Frequently Asked Questions
Section A: Rates, Fees, and Insurance
Section B: Sex and Porn Addiction
Section C: Partners of Addicts
Rates, Fees, and Insurance
Q: What are your rates?
A: $125 for 50 minutes of Individual Therapy. $150 for a 60 minutes of Couples Therapy. $150 for a Sexual Dependency Inventory, this includes the purchase of the assessment and the clinician's review time. I also charge fees for written documentation, responses to subpoenas such as filing, court representation, and travel to and from.
Q: Do you take insurance?
A: No, I do not bill insurance. I am able to provide clients with a “Superbill” for reimbursement for there session fee upon request. This would be used in the case where someone has an out-of-network benefit. This “Superbill” includes all the medical codes and information necessary for insurance companies to make a reimbursement.
Q: Why don’t you take insurance?
A: My experience with insurance companies is that they dictate how I can perform therapy and how for how long.
They tend pay poor rates2.
They consume a lot mental energy to bill, particularly if any errors occur.
I find that clients who view therapy as an investment in themselves, as they would professional education, tend to grow rapidly and profoundly.
Q: How do I know if I have an out-of-network benefit?
A: The direct way is to call the number on the back of your insurance card. You may tell them you would like to work with Michael Spengler, MS LCPC CSAT. Ask if you have an out-of-network benefit.
Sex and Porn Addiction
Q: Is sex addiction real?
A: Yes, it is real. No, liking sex does not make one a sex addict — if it did most people would be sex addicts. People with addicion use sex like others use alcohol or work or many other things to avoid reality. They don’t like the way they feel so they escape into fantasy. They feel scared and lonely in their relationship so they look at porn and masturbate to escape. In the end, people with addiction feel ashamed of their behavior. It brings them down and limits their growth in the world. Yes, it is real.
Q: Is it really possible to stop looking at porn?
A: Absolutely. You body does not have a need for porn, just like your body does not have a need for alcohol. You crave porn because you do not know how to meet your real needs: acceptance, love, belonging, connection, security, and spirituality. Being honest with yourself is the place to begin.
Q: I’m pretty sure my partner looks at porn even though he/she would never admit it. What can I do?
A: This is such a hard experience. To believe your partner is not being honest with you. There are a few things you can do. If you are comfortable ask if they would take an assessment for pornography and sex addiction. A free assessment is linked on the resources page. If they are unwilling to come in, you can come in anyway. We will help you establish boundaries for safety and emotional wellbeing. We will help you communicate your truth in a healthy way.
Q: How long does recovery from sex addiction?
A: Good question. I have seen some people get sober immediately and work hard at maintaining an effective recovery program. In that case, the individual change his attitude, his actions, his beliefs and improved his relationship in just a few months. In other cases, I have seen people do some of the work for a while and then fade out of their commitment. In that case they go back and forth between sobriety and addiction for quite some time. It really comes down to the willingness to work the suggestions given. If an individual is willing to do whatever it takes to live a sober life, their chances are very good.
Partners of Addicts
Q: I am very upset and I don't know what to do with myself. Where do I even begin?
A: Sexual betrayal can be devastating and heartbreaking for people. For quite some time after the discovery of the betrayal(s), the feelings of shock and denial, mixed with anger, sadness, fear, panic -- essentially trauma -- can all occur simultaneously. How could anyone tell you what to do, much less fix you when you are in a state of such heightened pain? Therefore, immediate and profound love and care are required. Family, friends, support groups, grief processes, therapy, acceptance and nurturing. Nothing less than a complete healing response is needed.
Q: Do you help partners of addicts as well?
A: Yes, I do. I am already counseling their partner who has the addiction I will refer them to a trusted colleague, ideally another CSAT. If I'm not already working with a family member I do work with partners of addicts. It is a difficult job that requires a lot of time and attention and care. Often there is trauma, and very challenging feelings to work through. It is rewarding and also difficult, as a result I only work with a few at one time.
Q: Do you recommend any counseling books for partners of addicts?
A: Yes, I do. I recommend One Day At A Time, a daily reader from the program of Al-Anon.
I recommend Facing Heartbreak, by Stefanie Caries, Mari A Lee, and Anthony D. Rodriguez, a workbook from the International Institute for Trauma and Addictions.
There are many books out there for partners of addicts specifically. I suggest a search to see what books resonate with you. The suggestions above are lesser known but highly valuable in my opinion.