Are you part of the 44.7 million Americans who suffer from mental health issues? Whether you have anxiety, depression, or one of the other numerous conditions that can affect your mind, you’re clearly not alone.
If you’ve ever confided in friends and family members, you’ve probably heard the same response over and over again: “Maybe you should go see a therapist.” But for many, this is easier said than done.
The average therapy session costs $75-150 an hour. And that’s if you’re lucky enough to not live in a place like New York City, where the average cost is upwards of $300 per hour!
Of course, that $75 isn’t a once and done cost. You’ll likely need to attend multiple sessions before you even feel a difference. So, what can you do when you just can’t afford those prices?
Luckily, cheaper therapy is available across the country. Keep reading to learn how you can find it.
1. Talk to Your Insurance Provider
Do you know what your insurance covers? Let’s face it, the terminology and fine print can make it so hard to understand what you’re actually covered for.
Your first step will be to research your insurance policy. Don’t be afraid to call your insurance provider and ask them for clarification. You may already have mental health covered under your insurance.
If that’s the case, you’ll likely only have to pay a small copay up front.
If you’re on Medicare, you may notice there are some gaps in your coverage. These gaps (including mental health care) can be filled by purchasing a Medigap coverage plan. It’ll likely still be cheaper than paying for therapy out of pocket.
2. Find a Sliding Scale Therapist
If your insurance doesn’t cover mental health services, there are still plenty of other options for you. Many therapists understand how difficult it can be to pay for services, so they offer what’s called a “sliding scale”.
This means they’ll work with you to offer a rate you can afford. Call around to therapists in your area and ask if any work on a sliding scale —y ou may be surprised how many options you have.
3. Hit Your Local Graduate School
Therapists have to be trained somewhere, right? Just like doctors and dentists in training need someone to practice on, so do future therapists.
Visit your local graduate school or a teaching hospital that offers therapy services. You’ll get huge discounts and the session will be supervised by a licensed therapist, so you know you’ll still get quality care.
4. Ask About Student Discounts
That’s right — your student ID can do more than getting you a discount at the movie theater. If you’re a current student or recent graduate, you can actually get discounts on mental health services.
There are a lot of therapists that understand the pressure of being a student or a recent grad looking for work. For this reason, they may offer their services at a cheaper rate.
You likely have a better chance of finding these discounts at therapist offices near a university, so start your search there. Of course, you never know who is willing to give discounted rates, so it doesn’t hurt to ask around even if you’re not near a school.
5. Ask If They’ll Do Pro Bono
Are you in a real financial bind? When you have trouble paying your rent or putting food on the table, paying any amount for mental health care may be impossible.
Luckily, you can still get help even if you don’t have anything to spare. Call up your local therapists and ask if any will work pro bono.
This may seem like it’s too good to be true, but many therapists are willing to donate their time for those in need.
6. Look into Community Clinics
Many cities across the country have community clinics. They are staffed with licensed psychologists, counselors, and social workers who can help with a variety of conditions, from schizophrenia to drug addiction.
These clinics are funded by the government, so they can offer services at a lower cost to you. Some are even free!
7. Consider Rapid Transformational Therapy
One reason why therapy is so expensive is that you need to continue coming back. For some, weekly appointments for a few months may be enough, while others need to continue for years.
One way to find more affordable mental health care is to opt for Rapid Transformational Therapy. This is a special type of mental health care that blends psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, NLP and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Patients can see results in as little as 1-5 sessions.
8. Research Group Therapy
While many people think of group therapy as a way to aid in drug rehabilitation, there are group therapy and support groups available to help with mental health too.
You can likely find them catered towards a specific mental health concern, such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, or depression. There are also groups for those struggling with a disease, such as cancer or HIV/AIDS, in which you could discuss the effects the disease has on your physical and mental health.
Group therapy sessions are anonymous and held regularly. They are far cheaper than traditional one-on-one therapy sessions and are sometimes even free.
How to Find Cheaper Therapy Options
Don’t neglect your mental health just because you can’t afford the average therapist fee. From taking a second look at your insurance to visiting community clinics, there are plenty of cheaper therapy options that will let you get the help you need without costing you an arm and a leg.
Are you looking for more ways to save money in your daily life? Then check out our frugal health and fitness blog page today.