There are a number of barriers to getting therapy. One must first overcome the stigma around mental health and asking for help and then find one that you resonate with. Once you overcome these barriers there is the expense of therapy. The cost of therapy can vary but often you can find someone between the prices of $75 – $250 for a 45-60-minute session. In some cities and within different therapeutic approaches, it can be a lot more than $400 a session! Also, people often need more than one session, and it quickly adds up.
Sometimes therapy is covered through your insurance plan but often it does not cover very many sessions and may limit who you can see. Some non-profit or government funded companies offer mental health support but often they do not give you free counseling but will direct you to resources. When you are offered free counselling through government funding or work programs you often do not get to choose your therapist and therefore, they may not match your needs or personality. Often government therapists are overworked and burnt out.
There are also hotlines and crisis centers one can call when struggling with their mental health or considering suicide, again many of them are trained in crisis intervention but they are not counselors. You are not able to build up a strong therapeutic relationship with these workers, which is key to successful treatment. Some therapists also offer a sliding scale but often it is not much different than their original price and thus out of reach for many individuals who are seeking help.
There are a number of reasons why therapy is so expensive. It costs a large amount of money to become a therapist. Often people have invested many years and hundreds of thousands of dollars into their education to become one. Most therapists have their Master’s or a Ph.D. They can also spend thousands a year on continuing education to keep up to date in their field which is similar to doctors and other professionals. Also, therapists do not get paid by the hour and do not work regular 40-hour work weeks. Therapists can only bill for the time they see clients and they cannot see 40 people a week. A lot of their time is taken up with organizing client information, contacting insurance companies, administrative duties and marketing themselves. They also have a lot of cancellations. Office space is expensive along with the associated costs of running a business in a fancy office. They must also have business and liability insurance to protect them against legal actions and keeping up their registration.
As you can see several factors contribute to therapists charging a lot per session. With the expansion of technology though it has the ability to reduce the cost of mental health and well-being support.
You may be used to the traditional face-to-face therapy as the only option but now there are many different types and available treatments. An example is using Online therapy. Often online therapy has lower prices as they do not have the overhead of an office and associated fees. Technology has expanded the availability of mental health to the general public, but many people are still not aware of everything available. It can also be hard to find these resources and support when one is overcome with depression or anxiety.
There a number of different business that have popped up offering convenient, discreet and affordable access to licensed therapists. BetterHelp is one of those organizations. They change $40 -$70 a week. You can reach your therapist that you have been consciously matched with based on your needs through text, phone, or video conferencing from anytime, anywhere, through a smartphone, tablet or computer. Many other organizations are offering this option and in the future Artificial intelligence may further help to fill the gap of affordable and accessible health care.
Not only are there therapists online that can help but there are smartphone apps that can virtually address your psychological issues. Some apps can help diagnose you, monitor your mood, and administer popular therapeutic techniques such as, mindfulness, or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
Mindfulness helps you stay in the present moment using breath and grounding techniques. Meditation and mindfulness are based in Eastern philosophy, but more research is starting to solidify their ability to help with your mental health and well-being.
Cognitive behavior therapy is also a popular approach that involves identifying and challenges one’s distorted thought patterns which can be administered now through an app. Smartphone accessible health care is on the rise targeting stress, fitness, health, lifestyle, meditation, mindfulness, yoga, and other mental health and wellness needs.
As you can see although the cost of therapy can be very high there are affordable options out there. If you are struggling there is help and you deserve to have access to mental health and well-being support.