Deciding to see a therapist to address your emotional problems and/or mental health concerns using contemporary therapy may be one of the most important decisions you will make in your lifetime.
It is a hard enough decision to make for many people without also having to worry about how they are going to pay for it. Yet, professional fees can be a burden if you do not have adequate income to pay them and keep your household running at the same time.
Many people do not seek treatment because they cannot afford treatment and this is a big problem in our society. Even those with health insurance are having this problem because many do not cover mental health care at all. One solution offered by many counselors is sliding scale fee therapy. If you qualify, the scale fee structure can make it possible for you to get the help you need without making you bankrupt.
A sliding scale is a type of fee structure therapists sometimes use to give people with fewer resources a lower fee. The sliding scale fee is commonly used in many types of industries including legal service or dental care. Affordable sliding-scale therapy is not a "sale" or a "discount" that can change over time. The amount you pay for affordable scale therapy is calculated by your income. The less income you bring in each month, the less you pay for your therapy sessions.
Level Of Care
Whether you pay the full cost of your sessions or a reduced fee, the providers at your selected therapy center give you the same standard of high-quality care as clients who pay full price to attend the selected therapy center for counseling services. They make no difference in the way they treat you or the time they spend in sliding fee sessions. Many therapists do not even know who pays a sliding fee. Their billing is done by the accounting personnel rather than the therapist.
If you feel you can't pay the full price, you can present your income information and number of dependents to a social worker or other clinical psychology provider. It's worth taking advantage of sliding-fee scale therapy to get matched with a wonderful therapist that meets your needs.
Deciding how much you'll pay is a straightforward process for the therapist's office staff. If you meet the sliding scale criteria, you'll pay lower fees based on your level of need. Regardless of your income, today's mental health clients can take advantage of the sliding scale to get services for common mental health challenges like eating disorders, substance abuse, social anxiety, and to participate in family therapy.
A social worker may also direct you to other options within your chosen counseling center by offering reduced-cost stress management alternatives. A social worker can help you find the best therapist and other mental health resources beyond the sliding scale within your chosen therapy center like support groups. When you participate in support group sessions, you can discuss your challenges and relationship issues with the psychotherapy collective and like-minded clients to find solutions.
The amount you pay on a sliding scale is usually adjusted by the United States Federal Poverty Guidelines and the usual and customary fee for mental health in the geographical area where you live.
Not every sliding scale within the psychotherapy collective has the same rules. A sliding scale may require you to verify income with a pay stub. Other scales may take your word for your income. Some require that you notify the office within a certain amount of time if your financial situation changes. The sliding scale rules should be listed on an agreement that you sign with the therapist or their staff. You should always be very careful to read the agreement before signing anything, and if you have any questions, be sure to ask them to clarify. If you don't qualify for the low fees you would prefer to pay, there are other mental health resources, such as community mental health clinics and online therapy.
While seeing a therapist face-to-face may be the more traditional way to have counseling, it is also more expensive. This is because the therapist has to pay for the building they are in, utilities for that building, salaries for employees, business and office supplies, and some even have to pay for health insurance for employees. They also have to spend money on transportation to get back and forth to work.
Online therapy is so much cheaper because the therapist can work from anywhere, so they don't have to pay rent, utilities, and travel expenses. The therapist doesn't have to pay employees in most cases, and there is the added benefit of time saved because you and your therapist can "see" each other whenever you're free.
This new flexible form of online counseling breaks the barriers of typical Monday through Friday appointment times and allows for clients and therapists to connect on their own time. Getting started with online therapy is as easy as completing a quick registration process with your email address, providing information, and selecting a therapist that meets your needs.
The counseling you get online is the same as you would get in a more traditional setting. This type of therapy may be even more effective because it's so convenient. And those suffering from depression or anxiety disorders may find online therapy even more beneficial because they have a hard time going out in public.
There are other options as well. Some of these include group therapy, schools, teaching hospitals, employee programs, and chat rooms.
Of course, there are downfalls to online chat rooms as well. Without a therapist or other professional to mediate, things can be unorthodox, so you have to be prepared. But all you have to do is click one button to get out of that room. And there are a lot of options. Some chat rooms are specifically for certain subjects like depression or anxiety, while others are more general.
It's important to note that online therapy is intended for non-emergency situations only. Visit your nearest emergency room if your issue is an emergency or you're facing a life-threatening situation. If you're unable to make it to the nearest emergency room, make an emergency call to an agency like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline that can provide immediate support options 24-hours a day.
Seeking therapy can help you. Don't let finances get in the way. Whether you find a therapist who will work with you on a sliding scale, or you choose online therapy at BetterHelp, get the support you need. Take the first step.