How Low Cost Counseling Can Help You

By Sarah Fader |Updated June 28, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Audrey Kelly, LMFT

Everyone experiences mental health issues, and can use the support of others. Whatever you’re going through, therapy can be a powerful ally to help you improve your well-being. With or without a mental health issue, it can help empower you to live the life you want, foster better habits, and even improve your quality of sleep.

Don't Be Afraid Of Low Cost Therapy

Financial worries and woes can be a leading cause of worry for individuals. Socioeconomic issues can go hand-in-hand with mental illness. In some circumstances, a financial event like losing your job or going through a divorce can spark a snowballing cycle of mental health issues. This is where low-cost counseling can help you.

An integral reason some people do not seek therapy is that they believe it is too expensive. It either will drain their bank accounts, or they have a preconceived notion that therapy is costly. If you worry about the cost of traditional mental health servies with a therapist or another method, here is how affordable therapy can help you:

Read All You Can About Your Disorder

While the internet can be a cesspool of invalid information, it can also provide helpful and legitimate tips and advice. Target your searches to your particular mental health issue. For example, if you have a social phobia every time you deal with a new situation, then research social phobias. You can also find free or affordable self-help print books or eBooks online to help you reduce stress. You will likely also be able to access these resources for free at your local library. If you don’t know where to start, then look for recommended books or start with bestsellers. You may also choose to talk with a local therapist, read advice articles, or seek information on organizations’ websites.

Listen To Podcasts And Watch Videos

There’s a wealth of knowledge available from licensed mental health professionals via podcasts and videos. Check out TED Talks or something else related to your particular concerns. Often, these materials are motivational and give you the tips and tricks you need to cope with the symptoms of your mental health disorder.

Talk To Someone About Your Issues.

This could be in the form of a significant other, family member, friend, mentor, or someone else you trust. If that is something that doesn’t work for your particular scenario, then look for support groups and clinics near you to discuss problems and solutions. If local groups do not meet face-to-face, you will likely be able to find communities that get together online. Group therapy can also be a good option. Often, these offer more affordable therapy options because support groups and clinics are moderated by licensed mental health professionals or peers going through the same things as you, with multiple clients receiving treatment or help at once.

Rework Some Of Your Expenses So You Can Afford Therapy And Other Forms of Help

If you’re spending money on things you don’t need, then try to cut some of those costs so you can put some money toward therapy. Most of us incur little expenses throughout the week that can add up to large sums. It could take the form of an extra cup of coffee in the afternoon, daily fast-food runs, and more. Assess your spending priorities and see if therapy is something really valuable to you.

These methods, as well as others, will help you find and pay for affordable counseling alternatives that won’t add additional financial woes to your plate but will provide you with the help you need.

To decide the kind of therapy you want to pursue, it is essential to know the difference between guidance and counseling. Guidance is advice from some authority or subject matter expert. Your superior at work, a nurse, or your religious leader, for example, can provide you with guidance. It is usually sought to resolve a problem or find an alternative to a difficulty you are having regarding relationships you are encountering that are interrupting or negatively impacting your schooling, your work, or your family. Counseling, on the other hand, is given by a professional to help you with personal or psychological problems. These problems do not necessarily involve anyone except yourself, how you feel emotionally, and how you can conduct yourself in various situations, regardless of whether others are involved.

Regardless of your financial situation, you can always find help in some form. The first call you should make is with your medical doctor. They have access to various programs in your community that you can call up. Your doctor can refer you to a specialist and, with this referral, the costs will almost always be covered by your government health care provider. Your medical doctor cannot prescribe psychiatric medications. Some programs, however, like the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, can give you financial assistance for psychiatric medications that you cannot afford. You can also ask to be given a generic version of the prescription, which is almost always less expensive. The Mental Health Parity Act and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 requires health insurers to guarantee benefits, and coverage is not unduly restricted. You should call your health insurer to ascertain the coverage you have and the limitations involved. You may be asked questions about your employment, your income, or if you are unemployed. These questions may determine the number of times per year you can visit the counseling service.

Don't Be Afraid Of Low Cost Therapy

There are also free and affordable clinics that can direct you to a therapist or counselor. Take advantage of online platforms like BetterHelp. Here you can find confidential sessions over your phone or laptop. The cost for a subscription of this type of service will undoubtedly be cheaper for you if you don’t have behavioral health insurance. Various online groups sponsor affordable support groups as well, such as the National Alliance for Mental Health, the American Group Psychotherapy Association, and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. There are also many crisis hotlines in almost every city if you need to talk to someone immediately. The people who monitor these hotlines are trained to give you appropriate information and to point you in the right direction to get help. You can also reach out to NeedyMeds, which will help you find an assistance program so that you can more easily afford your medications and healthcare costs.

Besides depression, there are other specialized mental health care associations you can get in touch with for no-cost resources. These include AllTreatment, the Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Vets, RAINN (for survivors of sexual assault), the International OCD Association, The National Hospice and Palliative Care Association (grief counseling), GriefShare (group sessions), the National Eating Disorders Association, and Andrea’s Voice. Almost all associations of this type also have hotlines.You can also find more information and resources for a variety of issues on the U.S. government SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) website.

Many pharmaceutical companies offer patient assistance programs to lower prescription costs for people who do not have insurance. These include companies like AstraZeneca, Forest, Lilly, Pfizer, and Takeda. When your doctor prescribes a specific medication, ask if he can give you a sample, as pharmaceutical companies regularly supply physicians with samples as a promotion. You can then contact the pharmaceutical company and ask for information and application forms for their Prescription Savings or Assistance Program.

All U.S. citizens who have a low income can also apply for Medicaid, which covers mental health treatment. People who are 65 years of age or older can apply for Medicare, which includes hospital costs, medical insurance costs, and prescription drug coverage.

Medications have to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Before the approval is granted, pharmaceutical companies have to do clinical trials or research studies. You can apply to participate in a clinical trial, but you must be aware of the possibility of serious side effects. Not everyone who agrees to participate in a clinical trial will find an effective treatment. Clinical trials are listed on the ADAA website.

If you need to see a licensed therapist to overcome a mental health crisis or substance abuse issue, you might be surprised as to how affordable online therapy is with BetterHelp. The platform grants sliding scale discounts in service to people who fall below certain income levels. Especially in bigger cities, the therapy cost of BetterHelp is significantly less expensive than in-person care. This fact may lead you to believe that online therapy is lower in quality than face-to-face treatment. But in reality, online therapy has routinely been shown to deliver the same results as face-to-face options. Multiple meta-analyses have confirmed this fact.

Besides the lower costs, there are numerous other benefits that online mental health services offers. With BetterHelp, you will have a high degree of flexibility when it comes to how you get in touch with your therapist for online therapy sessions. You can choose to communicate via chat, call, or videoconference during your affordable online therapy sessions. This can all be done from anywhere you have an internet connection. Read what others have to say about their experiences with BetterHelp therapists below.

“Ronnie has clearly studied up on what she does. Her calming tone and understanding have definitely cleared up a lot of things in my life. Talking with her has been well worth the expense.”

“I worked with Kerry for over 2 years. The only reason I’m stopping is because I moved to another state out of her scope of practice. I tried a therapist before using BetterHelp and it was so expensive and not worth it. It wasn’t a good fit. I’m lucky BetterHelp paired me with her. From the beginning she taught me how to look at things I was dealing with and figure them out. She gave me worksheets and activities to do to help me actively work on learning new habits. She consistently checked in to see how my progress was going. She was always responsive timely and if she was busy she’d let me know when she’d be able to respond. I worked with her on anxiety, panic, child abuse, relationship issues, etc. she helped me through so much! I HIGHLY recommend working with her. You won’t be disappointed.”

Commonly Asked Questions On This Topic Found Below:

How can I get therapy if I have no money?

How do I ask for cheap therapy?

Where can I get no-cost therapy in my area?

Why is therapy so expensive?

Is online therapy as effective as face-to-face sessions?

Helpful mental health resources delivered to your inbox
For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns
Speak with a Licensed Therapist
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.