Sliding Scale Therapy Near Me And Other Affordable Alternative Options

By Stephanie Kirby

Updated September 04, 2019

If "sliding scale therapy near me" is on your recent search history it's probably because you're looking for affordable therapy options. With the cost of mental health services rising around the country, many people are searching for alternative options that won't break the bank. A common option that people turn to is sliding scale fees. This can be a great option, but there are plenty of other options out there to consider as well when you know what to look for.

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Cost of Therapy

According to a recent study, between the years 2017 and 2018, the average cost of a therapy session with a psychologist increased. Depending on what state you live in the average session now ranges from $100 to $200. This can add up fast when you're working on gaining control of or overcoming a mental health challenge.

There are many things that are getting in the way of more affordable health care. While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was supposed to address the problem, it didn't solve it completely. There are more health insurance companies now that provide some type of coverage for services such as therapy visits. But there are still many people that have no coverage or limited coverage to these services.

In fact, the cost of therapy is one of the major hurdles stopping people from getting the help that they need. This is why it's important to understand what your options are for affordable mental health services. Alternative options and sliding scale therapy can help you get the help that you need without hitting your budget too hard.

What is Sliding Scale Therapy?

Sliding scale therapy is simply therapy sessions priced based on your income level. So, the therapist has a set price that they charge for their sessions. However, that price will be adjusted for you based on your annual income.

That means people who make less money have a lower fee than those who make more. While this may not seem fair to those that have higher income, it provides an opportunity for those that might not be able to afford a therapy session otherwise to be able to get help.

Keep in mind that sliding scale fees are usually established for patients that do not have health insurance coverage. These are people that are self-paying clients. Here's an example of how a sliding scale fee would work:

Imagine that a therapy session is $150. However, you have no health insurance coverage and the therapist offers a sliding scale for your session. So, the lowest amount they charge is $70. For every additional $10,000 that you make over $50,000 annually, your fee adds on an additional $10. So only those making $130K or more are paying $150/session. This is just an example, so you need to make sure that you ask your therapist how their sliding scale works and what the limits are.

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How to Find Affordable Therapy

With the cost of therapy rising you might be looking for a way to find affordable therapy. Thankfully, there are many different types of therapy available and you may be able to find relief from your symptoms without needing to pay more than you want. Here are some ways that you can find more affordable therapy if you're really looking for one-on-one sessions with a therapist.

Mental Health Clinics

Many counties throughout the country offer mental health clinics for residence. This allows you to meet with a psychologist at an extremely reduced cost. One thing to keep in mind is mental health clinics can be very busy because there are many people trying to get in for affordable care.

If you want to go to a mental health clinic, make sure that you call ahead of time and understand their office hours and the way that the system works.

Those Just Starting Out

It can also be more affordable to work with a recent graduate instead of a therapist that has years of experience. Often, they are working under the direction of a more experienced psychologist, so you're still able to get quality care. However, it also usually comes with a reduced rate.

University or School Counselors

If you are attending a university or are looking for affordable therapy for one of your children, school counselors can be a great alternative. Most schools have someone on staff or at least have a list of professionals that they can refer you to. Sometimes these are no cost professionals because your child is in the school, or it will be a very reduced rate.

Alternative Options to Therapy


Self-care isn't necessarily an alternative therapy option, it's something that everyone should be doing. Proper self-care can go a long way in helping you to maintain control of your mental health disorder or overcome things like anxiety, depression, and even help with relationship issues.

And, the best part of self-care is it's free. Self-care is simply taking care of yourself. It's making sure that you eat foods that nourish your body instead of feeding yourself with things like fast food and sweets all the time. It's making sure that you eat the right amount of food each day instead of too much or too little.

Self-care is also making sure that you get the proper sleep that you need at night so you can be rested during the day and getting physical activity. Exercise helps boost your mood and can help you control things like anxiety and depression. It doesn't have to be a hard workout session that you do, it could be going for a walk.

Self-care can also include things like journaling, meditation, mindfulness, and spending time with family and friends.

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Aromatherapy can be an affordable alternative option to therapy. For many people aromatherapy alone is not going to be enough to address life challenges that they're facing, but it can be a useful thing to use in addition to other forms of therapy.

Certain scents have been known to help boost mood, relieve anxiety and stress, and help people relax.

Support Animals

Some people find relief for mental health challenges with the help of a support animal. Many times people think of dogs as emotional support pets, but there are also people that benefit from things such as horse therapy.

Spending time with and caring for an animal can help to take your mind off of the challenges that you're facing while also allowing you to relax and lower your anxiety levels.

Support Groups

If one-on-one therapy is out of your price range, you may be able to find a support group that is more affordable or even free. The important thing when looking for a support group is that you find one that has people dealing with similar situations as you. There are many support groups, both in person and online, that treat many different kinds of mental health challenges.

These groups can be helpful because they make getting help more affordable and it also allows you to learn from others who are experiencing the same symptoms as you.

Online Therapy

Online therapy is another option that could be more affordable than meeting in face with a psychologist. One of the benefits is that you have faster access and can communicate in between sessions with your therapist. And, for many people, this option is going to be more affordable.

However, it's important to keep in mind that not all mental health disorders should be treated with online therapy. While it can be a good supplement to traditional treatment, there are some conditions that will have better results with in-person therapy. There are also some forms of therapy that cannot be done without being in person. But, for those that can be treated through online services, it can be a more affordable form of therapy that still gets you great results.

Affordable Care is Possible

Remember that if you are interested in talking with a therapist you shouldn't let anything stand in your way. There are options for affordable therapy out there. Knowing what your options are as well as the things that you can do at home to help improve your situation will go a long way in you getting the help that you need.

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Don't be afraid to ask a mental health professional if they have options to make their services more affordable for you. If they don't offer sliding scales themselves or if you still can't afford it, they may be able to refer you to another option. And, if you want to give online counseling a try, there are Regain counselors that are able to work with you from the comfort of your own home. With all of the technology options that we have now, it's never been easier to get the help that you need for your mental health. And it's not something that you should put aside because you don't have the funds. Prioritize your mental health and look for an affordable solution that meets your needs.

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