take Notice: Read This First

ESCC, LLC Practice Changes 2022

As of July1, 2022 I will stop accepting insurance; private-pay rates will also change; the overall size of my practice will decrease.
1. Effective immediately (as of this posting), I will accept no additional new clients before 09/01/22.

2. On 06/01/22 standard self-pay psychotherapy fees will range from $100/hour (resources-sensitive) to $150/hour (full standard session fee).

3. Starting 06/01/22 I will begin referring some clients to other providers.

4. On 07/01/22 I will no longer be in network for Presbyterian Healthcare plans - individual/commercial/employer, and New Mexico Medicaid Centennial Care.

5. By 07/01/22 all current insurance-paid clients will either be referred to other providers or will have transitioned to self-pay fee agreements.
Those affected by these changes will have been notified in advance of this letter, or I will have made a good faith attempt to provide notice prior to mailing of this letter.  I will do my best to ensure that referrals to other behavioral health providers and/or insurance company representatives will be timely, proactive, and clinically appropriate.

Please contact me as soon as possible for any clarification you need - directly,
at 505-228-6343 or 505-286-6112.

ESCC Cedar Crest Clinic Change

ESCC, LLC continues to provide behavioral health services to people of the East Mountains, and across New Mexico.  As of January 31, 2021, however, I will be closing my Cedar Crest office space.  I will continue to work with client using telemedicine and telephone.

Please continue to use the same phone numbers - (505) 286-6112 main, and (505) 228-6343 mobile.

For records requests, please email me at info@esccnm.com or fax to (505) 209-2871.

My hope is that when the COVID-19 pandemic resolves I will again be able to meet with clients in person, and in both office and outdoor settings.

Coronavirus Transmission Precautions in Place at
March 15, 2020 through March 31, 2021

ESCC, LLC  is open for business and meeting with clients by phone or telehealth platform.  Please contact your therapist to confirm your scheduled appointment.

New clients are being accepted; please call (505) 286-6112 for a telephonic screening appointment.

And, if you are experiencing any respiratory symptoms with a fever please call 855-600-3453 to be connected with the New Mexico Department of Health's COVID-19 hotline.  If you have any symptoms of the virus, we will not be able to see you in our office. More on COVID-19 and mental health here.

NOVEMBER 1, 2020

ESCC, LLC will only be accepting Presbyterian Health Plans (commercial/employer and NM Medicaid/Centennial Care) as of November 1, 2020.  Please speak with your counselor about your payment or referral options as soon as possible.  Contact your health plan for further options.
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Your Future Is Unwritten – Anything Is Possible!

Most people come to counseling at the point where they feel unable to continue bearing the emotional burden of events in their life.  Sometimes one is compelled to seek counseling by others who care about them.  What matters most is that you take full advantage of the opportunity life has presented you to change something about the way you live going forward.  Even if you cannot change your world, you do have incredible power in your grasp to change the way you experience your world. 

We can help you learn to make and sustain the changes you seek.

Richard L. Patnaude, MA, LPCC

During almost 10 years working in managed care leadership, I directed healthcare operations for both public sector and commercial lines of business. I managed large clinical workforces and complex work flows.  I have extensive experience with developing policies and procedures, as well as with performing data analysis and creating targeted customer communications.

My most recent contracting work was with Five Sandoval Indian Pueblos, Inc., for whom I standardized behavioral health operations and created all necessary clinical and HIPAA/HITECH required workflows, policies, and forms.

If your healthcare operation needs assistance with regulatory compliance, staff training, or other issues related to high quality delivery of healthcare services, I may be able to help.  Please contact me for a free consultation.

Are you a new client? Start here.

We generally meet with prospective clients for an initial/screening session (in person or by telephone) to determine if your concerns are a good fit for our practice and so that you can decide if this is the right place for you.  Initial telephonic consultations are free of charge. If we agree to proceed, we encourage clients to commit to at least 6 to 8 sessions – the amount of time typically required to conscientiously diagnose and initiate treatment for most concerns.

Contact us now to schedule an initial consultation or discuss treatment options. You will be asked to provide proof of insurance, positive identification, and to complete some initial demographic and clinical background paperwork. You may also be asked to complete some paper-and-pencil screening tools, depending upon your presenting issues.

Please provide all documentation requested and complete all the paperwork assigned to you in a timely manner. If you do not have access to the internet, we will provide hard copies of all material to you.  Otherwise, we will expect that you have either read all the material on the main pages here or can access it outside of your sessions.

About Eastern Slope Counseling and Consulting-

We’ve chosen to practice in the near East Mountains because we love the outdoors and find that the mountains can be a powerful impetus for reflection and insight - and ultimately a source of strength. It’s a quiet, peaceful area and really conducive to effective psychotherapy work. It’s a little further to drive, and yet you’ll see that it’s worth every mile. Instead of driving through the endless strip malls of the city, you will enjoy miles of expansive mountains and valleys to and from your appointments – opportunities to center yourself for treatment and then integrate your experience before returning to your own world.

Richard L. Patnaude,

I have been providing counseling services to individuals, couples, families, and groups since 2003 and have maintained a small private practice even when working as an operational and clinical leader in large organizations like United Health Group.  I earned my master’s degree in Counseling and Educational Psychology at New Mexico State University in 2002 and have been licensed and practicing continuously since then. 

I have endeavored to develop specialization in treatment of chronic stress, anxiety, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder – with a focus on military veterans, first responders, and law enforcement, as I am myself a former U.S. Army Combat Medic and Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician.  Eastern Slope Counseling and Consulting, LLC (ESCC, LLC) is the practice I’ve established near my home in Cedar Crest, New Mexico– about 15 miles from Greater Albuquerque.

How Counseling Works

We are forthright folks, so believe it’s important to highlight the fact that counseling does not work the same way for every person and, in fact, doesn’t work well at all for some folks.  For most people, counseling works because of the nature and quality of the therapeutic relationship between the client and the counselor.  By creating an open and honest dialogue, and by collaboratively crafting mutually understood objectives, ESCC, LLC clients are able to make better sense of their lived experience and more effectively pursue their goals.


Rich Patnaude was trained as a generalist, as most therapists are, and also completed additional work necessary to obtain school counselor credentials. He has worked extensively with both adults and children, and has found that adolescents seem to respond very positively to him as a counselor and mentor.  He believe that clients are best qualified to set their own goals and objectives, and that clients are valuable customers.  At ESCC, LLC we believe we have a responsibility to help clients make the most of their investment in counseling (both temporal and financial). 

Client’s concerns are generally addressed from a Brief Solution-Focused perspective, unless otherwise requested or clinically indicated.  Further, you should understand that we believe that most issues are existential in nature and that many of the challenges we all face are a result of our own psyche making good faith efforts to adapt to external social and cultural forces largely beyond our control.  Social context is very important.

All clients are welcome here, without regard to individual characteristics, identification, etc.  Bring any concerns and yet understand that there are unique challenges experienced by some people with which we may not be able to assist.

Professional fees
and Insurance Accepted

ESCC, LLC is credentialed with most of the New Mexico Centennial Care Medicaid managed care companies, as well as many commercial insurance plans.  Please
confirm your current eligibility and benefits before your first appointment.  Self-pay clients are always welcome!

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Professional Disclosure
and Disclaimer Statement

ESCC, LLC counselors hold master’s degrees in Counseling and Educational Psychology and Clinical Social Work from New Mexico
universities.  We have provided mental health treatment services to our communities in a range of settings, including
community mental health, acute psychiatric facilities, and in private practice.

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Client Forms
and Other Resources

Getting started with counseling (as with any healthcare service) can be paperwork-heavy at the beginning.  We do our best to use only those forms which are either required by law or ethical codes, or which we believe will significantly contribute to the quality of care you receive.  Your privacy and confidentiality are always paramount!

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