When we think about health, mental health should be as important as the physical one. A mental health problem should be addressed with the same promptitude as a physical health problem. The biggest problem with psychological therapy, when it isn’t stigma, is money. Therapy costs, and sometimes a lot.
The first issue that needs to be addressed is prejudice. We might feel that paying for therapy is not worthy. Some might think that therapists only want to empty your pockets and tell you what to do with your life. Therapists don’t tell you what to do. They are healers, and all they want is to help you heal your soul. Psyche was the soul’s personification in Ancient Greece. And yes, they need to be paid just like any other healer.
The cost of a therapy session varies for multiple reasons: the type of therapy, the number of patients involved, the therapist’s credentials, the city the therapists lives in, the area of the city, if he/she works in an individual practice or a big clinic, the insurance company he/she/the clinic works with or if he works with one, the patients’ insurance, and even on how much the patient earns.
Also, online therapy is much more affordable than in-person therapy. $35 to $50 for online therapy versus $75 to $150 for in-person therapy. BetterHelp gives you all the options and the help you need to find the therapy that best suits you.
Therapy and insurance
Medicaid and Medicare are the only governmental insurances that will pay back a therapist. Employee Assistance Plan can give you the chance for a limited number of free sessions through your employee insurance. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay for your therapy.
Sometimes you may need to pay for your therapy even if you have insurance. Some therapists don’t want to get stuck in the complicated process where the insurance only refunds the sessions after the therapy, so they will ask you to pay upfront and then you wait for the insurance to pay you back. You also have to pay for your therapy sessions if your insurance doesn’t cover any kind of therapy and/or it covers only a limited number of sessions.
Copayments or deductibles are complicated. Both therapists and patients prefer to have nothing to do with this frustrating process. And sometimes it might seem easier to just pay for your mental care by yourself if you afford it.
Sliding Scale Therapy is a concept that allows the therapist to charge you accordingly to your revenue. If you have a small income, then your session charge will be smaller and vice versa. But it is only available for patients without insurance or whose insurance doesn’t cover any number of therapy sessions or the type of therapy you need. If your insurance covers any number of therapy sessions, then Sliding Scale Therapy isn’t an option for you.
Mental health parity and the Affordable Care Act are the tow laws you should become familiar with if your mental health is impaired or you suffer from a substance abuse disorder. Those are the laws the protect your mental health wellbeing. The health insurance companies are conditioned by those laws to create alternatives for mental care. But you should be aware of the quality, as it can be quite poor when it comes to the type of care insurance provides.
The therapy you need and can afford
Although finding low-cost therapy is possible, it isn’t a walk in the park, unless you do your homework or you know someone that can guide you through the process. You have to research in two directions: finding the type of therapy you need and the one you can afford. Most of the time, the two get mixed and you might have to compromise. Especially when you can’t afford the one you need. But don’t let this stop you, find the next best.
There are several types of therapy you could choose from and you should know as much as possible about all of them so you can make the right choice according to your problem and needs.
Individual Therapy Psychologists work with the patients to help them understand themselves and to help them cope with those understandings. Their particular psychological patterns and behaviors and the interdependency between them and the environment they live in.
Psychologists usually work on one-on-one therapy sessions to create a safe space where the patient can confront his/her burdens and fears. An individual session can cost $75 to $175 per hour. Psychoanalysis is the base form of individual therapy, but there are also various techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).
Psychoanalysis might prove the be the most expensive one and it also lasts longer than the other forms of therapy. Some clients do it for years.
Therapists for children work with children under the age of 17. They are specialized in children and teenagers’ psychology. Children and teens have very different internal structures than adults, both cognitive and emotional. You can pay between $45 and $200 per session.
Couples therapy is meant for couples struggling with differences or trauma but also for the couple’s wellbeing and evolution. The therapists usually work with both of the partners at once, but they can also engage in one-on-one sessions if the couples seem up to it. $50 to $250 per hour is the usual cost.
Art therapy, Talk-therapy, Anger Management Therapy are different types of therapy that can be done individually as well as in groups. The charge differs given the option. They might prove less expensive than the alternatives mentioned above.
Group therapy and Support therapy are either free of charge or low-cost options for getting therapy. They share common ground in that those participating get the chance to share their experiences with people that have been through similar situations. They differ in that a Support group participant can actively help others, while in Groups only the therapist is allowed to do that.