If you’re like most people, you likely don’t think of low-cost when you think of counseling. People often assume counseling is an expensive service. This belief can get in the way of many people getting the help that they need and deserve. However, there can be plenty of options for low-cost counseling, including counseling through religious organizations, colleges, local nonprofits, sliding scale providers, health clinics, support groups, and online therapy platforms.
How Much Does Counseling Cost?
The cost of counseling often varies based on what type of mental health professional you’re working with, as well as what area you live in. It can also vary based on the credentials of the individual you’re meeting with and what funding options you have.
The average cost of therapy typically ranges from $60 to $120 for every session. Depending on the area you’re in, it could be as high as $250 for every hour.
Before you start looking at options for low-cost counseling, the best thing you can do may be to check with your health insurance company. Many health insurance companies are required to provide some coverage for mental health services.
It can be important to understand what type of coverage you have for the services because, in many cases, there are strict requirements and limitations. For example, you may only be covered for a certain number of sessions or for a certain dollar amount.
It can also be crucial that you find a mental health professional who will accept your health insurance. This is becoming increasingly more difficult for many because some mental health professionals choose not to work with insurance companies. Therefore, finding a low-cost counseling option can be important.
Low-Cost Counseling Options
Just because something is low-cost does not necessarily mean that it’s not going to be effective. Some people may believe that if they’re able to get counseling for free, it means that they’re not going to be working with professionals who know and understand what they’re talking about. But this is not always the case. There are some great low-cost options for counseling that you can consider, including the following:
1. Churches And Religious Organizations
If you attend a church or a different religious organization, you may receive counseling through the organization. However, there can be some important things to consider.
The first is generally to find out what type of experience the counseling provider has. You might find out what credentials they have for the type of counseling that you need. It may be that they can listen and offer support, but they may not know what the best treatment option for you would be. For example, if you’re having difficulty with a mental health diagnosis, this type of counseling may not be your best option.
You may also wish to find out what type of cost is involved for this type of counseling. Many times, religious organizations offer counseling for free, but this may not always be the case.
2. Colleges Or Universities
There may be free or low-cost counseling options available for you on campus if you’re a college student. Colleges and universities tend to know that the transition into the college years can be very difficult for students. Therefore, they usually make efforts to provide them with the help that they need.
This can be a great place for you to find support and learn important coping strategies for the situation you’re experiencing.
3. Local Nonprofits
Depending on the exact situation you’re experiencing and why you’re looking for therapy, there could be a local nonprofit that offers a solution for you.
An example of this may be hospice. While the organization is normally most well-known for its care of terminally ill patients, that’s not all they usually do. They may also provide grief counseling for a little over a year for families who have lost someone in hospice care.
Other nonprofits may offer counseling options, as well. If you’re living with mental health challenges because of an abusive relationship, you can look for a local nonprofit specializing in that area. If they don’t offer affordable counseling themselves, they will most likely be able to point you in the right direction.
4. Sliding Scale Professionals
A sliding scale generally means that the therapist adjusts the price of their session based on your income. This can allow those who don’t make as much money to pay a smaller fee for counseling than those who make more.
5. Health Clinics
You can also check your area for a local health clinic. This can be a great option if you have a low budget but live with a mental health challenge that requires you to have prescription medication. To get medication, there are usually only certain professionals you can work with, such as psychiatrists and physicians.
Even if you can get affordable counseling through another option on this list, you may still need to visit the health clinic to have an affordable way to get the medication you may need.
6. Support Groups
There are often many different types of support groups that you can use for therapy. However, you’re generally going to want to find out what the group’s details are before you get started. Some of these groups are led by the therapist, while others aren’t. You may need to understand what you’re looking for out of your therapy to make sure that a group is a good fit for you.
Support groups can be very beneficial because it’s usually helpful to hear that other people also go through similar situations and can understand what you’re talking about. You can also learn strategies that others have used to find success with the same problems you’re experiencing.
7. Online Counseling
These services are often more affordable than what you would have if you met in person, face-to-face with a therapist. Other benefits can come along with online counseling as well, such as being able to meet with a licensed therapist from the comfort of your own house. This can remove some of the fear from the situation for people who have never met with a therapist before.
How To Find Affordable Counseling
There are often many options for low-cost counseling if you know where to look. You can start by trying a simple search online to see what options are available in your area. If you’re not interested in seeing someone in person, you can search to see what’s available online.
It can also help to ask people you know personally if they have any recommendations for low-cost counseling. They may know of a support group or nonprofit organization that will be able to help you.
If you’re unable to find something in your area, remember that online counseling can be a great option.
Get The Help That You Deserve
Online counseling through an online therapy platform can offer you the help you deserve at an affordable price. Another potential benefit of online therapy can be the ease of switching therapists as needed until you find one you’re able to connect with.
According to a study, online therapy and in-person therapy generally have the same rates of efficacy, meaning that either one can be a valid and beneficial option for those who wish to improve their mental health.
Many people find it challenging to get affordable mental health help, but there can be many options available. For instance, you may be able to get counseling for free or at a low cost through religious organizations, health clinics, local nonprofits, colleges, support groups, sliding scale providers, and online therapy platforms.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can I get counseling with no money?
There are multiple ways to get free or affordable counseling. Here are some affordable counseling options:
- Use your insurance to have your therapy cost covered either partially or in full.
- Use your employee assistance program to cover part of your therapy cost, if applicable, for affordable counseling services.
- If you attend a religious institution such as a church, ask about free or affordable counseling services within the community.
- Visit a community center with licensed therapists or counselors that offers affordable counseling services.
- If you are a student, utilize university counseling centers.
- Try an online counseling plan such as the ones offered by ReGain.
Is there any free online counseling?
If you have a form of insurance that covers mental or behavioral health services in full, you may be able to see an affordable psychologist or therapist in your area that provides online sessions and takes your insurance.
What is the cheapest therapy?
The cheapest therapy option will depend on what’s available to you. Again, if you have a form of insurance, such as Medicaid, that covers therapy costs in full, you will be able to get free counseling by applying your insurance plan. These options include:
- Providers or counseling centers that offer sliding scale rates.
- Counseling centers or community centers with low rates who employ licensed therapists.
- Affordable counseling through an employee assistance program.
- Online counseling websites with licensed therapists like ReGain are dedicated to providing you with the best counseling services possible for an affordable rate.
For information about local resources for free or affordable counseling in the United States, call your local 211 lines.
How much does counseling cost out of pocket?
Without insurance, traditional in-person counseling can cost up to around $200 per session. Without insurance, getting affordable counseling can be tricky. Online counseling websites are one way to find affordable counseling without insurance. For the best counseling experience, it is vital to make sure that when you find affordable counseling, the website you’re on has licensed therapists. The licensed therapists at ReGain are here to help you. For more information regarding the therapy cost and plans offered by ReGain, visit the FAQ section on our website.
What do I do if I can’t afford therapy?
If you can’t afford therapy, utilize the free or affordable counseling options mentioned above, such as online therapy websites dedicated to offering the best counseling possible through licensed therapists and counselors. Additionally, remember to call your 211 lines if you’re stuck and need help locating mental health resources in your area. You may also talk to your general doctor or primary care provider to see if they know of any options near you. Free peer support options, such as support groups, are an advantageous and effective add-on to mental health services for many individuals. Don’t give up, and make sure to consider all of your options. Unfortunately, therapy cost is a barrier for many. You deserve the best counseling out there at a price that you can afford.
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