Like many other essential healthcare services, therapy is usually not free. So, how much does therapy cost? While it’s impossible to give an exact answer due to factors like insurance, area, and service, this post will provide you with an idea of what to expect.
Why People Seek Therapy
The issue you’re experiencing likely determines the best course of treatment. There are many approaches to counseling, some that are more expensive or easier to access than others. Let’s first discuss some common reasons people seek therapy or how to know if you need therapy.
Reasons people may seek therapy:
- Physical changes or disruptions in appetite or sleep
- Difficulty processing emotions
- Feeling alone or stuck in life
- Decreased functioning affecting work, school, or relationships
- Struggles in building and maintaining relationships
There are many reasons people seek professional mental health help and these are just some examples. The cost of therapy is often a factor in the decision.
Factors that Can Affect How Much Therapy Costs
The average cost of therapy in the U.S. ranges from $100 to $200 per hour-long session (depending on the state). But, depending on whether your insurance covers therapy, people could pay anywhere from a $20-$50 copay per session to having their sessions completely covered by insurance.
What’s the explanation for this range in prices? Various factors can affect the price of therapy sessions.
Factors that can influence the cost of therapy:
- Therapist Training and Expertise – Some approaches to therapy require extensive training or equipment that can be costly.
- Therapist Reputation – If a therapist is known in the community to be effective in their treatment, they may see an influx of clients. Due to higher demand, these therapists may charge more per session.
- Location and Time – Where is therapy taking place? If your sessions are through an online platform, such as Zoom, or if they’re in an office, you may see a difference in prices. Since the costs of having a physical space are generally higher than meeting via an online platform, this could make a difference in pricing. Additionally, you may see prices change based on what time of day or day of the week the sessions are. Some therapists prefer working on weekdays, so they might charge extra for weekend sessions.
- Number and Length of Sessions – Depending on what concerns you have, your course of therapy may be more long-term, or it could be a shorter course of treatment. Generally, more sessions equal more money owed.
- Insurance Coverage – Insurance plans are increasing their coverage of mental health services due to a wider recognition of the necessity of counseling and therapy for the general population. Check with your provider to see if your insurance plan covers therapy.
Options for Paying for Therapy
What’s the best way to pay for therapy? It depends on your situation. But when it comes to paying for therapy, you have options.
Ways to pay for therapy include:
- Out of Pocket – If you can pay directly from your bank account, that’s a great way to pay for therapy sessions.
- Employee Assistance Programs – Companies use these programs to give employees low-cost or free therapy sessions, paid for by the employer. These plans usually include a set amount of free sessions with a therapist in the employee’s area. While this is helpful for acute stressors, it doesn’t include long-term therapy.
- Insurance – Insurance usually covers a portion of the cost of therapy sessions with agencies or therapists in network. This coverage means certain insurance companies cover specific providers in their network. But they won’t cover providers who are out of their network.
- Sliding Scale – Some therapists work off of a sliding scale fee system. This scale means that, depending on your situation, finances, and income, your therapist will adjust the price you pay per session based on what works for both of you.
- Government Assistance – Depending on your income level, area, and availability of governmental assistance, you may be able to enroll in a government-assisted program that can pay for some or all of the cost of therapy.
- Ask your Therapist – If you’ve found a therapist you feel comfortable with but are concerned about the cost, discuss it with them. They might be able to switch to a sliding fee scale for your sessions, or they may recommend another therapist they trust who is more affordable.
Related Resources: Therapists Who Accept Sliding Scale Payment
Why Therapy is Worth the Expense
The process of paying for therapy can be confusing and perhaps even frustrating. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek treatment. The value of therapy is much greater than the cost.
Therapy can enhance value in your life by:
- Improve Your Quality of Life – Your healing process is uniquely yours. Your therapist will work with you to discover your goals, and then you’ll work toward them together. Your goals may include feeling better or reducing symptoms, which your therapist can assist you in doing.
- Boost Self-Esteem and Confidence – Therapy can help you address issues with your self-image or the way you see yourself. Your therapist can present you with a gentle, honest evaluation of your situation after getting to know you.
- Help You Learn Coping Skills – While coping skills could include things like baths, spa days, and self-care, they also include more intensive tools that alleviate your symptoms.
- Provide Relief – Your therapist will work with you to bring you relief from your trauma, depression, anxiety, or other mental health symptoms you’re experiencing. This individualized plan can help you feel better and even thrive in your life.
How All Counseling Can Help
The cost of therapy shouldn’t deter you from seeking help. This process doesn’t have to be a struggle. All Counselors has an online therapist directory to help you find a therapist in your area who takes your insurance or specializes in what you need.