How Much Does Therapy Cost?

Medically reviewed by Melissa Guarnaccia, LCSW
Updated May 25, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Paying for an online psychologist, therapy sessions, or mental health services can present a significant challenge for many individuals. There are numerous routes you can take in finding effective mental health services, and it can feel challenging to know which one to choose and how to envision the long-term process when it comes to cost. 

Mental health and mental health disorders can be complex, showcasing the need for complex solutions. Providers can work online or in person to offer support. Often, depending on your insurance and budget, online therapy can be a more budget-friendly choice for mental health care. 

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Explore Affordable And Convenient Online Therapy Options

How Much Does Therapy Cost? 

Finding a precise answer for the cost of counseling can be challenging. The average price of a therapy appointment may depend on what type of therapy you receive, such as family or couples counseling, and whether your insurance covers mental health treatment and therapist visits. 

Consider the type of treatment you seek, health insurance plan coverages, and other benefits, such as employee assistance for mental health coverage or whether you qualify for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Once you have this information, it might be beneficial to calculate the cost of various therapy options with your insurance. Ask them if they can provide you with a list of in-network therapists, or if they can send you information about out of network benefits. 

Even with assistance from your insurance company, in-person therapy prices may not be lower than working directly with a therapist online. Gather the information and compare options. Often, in-person therapy costs around $100 to $200 a session without insurance, whereas online treatment may cost about $20 to $90, depending on the platform. In addition, some in-person therapists might not accept insurance, but may offer sliding scale fees to help you treat various mental health concerns. 

Therapy Types

The type of talk therapy that suits you might vary depending on what you look to achieve with your sessions. The type of counseling might also affect the cost per session. All counselors should be licensed and have liability insurance. As part of their licensing requirements, counselors may also have thousands of supervised clinical hours in the field. You can consider a few types of therapists, including the following. 

Group Therapists

Group therapists oversee a group of clients to teach a therapeutic modality, offer support, or discuss common symptoms. The therapist can serve as a leader and facilitates a medically reviewed discussion. The group then talks through their challenges with one another while the counselor monitors the conversation. Group therapy can be beneficial, as it allows individuals to socialize and find connections with others, potentially reducing loneliness. 

Support Groups 

Support groups offer those with similar life challenges the opportunity to provide insight to individuals who are going through what they experienced. Support groups differ from a group counseling setting in that they may not be led by a licensed counselor and could allow group participants to offer support or advocacy for one another. Support groups can allow individuals to work together to create a non-judgmental environment.

Couples Counselors

Couples or marriage therapy may help those in a relationship resolve interpersonal conflicts and improve relationships. These sessions often occur with both parties present. However, they can also be one-on-one sessions or a combination of both.

Youth Counselors 

A child counselor treats youth under 18 for mental health concerns. They may practice therapy specific to the child's age group centered around a particular issue or mental health diagnosis that may arise during development.

Individual Therapists  

Individual therapists often support clients in understanding behavior, the influence of their environment, and how they interact with their surroundings. This study of behavior might help you identify why you are experiencing specific thoughts or behaviors.  

How Much Does Each Therapy Type Cost? 

Depending on the type of therapy, average cost can vary. Support groups are often free, whereas therapy groups with counselors may require a fee. Often, group therapy is cheaper than individual therapy, as the therapist can divide the cost between multiple clients. Treatment programs like rehabilitation or long-term retreats may cost more than regular group therapy.  

Some therapy programs determine costs by the length of the session, and these programs can differ in rates. Depending on the therapist, a 60-minute session may cost the same or more than a 45-minute session. Inquire about the rates and options at every clinic, practice, or online venue you seek out.

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Determining How Much Therapy Could Cost 

Many factors can influence the cost of therapy. Below are examples of what might influence the price of a therapy session.

The Type Of Counseling You Choose

The cost may vary depending on the type of therapy you choose and the specialty of the therapist you are seeing. Another factor to consider is the number of sessions you hope to schedule throughout the year. If you are looking for medication management, this service could also impact the cost of the session. How much does a psychiatrist cost? Note that psychiatrists are the only mental health professional that can offer medication prescription or management. 

Sliding Scale Options 

After an initial session, some counselors may let their patients pay on a sliding scale system, allowing discounted sessions based on income. In many practice settings, counselors can decide their rates for therapy, and many counselors hope to support underprivileged individuals by offering easy options. 

Flexible Scheduling Options 

If money is a struggle, flexible scheduling could allow you to get the support you seek from a potential therapist. For example, a qualified therapist may agree to see you once every other week instead of every week. They might offer half-sessions, so you can connect for a short time, or give the option of several sessions for a set fee.

Where You Live

A licensed therapist's availability of mental healthcare may depend on where you reside. Cost can also vary. For example, you may find that counselors in the Midwest charge less for their services than those on the East or West Coast. It can also make a difference whether you live in a rural community or a populated city. Depending on where you live, online mental health counseling can be an affordable alternative option.

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Explore Affordable And Convenient Online Therapy Options


Perhaps you feel unsure about attending therapy in person or which resources to use to locate a provider. Finding a therapist can feel stressful. However, there are alternative options to traditional in-person therapy. Virtual therapy can be a valuable option for those looking to preserve their budget, even if their insurance doesn't cover virtual therapy. 

Online therapy has been proven as effective in treating many mental health conditions as in-person therapy, and there may be positive benefits to receiving virtual support. Due to cut overhead costs, such as rent for office space, online treatment may be less expensive than in-person therapy. Therapy costs with an online platform like BetterHelp are $60 to $90 per week (billed every four weeks) but may be higher based on individual preferences, location, and therapy availability. You can also apply for financial aid. 

Learning the cost of therapy and how to fit it into your budget can be crucial. If these costs seem high to you, talk to patient services at your insurance provider about your out-of-pocket expenses and see if your therapist accepts insurance. You also might be able to count treatment towards your deductibles or get help with out-of-pocket costs to cover mental healthcare.


Therapy can address mental health conditions, stress, life changes, worries, and other challenges. However, some forms of treatment can be expensive. Virtual therapy with an online platform may allow an affordable and convenient way to integrate therapy into your life.

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