7 Options For Low Cost Counseling
By: Stephanie Kirby
Updated January 20, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Dawn Brown
If you're like most people, you don't think of low-cost when you think of counseling. People often associate counseling with being an expensive service. This belief gets in the way of many people getting the help that they need. However, there are plenty of options for low-cost counseling to help you find the treatment you need.
How Much Does Counseling Cost?
There's no straight answer to this question. The cost of counseling 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 runs from $60 to $120 for every session. But, depending on the area you're in, it could go as high as $250 for every hour.
Before you start looking at options for low-cost counseling, the best thing that you can do is check with your health insurance company. Many health insurance companies are required to provide some coverage for mental health services. So, you're going to want to check with your company to see what type of coverage you have, if any. There are ways that companies can get around this.
It's important to understand what type of coverage you have for the services because, many times, they're going to have strict requirements and limitations. For example, you may only be covered for a certain number of sessions or a certain dollar amount. It's also important that you find a mental health professional that will accept your health insurance. This is becoming increasingly more difficult because many mental health professionals are not working with insurance companies. This is why finding a low-cost counseling option can be so important.
Low-Cost Counseling Options
Just because something is low cost does not mean that it's not going to be effective. Some people are under the belief 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.
1. Counseling Through A Church
If you attend a church or a different religious organization, you may receive counseling through the organization. There are some important things that you want to consider if you're looking at going this route.
The first is to find out what type of experience the person has that you be talking with. 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 struggling with a mental health diagnosis, this type of counseling may not be your best option.
You're also going to want to find out what type of price is involved. Many times religious organizations offer to counsel for free, but this isn't always the case.
2. Colleges Or Universities
If you're a college student, there may be free or low-cost counseling options available for you on campus. Colleges and universities know that the transition into the college years can be very difficult for students. Therefore they make efforts to provide them with the help that they need.
You should have access to a mental health professional experienced in a wide range of mental health diagnoses and life challenges. This can be a great place for you to find support and learn important coping strategies for the situation you're dealing with.
3. Local Non-Profits
Depending on the exact situation you're dealing with, and why you're looking for therapy, there could be a local nonprofit that offers a solution for you.
An example of this is hospice. While the organization is most well-known for the care that they give to terminally ill patients, that's not all they do. They also provide grief counseling for a little over a year for the family members of those who have lost someone in hospice care.
Other nonprofits offer counseling options, as well. If you're dealing with mental health challenges because of an abusive relationship, look for a local nonprofit specializing in that area. If they don't offer affordable counseling on their own, they will most likely be able to point you in the right direction.
4. Look For A Sliding Scale
Therapists are doing the job that they do because they want to help people. They understand that not everyone has health insurance that's going to provide them coverage. Therefore, many therapists work with a sliding scale.
This means that they adjust the price of their session based on your income. That allows those that don't make as much money to pay a smaller fee for counseling than those who make more. You will be paying a percentage of a therapist per hour fee based on your income level.
5. Health Clinics
Check your area for a local health clinic. These clinics usually have access to free or low-cost mental health services. This can be a great option if you have a low budget but deal with a mental health challenge that requires you to have prescription medication. To get a medication, there are only certain professionals you're going to be able to work with, including 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 need.
6. Support Groups
There are many different types of support groups that you can use for therapy. However, you're 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 must understand what it is that 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 helpful to hear that other people are going through what you went through and understand what you're talking about. You can also learn strategies that others have used to find success with the same problems you're dealing with.
7. Online Counseling
Services like Regain offer access to online counseling. These services are often more affordable than what you would have if you were meeting in person, face-to-face with a therapist. Other benefits come along with online counseling, such as being able to meet with a licensed therapist from the comfort of your own house. It also helps remove some of the fear out of the situation for people who have never met with the therapist.
The idea of sitting across from a stranger and sharing personal details of your life can be very uncomfortable. Access to a therapist online can take some of the awkwardness out of the situation.
However, it is important to note that online counseling may not be the best option for you based on what mental challenges you're dealing with. For example, if you are struggling with a diagnosis such as schizophrenia, you will need to find someone in-person to meet with instead of online. Because these companies do not have the same expenses as brick-and-mortar therapy offices, the prices are often more affordable.
How To Find Affordable Counseling
There are many options for low-cost counseling if you know where to look. You can always 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 ask people that 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 is a great option.
Get The Help That You Need
There are so many options for low-cost counseling because society is starting to realize the importance of mental health. Many things can complicate life and leave people in a position to find support or help through the situation. If you find yourself in a position like this right now, it's important that you can get the help that you need.
Start your search for one of the counseling options that's listed above in your area. Or, if you're not comfortable meeting with someone face-to-face, reach out to ReGain to find the right therapist for you.
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