Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Fee for Service in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Katie M. Heiden-RootesEmail author
  • J. Douglas Pettinelli
  • Rachel L. Hughes
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_529


Billing; Monetary fee; Money; Transaction


Fee for service refers to the monetary fee* paid to a therapist for their time. The fee does not pay for a specific outcome of therapy, but simply time spent with the therapist. This has been likened to prostitution since both are paid for time and love (Author 2005). The following definition of the concept “fee for service” considers the history of compensation for psychotherapy in the USA, ethical issues, the impact of the fee on the therapeutic relationship, practical applications of this in couple and family therapy, and, finally, a clinical case example to illustrate the significance of fee for service in couple and family therapy.

Theoretical Context for Concept

Fees for service evolved as the delivery of psychotherapy became increasingly incorporated in outpatient mental health settings. Two major events regarding payment for mental health services impacted the evolution of fees for service in psychotherapy. First,...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katie M. Heiden-Rootes
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. Douglas Pettinelli
    • 1
  • Rachel L. Hughes
    • 1
  1. 1.Saint Louis UniversitySaint LouisUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Rachel Diamond
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Saint JosephWest HarfordUSA