After you’ve been in practice a while, you will start thinking about the logistics of raising your rate. Fears of losing clients or the overwhelming task of contacting all of your clients may delay the change. The following information will help you confidently, ethically, and easily raise your hourly rates.
- You’ve added a new certification or skill set or you’ve been at the same rate for over 5 years.
- Your overhead has increased and you can no longer afford to stay at your current rates.
- You’re not able to properly take care of yourself because you need to see too many clients.
- Avoid the holidays—don’t raise your rates in November or December, people are already strapped for money paying for gifts and travel.
- It may be easier to change your rate during your slow season or a time of transition (new year, summer break, school starting back).
- Give your current clients time to digest the information; let them know verbally at least a month ahead of time when rates will change. Follow up with the information in writing.
- You will want each client to sign an addendum to the Informed Consent with the new fee structure.
- Know that you don’t have to justify your reasoning for raising rates but clients may ask. This goes back to knowing and owning the value of your time.
- Allow clients to let you know if the change creates undue financial strain and work with them so you can continue to provide the care they need.
- We recommend raising your rate by no more than about $10-$15 each time. You don’t want to overwhelm clients with a large increase.
- If you feel that you need to raise your rates by more than $10-$15, make small increases over a longer period of time to get where you want to be.
- If you are adding a new or specialized service, you may have a higher rate for that service. For example, if you’ve added a certification in EMDR, those sessions may be at a higher rate than traditional talk therapy.
- Remember that you should have one rate for your services, and you can discount where there is a financial need.
Be prepared for a variety of responses from acceptance to anger to worry. Process through anything that comes up with clients so they feel more comfortable with the changes and can move past any issues that arise. You’re worth a raise, so make that change confidently and smoothly.