kairys has eight years of experience in the field at various agencies in the community. The network’s referral specialists have worked and been educated in the very community agencies they are referring to, so they have their finger on the pulse of the resources available. This is the kind of creative thinking that can maximize community resources in difficult times.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Charles Kairys, Psy.D.
The San Fernando Valley Low Cost Therapy Referral Line - 818-754-4555
http://www.lowcosttherapyreferral.com – Contact Us Page

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