The average cost for therapy is $100 per session. Hiring a therapist for relieving or healing, you will likely spend between $50 and $150 per session. The price of therapy can vary greatly by region (and even by zip code). View our local therapists or get free estimates from pros near you.
Therapy, in all its diverse offerings, has the goal of relieving or healing disorders, and of rehabilitating individuals and helping them function better socially. There are many different types of therapy one can sign up for to reach that intended goal, and the cost of the therapy will depend on the accreditation of the therapist and the methods used. For the sake of succinctness, this post will not include the costs of seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist. It will, however, include various forms of therapy for emotional struggles with life’s upheavals—such as depression, anger management, cognitive behavior, and marriage/couples therapy.
The main thing to keep in mind when researching the best fit for your therapy is your goals—what would you like the end result to be once the series of therapy sessions is over? Do you want to learn and implement behavioral techniques that help conquer stress, overeating, or anger; do you want to process your path of grief in a healthy way; do you and your spouse need to learn great communication tools that you are then accountable to use? No matter which goal you have in mind, you can usually find the best therapist to help you within a few miles of your home or workplace.
The cost of a session will ultimately reflect the accreditation of the therapist, years in practice, location costs, length of a regular session, and reputation. Most sessions last for fifty minutes. Some sample pricing from around the country is:
Bethel Family & Youth Resource Center in Newark, NJ, offers integrated services for substance abuse and mental health problems. With ten employees, it charges $50/session and also works with your insurance and offers a sliding scale price.
Hope Alive Christian Counseling in Houston, TX, offers individual therapy for healing from trauma issues, and couples counseling. She charges $150/session and takes insurance.
Decision Point Counseling in Bellflower, CA, offers treatment of depression and stress, couples and family therapy, grief counseling, and addiction therapy. They charge $140/session and also charge a sliding scale price and take insurance.
When it comes to strengthening the relationship, individual therapy is great for addressing personal emotional triggers, but couples therapy can be invaluable because you get to work through your issues and come up with solutions together rather than take a stand against issues within the relationship on your own.
Faye Miller in Ambler, PA, offers cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety and depression, and couples counseling. She charges an average $75-$100/session, and says “My mission is to offer psychotherapy/counseling to those with challenging financial limitations, high deductibles, co-pays, no mental health insurance, or the desire to keep your MH therapy private.”
New Life Counseling Service in Aurora, CO, offers treatment of depression, stress, and sexual abuse, couples and family therapy, grief counseling, and addiction therapy. She charges $100/session or $125/session for couples.
Some counseling centers and therapists offer group therapy when they feel that the group’s collective experiences can help the individuals in it move forward. Group members encourage each other, grow better communication skills concerning their needs and struggles, and provide a good sounding board for their individual thought processes. Therapists like Karen Hoving in Aurora, CO, organize small groups for clients with specific struggles, such as PTSD or chronic illness. She also offers anonymous online groups or Skype phone groups.
Follow Your Heart Counseling in Spring, TX, offers, in addition to her conventional therapy, a small group setting for clients called a family constellation, during which “other people in the group assume the roles, or representations, for the person’s family members or other issues.” She also offers a package deal: “Research shows that 6 sessions is an average amount of sessions required to see improvement. Because of that I am offering a package of 6 sessions for the price of 5.” Her standard fee is $100/session, making that a saving of $17 off each session.
It’s recommended that you do one session per week at first and then decide on the frequency after that with your therapist. Some therapy is quick and fixes the emotional pain in no time, while longer treatment, such as journaling, art therapy, and group therapy, heals you over months. Much of it depends on what caused the issues in the first place and whether your treatment is focused on the past, the present, or both.
If you have insurance that covers therapy, know going in what your deductible is, how many sessions per year the plan covers, what the coverage amount is per session, and if approval is required from your primary physician. Some companies offer to cover the cost of therapy through their employee plan, and some family insurance policies include mental health coverage.
Many therapists are happy to work with you without insurance coverage, and many even offer a discount if you pay at the time of the session. Some do not take credit card payments but will take cash or checks. Most of them also set a sliding scale price based on your yearly income. Others offer payment plans.
Most therapists will charge you the full cost of the session if you do not give them at least 24-48 hours advance notice of a cancellation. Some also cancel a session if you are a certain amount of time late.
Some colleges or local agencies and nonprofits provide free or deeply subsidized therapy.
A simple online search for “free counseling local” can provide you with a list of low-cost to free counseling in your area. For example, Alan Rudolph in Encino, CA, is one of the state-paid therapists in California who provides free therapy for gamblers or anyone affected by their gambling. Kibou Counseling in Chesterfield, MO, has “scholarships available for those with demonstrated financial need.”
Some therapists make their free resources available in the form of online links, reading material, and local groups.
Your therapist should provide you with a confidential disclosure agreement before any sessions begin, guaranteeing that anything you share will not be discussed with anyone else. However, you may want others on your healthcare team to be informed of your progress—doctors, psychiatrist, attorney, etc., but you must give your written permission for the therapist to do so. State law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain utmost confidentiality except for cases of suspected abuse, or if the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or threatened to harm another person, which must be reported.
Each therapist will have a set list of issues they enjoy helping with, or have more experience with. For example, Alan Rudolph can help with the struggle of helping aging parents, diversity/otherness, and gang recovery. Bethel Family & Youth Resource Center provides youth services, employment partnerships, mentorship for those returning from incarceration, and HIV counseling. Faye Miller can help with life transitions, obesity and weight reduction, and life coaching.
Many counselors do online sessions, which can cost less and also remove the need to dress up, drive, park, and leave the dog at home alone. This is an especially helpful option for those with a chronic illness—when even a simple thing like getting into a car hurts or uses up the energy for the entire day. Karen Hoving offers a free one-hour phone, Skype, or Facetime consultation first, and then continues with weekly sessions online. Payment is made through PayPal after each session. New Life Counseling Service says “My intention is to reach as many people as I can. I want to offer my services to anyone who is in need, no matter where you reside. Therefore, I am making that possible through Skype.” She also offers home-based counseling services.
Ultimately, the sooner you deal with your pain/addiction/relationship issues, the sooner you will be in a new place of freedom and emotional-mental wellness. No matter what the cost is, there is a price—even free services—available to help you through.
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