By: Sarah Fader
Updated September 17, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Kimberly L Brownridge , LPC, NCC, BCPC Counsel The Mind, LLC
Paying the typical cost for therapy (or mental health therapist services) can be a major challenge for many people wondering, "how much does therapy cost?" Several mental health professionals provide therapy, and it can be difficult to know how to choose which one to see long term based on the cost. You may be used to the concept that traditional face-to-face is the only available option. But there are many different types of mental health treatment and countless practitioners who provide therapy. You want to see a counselor, but can you afford it? It's an understandable concern. And you may be surprised at the answer.
This website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.
Explore Affordable And Convenient Online Therapy OptionsMaintain Your Budget and Sign Up With BetterHelp Today
How Much Does Therapy Cost BetterHelp Users?
Therapy costs $60 to $90 per week (billed every 4 weeks / monthly), which is cheaper than most traditional therapy that typically costs between $75 and $200 per session or more. These therapy prices here at BetterHelp applies whether or not you live in a large city like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, etc.
Is Online Therapy An Affordable Option?
We want to make virtual therapy affordable here at BetterHelp. Each type of practice helps you grow as a person. BetterHelp and our mental health counselors strive to make virtual therapy a pleasant and affordable experience, regardless of your medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. What's the price of therapy and how much should you expect to pay? The cost of counseling ranges from $60 to $90 and is billed monthly.
In comparison, going to see an in-person counselor costs an average of $75-$150 per session. If that works for your budget and is how much you were expecting to pay... you can browse the counselor's profiles and find one who works for your needs. Once you've selected the virtual counselor for your needs, it's up to them to determine if you're a client they can service.
Therapy Can Be Affordable And Convenient
You may be afraid of going to counseling and not know where to find health resources to locate a provider. Getting help for your mental health shouldn't be an added stressor. Virtual counseling can be an excellent option for people who care about their mental health and want to preserve their budget, even if their insurance doesn’t cover counseling virtually.
The Type Of Counseling Can Make The Difference
When you ask yourself, "What is the average cost of counseling?" it tends to be a question that can be hard to answer. The average cost of therapy may depend on what type of counseling you get (family vs couples vs community mental health clinics) and if your insurance coverage from your insurance company covers it.
The average cost of therapy can be hard to figure out unless you know what you want, and what comes with insurance plans like yours or other benefits like employee assistance for mental health coverage. If you're not sure about which, if any, of these resources are available to you... it might be a good idea to calculate the cost with insurance you would need to pay if you use the list of in network benefits & therapists available to you. Keep in mind that the therapy cost with insurance is not always lower than working directly with a therapist at BetterHelp.
Common Counseling Types To Consider
The type of counselor you need will vary depending on what you are hoping to get from your counseling session. This also can affect the cost of therapy per session. Remember that all counselors need to be licensed and have liability insurance; also keep in mind that having experience hours is not something to overlook and is the industry standard. Here are some types of counselors and what they specialize in:
Group counselors: Group counselors see a collective of people who benefit from learning from one another. The counselor serves as a leader and facilitates a medically reviewed discussion. The group talks through their issues with one another while the group counselor monitors the conversation.
Support groups: Support groups give people with similar life challenges the opportunity to provide insight into individuals who are going through what they experienced. They differ from a group counselor setting in that they allow others, not only the person leading the group, to actively help. Support groups allow people to speak up and create a non-judgmental environment.
Couples counselors: Couples counseling or marriage counseling helps those in a relationship resolve interpersonal conflict and can profoundly improve relationships. These counseling sessions typically happen with both parties present. That being said, they can be continued individually or even a combination of both.
Counselors for children: A children's counselor treats youth who are 17 years or younger for mental health issues. They practice counseling that's specific to the child's age group and centered around particular issues that may arise during this developmental time.
Psychologists: Psychologists work to understand behavior and the influence of your environment and ways you interact with your surroundings. This study of behavior can help to identify why you have reactions and emotions to the things around you and the place that you currently are in.
Factors That Influence Therapy Cost & How
How Much Does Therapy Cost Based On Session Length?
Some counseling programs charge by the length of the counseling session, and these counseling programs differ in rates. A 60-minute session may cost the same as a 45-minute session. A 60-minute session may cost less. It just depends. Ask a counselor about this. It can help with your cost estimates.
How Does Location Affect Price & How Much Is Therapy?
Your cost estimates for counseling for your health conditions can depend on where you live. Metropolitan areas may charge more than rural areas because the cost to live in metropolitan areas may be a lot more.
How Do Health Laws Affect Price?
There are many health laws that you can look into if you want to ensure that your insurance company complies. Here are some examples.
Mental health parity, or health parity. This happens when insurance networks are required to provide equal coverage to mental healthcare and substance abuse disorders. Many insurance providers offer parity, but sometimes, the quality may differ.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, shortened to the Affordable Care Act and also known as Obamacare, is a law that requires health insurance companies to cover mental health and substance abuse disorders.
Treatment Length With Therapists And Costs Of Therapy
Many factors can influence the cost of counseling. Below are some things that can influence what you may pay.
The Type Of Counseling You Choose
Depending on the type of counseling you choose - individual, couples, etc. - and the specialty of the therapist you are seeing, the cost may vary. Another factor to consider may be the number of sessions you are going to use throughout the year as this can affect the cost of working with a therapist as well.
Counseling For Students And Teens
If you're a teenager or student looking for counseling from a therapist, it could be beneficial to talk to your school counselor to see if there are any student health services that they can offer you for free or at a low cost.
Some counselors will let a client have a sliding scale fee, which means that they give you discounted sessions based upon your income. In many private practice settings, counselors can decide their rates for counseling, and many counselors don’t mind offering payment options for those who can’t afford traditional counseling.
If money may be a problem for you, flexible scheduling might be exactly what you need get the support you deserve from a potential therapist to start feeling better. The qualified therapist may agree to see you once every other week instead of every week. They might offer half-sessions so you can touch base for a short time or set number of sessions for a set fee and then re-evaluate the number of sessions needed again to help with counseling costs.
Where You Live Matters
The availability of mental health care from a licensed therapist depends on where you reside. Therapy costs can vary depending on location. For example, you may find that counselors in the Midwest charge are less for their services than those on the east or west coasts. It can also make a difference whether you live in a rural community or a large city. Virtual counselors may have lower costs of doing business, which can impact their fees considerably, making therapy affordable to many more people so they can choose a therapist best capable of helping them.
Therapy can be beneficial no matter where you are in life or how you're feeling. Unfortunately, mental health care can be expensive and navigating insurance policies can be tricky. Virtual counseling with BetterHelp is an affordable option that is easy to begin and convenient to integrate into your busy life.
If you would like to read more about therapy here at BetterHelp, take a look at a few other areas of our website:
- Online Therapy Explained - See why BetterHelp continues to be the global leader in therapy. Learn how easy it is set up and schedule a therapy session today. Get matched with a BetterHelp online therapist today.
- How To Find Therapy Near Me - Learn about the different types of therapy offered here at BetterHelp by a licensed therapist serving your area; whether you are looking for cognitive behavioral therapy, sliding scale therapy, or other therapy options with a clear sense of the cost. Find a therapist serving your area today.
- Articles About Therapy - Since therapy can vary, we have published a wide range of articles about this subject like the cost of therapy, what to expect during a therapy session, how to save on therapy costs, which types of therapy are best for your needs, group therapy, if you should pay for therapy, which are the best therapy programs, and where to look when a person is seeking therapy and lower cost services. Find a therapist here at BetterHelp today.
- BetterHelp Therapists & Therapy By Region - Finding therapists with open therapy practices with an acceptable rate for therapy is getting more difficult. That problem goes away when you consider working with a BetterHelp counselor as listed here at a lower cost of treatment. Browse the therapist profiles here today.