Private Pay &


Diana Sturm offers rates for private pay and for insurance.

Private Pay or Insurance?

Rates for health care coverage can be confusing so I want to be upfront with you about costs for mental health counseling. There are two options for paying for therapy: private pay or insurance.

Private Pay Rates

Private pay is when you pay for your sessions yourself. You pay me directly in full on the day of the session. Many people choose this option for a variety of reasons:

  • Confidentiality: Privacy is a concern for many people and they do not want any details about their mental health shared with an insurance company or be accessible through medical records.
  • Stigma: There is still stigma associated with mental health issues. Some people want to keep their diagnosis and treatment private.
  • Choice of Provider: Private pay allows you to choose the provider you want. You are not limited to only providers within your insurance network.
  • Flexibility: You can schedule the frequency of sessions as often or for as long as you want and you are not limited to the rules of the insurance company. Many insurers have a limitation on the number of sessions or require pre-authorization before services can begin. If you have a hard week and you need extra support several times during that difficult week, you can have those extra sessions with private pay.
  • Treatment Options: Some alternative treatments or therapeutic techniques are not covered by insurance but you want the option to be able to explore different alternatives.
  • Long-Term Care: If you anticipate needing long-term care, private pay assures there are no insurance limitations for number of sessions or referrals for extension of care.

Private Pay: $160 for a 50-60 minute session. Limited evening appointments are available.

Rates for Immigration evaluations are listed here: Immigration Evaluations.

Insurance Rates

Many people want to use insurance. For all insurance claims, a medical diagnosis is required. This means that only issues which are considered severe enough to be given a medical diagnosis can be submitted for possible payment by insurance. Insurance may request additional information, including session notes, to process your claims. There is no guarantee of payment by insurance. You are responsible for full payment if your insurance rejects a claim.

You must pay for deductibles and co-pays required by your insurance. Payments are due in full on the day of service. You must maintain a credit card on file and that card will be charged for amounts due. Each insurance plan has different rates for the co-pays and deductibles. I will need to check your plan to determine what rates apply to your services.

I am currently credentialed with Blue Cross & Blue Shield. Approval of coverage will vary based on insurance plan. Limited numbers of sessions and referrals may be required by your plan.

Worker’s Compensation Claims

I also take some worker’s compensation claims. The worker’s compensation insurance company would need to contact me directly to discuss your needs and their payment structure. They require all progress notes and a full diagnosis to be submitted to them for each session.

Whether you choose private pay or insurance is up to you. Each person has different needs. Some people may want the greater privacy of private pay since their records are not shared with an insurance company. People who use insurance give full consent for insurance reviews of the notes from their sessions.

All Clients

Free Phone Consultation

I schedule a short phone consultation with all potential clients to ensure that I have answered all of your questions and to ensure that I am the right therapist for you. If we are not a good fit, then I will look for other therapists who might be able to help you better.

I use email to answer initial questions and to set up the phone consultation. You may also call directly, but I may be with another client so I will not be able to answer your call. Please be sure to leave your call back number so I can return your call at a later time. You may also text and ask for a call back.

Do not provide specific health care information in your emails as emails are not secure communications.

How many sessions can you expect?

The number of sessions will vary by client and the reason you are seeking counseling. My approach is goal-oriented, so clients direct which areas they want to address and when they want to work on different goals. This approach allows the client to make progress more quickly than traditional talk therapy. Many clients meet for 3 to 5 sessions and feel better. Other clients will want or need more sessions, often 10 to 12 sessions. There are also clients who want to address long-term issues which may require more than 12 sessions. Each client has unique needs so the number of sessions will vary and cannot be estimated.


Just like other medical offices, I’ve got paperwork for you to complete prior to your first appointment. The paperwork includes consent forms and forms regarding telehealth, insurance coverage, financial responsibility, and credit card authorization. Photos of your state ID and insurance cards are required.

After the legal paperwork has been completed, you will also complete an intake form and three assessments. The assessments help me to understand you better and measure levels of anxiety, depression, traumatic experiences occurring before age 18, and thoughts you may have. During our first session, I will discuss the results of the assessments with you.

How do I access the paperwork?

During our phone consultation, I will ask you for your email address. I will send you an invite to the HIPAA compliant platform I use, Healthie. This platform has secure chat and video which you can use to contact me. Once you access the platform and set up a login and password, you can read and complete the forms online and upload photos of the necessary state IDs and insurance cards. After you finish the forms, you can download the completed forms to save for your records.

I will then verify your insurance and let you know the amounts of your deductibles and co-pays. Sessions are scheduled only after all forms have been completed and insurance and your credit card have been verified.

Telehealth counseling sessions can only be provided to clients physically located in Alabama, Florida or in some international locations.