How Much Does Therapy Cost? BetterHelp Therapy

Updated November 16, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Paying the typical cost for a therapy session (or mental health therapist services) can be a major challenge for many people. You may wonder about the cost per session. Several mental health professionals provide therapy, and it can be difficult to know which one to choose and to see long term based on cost. You may only be familiar with a traditional face-to-face counseling psychologist.

But there are many different types of mental health treatment and countless practitioners who provide counseling through online therapy services. Are you ready to see a therapist? Read on for information before your first therapy session.

Explore Affordable And Convenient Online Therapy Options

How Is Online Therapy Affordable?

We want to make virtual therapy affordable here at BetterHelp, and you might be wondering about an online counseling chat cost. Each type of practice helps you grow as a person. BetterHelp and our mental health therapy services strive to make virtual therapy a pleasant and affordable experience for all individuals, regardless of your medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. What are the prices of therapy what amount should you expect to pay, and what price is therapy generally?

The cost of therapy ranges from $60 to $90 per week (billed every four weeks) but may be higher based on your preferences, location, and therapy availability. It's worth noting that online therapy is not billed by the hour, instead by the session.

Counseling and mental health sessions generally happen once a week.

In comparison, going to see in-person therapy is priced at an average of $75-$150 per session. If that works for your budget and is the amount you were expecting to pay… you can browse the therapist’s profiles and find one who works for your needs for your therapist first session. Once you’ve selected the virtual therapist for your needs, it’s up to them to determine if you’re a client they can service.

How Much Does Therapy Cost? BetterHelp Users

Would therapy cost me much? Therapy costs are $60 to $90 per week (billed every 4 weeks / monthly) but may be higher based on individual preferences, your location, and therapy availability. This is still cheaper than most traditional therapy, which is priced between $75 and $200 per session or more, depending on your mental health provider. Learning the cost of therapy and ways to fit it into your budget is a crucial step. If these costs seem high to you, talk to patient services at your insurance provider about your out of pocket costs and see if your therapists accept insurance. You might be able to count treatment towards your deductibles, or get help with out of pocket costs to cover mental health care.

More Affordable And Convenient Therapy

You may be afraid of going to therapy and not knowing how or where to find health resources to locate a provider. Getting care and help for your mental health shouldn’t be an added stressor. Virtual therapy 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 therapy virtually. Talk to your doctor for more information about the types of therapy they can recommend for you. Your mental health is important, and you deserve to experience the support you need for your mental health concerns.

The Type Of Therapy Session Can Make The Cost Difference

When you ask yourself, “How much will this therapy cost me?” or “Does insurance cover therapy?” they tend to be a questions that can be hard to answer with certainty. The average cost of a therapy appointment may depend on what type of therapy you get (family vs couples vs community mental health clinics) and if your insurance coverage from your insurance company or insurance plan covers mental health and therapist visits.

So, how much does therapy cost? The average cost can be hard to figure out unless you know what you want, and what comes with health insurance plans like yours or other benefits like employee assistance for mental health coverage if you have a mental illness or mental health diagnosis. If you’re not sure about which, if any, of these mental health services 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 through your insurance company. Keep in mind that the therapy prices even with assistance from your insurance company and mental health coverage plan are not always lower than working directly with a therapist at BetterHelp. Continue reading to learn more.

Common Therapy Types To Consider

The type of talk therapy you need will vary depending on what you are hoping to get from your therapy session. This also can affect the cost 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 therapists: Group therapists see a collective of people who benefit from learning from one another. The therapist 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 therapy or marriage therapy helps those in a relationship resolve interpersonal conflict and can profoundly improve relationships. These 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 therapy 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 the influence of your environment and the 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.

Therapists Factor Into Cost

Some therapy programs determine costs by the length of the session, and these 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.

What Impact Does Location Have On Price & How Much Is Therapy?

Your price estimates for counseling for your health conditions can depend on where you live. Metropolitan areas may charge more for sessions overall than rural areas because affordability to live in metropolitan areas may be a lot more in comparison to rural areas. Online counseling is an affordable alternative option.

How Do Health Laws Affect Costs?

There are many health laws that you can look into if you want to ensure that your insurance company complies. Here are some examples.

Counselors for children: A children’s counselor treats youth who are 17 years or younger for mental health issues. They practice therapy 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 the influence of your environment and the 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.

Treatment With Therapists And Costs

Many factors can influence the cost of therapy, which is important to note when looking for affordable therapy, low cost therapy, or even free therapy. Below are some things that can influence what you may pay for a therapy session.

The Type Of Counseling You Choose

Depending on the type of therapy 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. If you are looking for medication management, this could impact the cost of the session as well.

Sliding Scale

Some counselors will let their patients have a sliding scale fee after they give a mental health diagnosis (potentially of mental illness), which means that they give you discounted sessions based on your income. In many private practice settings, counselors can decide their rates for therapy, and many counselors don’t mind offering payment options for those who can’t afford traditional therapy.

Flexible Scheduling With A Therapist

If money may be a problem for you, flexible scheduling might be exactly what you need to 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 several sessions for a set fee and then re-evaluate the number of sessions needed again to help with therapy prices.

Explore Affordable And Convenient Online Therapy Options

Where You Live Matters

The availability of mental health care from a licensed therapist depends on where you reside. Therapy prices 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 prices 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.

Conclusion: Cost Of Therapy

Therapy can be beneficial no matter where you are in life or what you’re feeling, whether you have a mental illness or are looking for support. Unfortunately, mental health care can be expensive and navigating insurance policies can be tricky. Virtual therapy with BetterHelp is an affordable option that is easy to begin and convenient to integrate into your busy life, one of its main differentiators from in-person treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is therapy really expensive?

In general, therapy rates vary based on the frequency of your sessions, if there is health insurance coverage, location, and preferences. As far as website services and online therapy platforms are concerned, BetterHelp costs range from $60 to $90 per week (billed every four weeks). In comparison, in-person therapy is priced at an average of usually $100 to $250 per session and may contain sliding scale fees. Location also plays a role in the cost. Living in Los Angeles versus New York could have an impact on the overall cost of your session. This is why telehealth services and virtual mental health services can be a great choice for those looking to support themselves and participate in self care, while remaining cognizant of their financial situation. Regardless, therapy with someone who has expertise in the area will almost always be above $50.

For more high demand services such as an appointment with psychiatrists, it can be helpful to get a referral from your therapist, and most cases range from $70 or $80 an appointment to $300. Some conditions that benefit from consultation from this level are schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder. There are often treatments for the pain, but doctors will diagnose case by case. Some clients will use CBT, other cases might use medicaid depending on the level of severity, the content of diagnosis, how high in demand the medication or therapy may be, where the office is, and what training the therapists have.

Are therapists and psychologists the same thing?

The term therapist represents all professions within the area of psychotherapy, so psychologists can be referred to as therapists; however, this does not mean that all therapists are psychologists. Psychologists could be those practicing therapy, but many actually just conduct research while all therapists tend to have therapy practices and practice some form of therapy.

What is a therapy session?

A therapy session is a safe space where one meets with a therapist or counselor to resolve problematic behaviors, work through traumatic experiences, understand relationship problems, and manage one’s emotions, feelings, and beliefs. There are many types of therapy that can occur during a session. Whether you are in talk therapy, sex therapy, art therapy, depression therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or any other method to treat mental health disorders, the session typically involves meeting with a therapist to work through issues that are preventing you from living your fullest life. There is also always the option of group therapy if you prefer to work through mental health conditions (such as post traumatic stress disorder or grief) or issues that others are experiencing as well.

How often should you go to therapy?

How often you should attend therapy depends on what your goals are and the plan you work through with your therapist or counselor. Now, does insurance cover therapy? In the United States, your health insurance provider may have a limit to the number of sessions one can attend each week that would be covered with their health plan or may have a specific sliding scale therapy plan for those with a limited income.

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