Can I Afford To See A Counselor? How Much Does Therapy Cost?
The question of "How much does therapy cost?" can be difficult to answer. It can also be the source of intense worry when you're already dealing with an emotional or mental health crisis. If you don't know the answer to the question, you might give up on seeking the help you need. Yet, there are answers to this question.
Different Therapists Charge Different Amounts
There is no specific fee that therapists are required to charge. The cost of therapy can depend on a variety of factors including what type of credentials the therapist has and their cost in running their office. Typically, therapists with the same credentials and office costs charge similar amounts. However, there is no guarantee. The best way to find out is simply to ask each counselor you're considering for your therapy.
Therapy can cost more or less depending on your geographical location. Counselors in the Midwest usually charge less for their services than those on the east or west coast, for example. It can also make a difference whether you live in a rural community or a large city. Counselors in rural areas usually charge less to accommodate patients with lower incomes. Online counselors may have lower costs of doing business, which can impact their fees considerably.
Community Mental Health Clinics and Private Practice
A counselor in a private practice nearly always charges more for therapy than community mental health clinics. Some clinics are only open to people with low incomes, so their fees are lower as well. Find out by contacting the clinic to find out if they do charge less.
Sliding Scale Therapy
Some counselors offer sliding scale fees. The amount you pay is based on your income and number of dependents. Sliding scale therapy isn't for people whose insurance covers at least a part of the cost. Instead, it's for people who don't have insurance or whose insurance doesn't cover the therapy needed.
Ask the counselors you're considering how often you'll need to come in for a session. If money is a problem for you, flexible scheduling might be the right solution. The therapist may agree to see you once every other week, instead of every week. They might offer half-sessions if they feel touching base for a shorter time can be beneficial to you.
So, How Much Does Therapy Cost, Anyway?
There is no one definitive answer to this question. You'll have to do some research by calling therapists and discussing fees. While this involves some work and time, it can ensure you get the therapy you need at a price you can afford.
The Cost of Not Getting Therapy
When you need therapy, the cost may not be as important as starting sessions right away. Without the help you need, your mental health can deteriorate rapidly. You feel worse, have more symptoms of your mental disorders, and may even take drastic measures to relieve your suffering. Putting your therapy as a top priority can help you regain your mental health and avoid problems in the future. Choosing to talk to a therapist, on the other hand, can help you feel, think, and behave in healthier, more adaptive ways.