The Cost Of Therapy Is A Common Barrier
In any given year, millions of Americans are impacted by mental health challenges. One in five people experiences a mental health issue each year, with 1 in 20 people experiencing a severe mental health condition. Mental health issues dont just affect adults eithereach year, 1 in 6 kids aged 6-17 experience a mental health issue.
Choosing The Right Online Therapy Service For You
When choosing the right online therapy platform, there are several important factors to compare.
Cost – Compare plans to find one that offers the most important features and benefits for you at the least cost. Are video calls included? Do you have unlimited messaging? Will your insurance cover your sessions or is there financial aid available?
Features – Compare main features, such as video chat and end-to-end encrypted messaging, and also supplementary features, like journaling and mental health resources.
Privacy – Online therapy isnt as tightly regulated as other telehealth services. Some providers share certain data with third parties, like Facebook. Do some research online to see what kind of information is being collected and shared.
Communication – Do you prefer text messages or voice calls? What about video calls? Can you message your therapist at any time? Is there a smartphone app?
Ease of use – You’ll likely use this app frequently and over a long period. Make sure its easy to use and understand and that user support is available if you need it.
What Are The Benefits Of Online Therapy
- Accessibility. Anyone with an internet connection can participate in online therapy.
- Time efficiency. Online therapy and counseling eliminates travel time between appointments or support group meetings. You can also mold it to your schedule and dont have to call out sick to work to make it to your appointment.
- Cost effectiveness. Online therapy can be cheaper than in-person visits, and most health insurances cover part of the cost.
- Eliminates geographical barriers. If your ideal therapist resides in another state or country, you can still get treatment with them as long as theyre licensed in the state you live in.
- Comfort. Some people might find it easier to open up to a therapist when theyre in the privacy and comfort of their own home.
- Safety. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth eliminates the risk of potential exposure.
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Free Or Low Income Mental Health Services
If you dont have health insurance, and you cant pay out of pocket for mental health care, low fee or free community mental health clinics can provide the care you need.
These clinics are staffed by psychotherapists and psychologists but often are able to expand their services through the use of student psychologists, student mental health counselors, and student social workers who are supervised by licensed, experienced professionals. Services are often provided at no cost or at a remarkably reduced rate.
At the clinics, mental health professionals offer a variety of services, including individual and family counseling, medication management, and substance use disorder counseling. Theyre also trained to treat a wide range of psychological conditions, like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
Similar to in-person therapy, fees for online therapy vary. Talkspace fees are as low as $65 per week, while BetterHelp charges between $60 and $90 per week. However, some apps might also have hidden fees or additional subscription fees.
According to the APA, online therapy may be as helpful as meeting with a therapist in person. However, this type of care isnt for everyone.
The APA cautions that people with more serious mental health conditions, like schizophrenia, PTSD, and substance use disorder, often need more attention and care than remote treatment offers.
Finding Culturally Competent Therapy
When you face racism, it helps if your therapist understands how racism affects mental health. Our racism information explains what culturally competent therapy is, and has more suggestions for finding support.
Online or digital therapy
You may find websites offering low cost therapy online. This can be helpful if you’re uncomfortable talking to someone in person, or if you have difficulty leaving the house or using transport.
But some of these sites might not use professional therapists, so it’s important to ask enough questions to trust in the person you’re talking to. See our pages on getting the most from therapy and staying safe online for support to feel confident in seeking therapy online.
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Using Your Home Equity
Home equity loans are borrowed against the value of your home that is greater than the balance of your mortgage. For example, if your home is currently worth $300,000, but you owe only $200,000 to the bank, you may be able to borrow against the $100,000 in equity.
It is typically easier to obtain this type of loan than an unsecured loan because the house is your collateral. This type of loan also provides a tax break as the interest is tax-deductible like a standard mortgage.
Keep in mind that if you are unable to make the payments on a home equity loan, the consequences can be dire. Failure to pay the loan back can result in foreclosure and eviction from your home.
Dont Be Afraid To Ask For Timely Help
How to move with little money or no money at all? Its very unfortunate to find yourself with no financial resources of any kind at the moment and to have to execute a house move in the meantime. Either of these two transitional periods is bad enough, but their mistimed combination presents a real challenge for your resourcefulness, as well as a genuine test for your fortitude.
Understandably, it may be hard for you to see the silver lining if youre facing a residential move with no money in your wallet and worse with no money in your savings account, but the optimistic light at the end of the tunnel is tight there, cleverly hidden in the word transitional. To phrase it differently, the good news for you is that you dont have any money now, but your situation will inevitably improve once you move to a new city and find yourself a decent job.
In this line of thought, your best course of action when youre about to move away with no money is to ask your parents or friends for help.
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Practice A Little At Home Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Psychotherapist and author of the book “Heal Your Drained Brain” Mike Dow, PsyD., told INSIDER there are seven pitfalls thought patterns that can trigger low self-worth, anxiety, depression, and other less than optimal states.
“If you can watch out for these thought patterns and then talk back to them, you can be your own therapist,” he said. So, what exactly are these pitfalls?
What Kind Of Therapist Is Right For Me
Just like there are different types of therapy, there are lots of distinctions between counselors, therapists and doctors. After reflecting and seeing what issues you want to treat, you can start to look for a suitable professional.
To help with making an informed decision, heres an overview of a few kinds of mental health providers:
Psychiatrists are doctors of medicine who can not only diagnose mental health conditions, but also provide medication to treat symptoms
Psychologists are certified professionals who provide therapy by listening to your behaviors, emotions, and thoughts and give you feedback and emotional homework to learn, grow, and cope.
Licensed professional counselor
LPCs need to get a masters degree in Counseling to practice. In many cases, licensed professional counselors share many of the same responsibilities as clinical psychologists.
Licensed marriage and family therapist
LMFTs have masters degrees and usually over a decade of experience in providing counseling for couples and families. They can both diagnose mental health issues and treat them in the context of relationships.
Licensed clinical social worker
Licensed clinical social workers usually have masters degrees in Social Work and help clients deal with problems like trauma or loss, life issues like homelessness, addiction, and serious emotional challenges.
Why Finding A Therapist Without Insurance Is A Kafkaesque Nightmare
When you dont need a hospital and dont have $200 an hour for support, the healthcare system has entirely screwed you over
When I quit my job, I expected to leave my problems at the office. Instead, I was more anxious than ever before. As an uninsured freelancer, I asked friends-without-benefits to recommend sliding-scale therapists who might pity me enough for a discount. Without one, the going rate for therapy is between $75 and $150 but can top out over $200 in cities with a higher cost of living, like New York.
It turned out to be a bit of a riddle: Sliding-scale therapists offered only $100 a session as their lowest reduced rate, video chat therapy ran closer to $75, or I could put my name on a waitlist at a local psychotherapy school, where I could see a student therapist $40 per appointment. I opted for a student, as it was the most financially sustainable choice. Theres at least a three-month wait, and we really recommend considering other options, the receptionist told me. I put my name on the list anyways, and immediately spiraled into a panic about how my willingness to wait for therapy might somehow disqualify me from receiving it. I was an anxious mess.
Krol does offer a sliding scale, but like every therapist Steven and I reached out to, her lowest rate is $100 a session.
Find A Therapist Who Can Offer Sliding
Many therapists offer a few pro bono or sliding scale slots for the clients they see. There is no easy or quick way to find the therapists who do youll have to call each therapist to ask what options they can offer you. Therapist directories often list whether or not a therapist youre interested in seeing offers sliding scale fees. Directories may also list how much therapists charge for a session, so you can try looking for one that offers more affordable rates.
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Who Regulates Online Therapy
Online therapy is one of the newest health fields and its regulations are still changing. There are a few levels of regulation in the United States: Federal, State, and ethical.
On the federal level, the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission try to regulate online therapy apps, though they are still developing many rules and laws.
On the state level, mental health professionals need to follow state licensing requirements. This often includes doing background checks, having relevant education for the practice, and passing a state-recognized counselor exam.
Beyond federal and state regulation, online mental health services need to follow the law set by HIPAA . Meaning, a health professional must keep your information classified and private at all times.
Local Universities And Colleges
If you attend a college or university, check with the health center to find out what counseling services they offer. If you dont attend but have universities and colleges in your area, call to see if they have a psychology department. They might provide a reduced rate or a sliding scale therapy with clinician-supervised students training to become psychologists or therapists.
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Charity And Third Sector Therapists
Some community and charity sector organisations may offer free or low-cost talking therapies. For example:
- Your local Mind, local Rethink Mental Illness, or local Turning Point branch may be able to offer you talking therapies. Sometimes these local organisations may also form part of a local IAPT service with the NHS.
- Mental Health Matters offers a telephone counselling service and talking therapies in some areas.
- Anxiety UK offers talking therapies for anxiety. There is a fee but they do offer reduced costs for people on a low income.
- Cruse Bereavement Care may offer free counselling services if you have experienced the death of someone close to you.
- Rape Crisis centres offer counselling to survivors of sexual abuse and sometimes to their families.
See our page on seeking help through the third sector for more information. Some charities also provide telephone listening and emotional support services. These are not counselling or therapy, but can be helpful if you need to talk to someone in between sessions.
When Money Comes Up In Therapy
Two Ways to Make Your Fee Policies Clear and Easy to Talk About
Money is an underdiscussed topic in graduate programs, supervision and peer groups, yet every therapist I know has felt the awkwardness of seeming mercenary when insisting to a client who has fallen behind that he or she needs to pay. Unfortunately, most therapists were never coached about how to reconcile the closeness of the therapeutic encounter with the fact that therapy is also a business. When I first started out, I made the mistake of letting my caretaker impulse overcome me and charging a certain client who was in crisis a lower fee for several sessions. When she didn’t pay even that fee and later let it drop that she had gone on an extravagant vacation, I felt like a fool. It has taken me years to understand that therapy is not separate from the exchange of money. I am in this profession because I care and have skills and knowledge that can help, and I also need to make a living.
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Dont Spend Money You Dont Really Have
Planning to move to a new city with no money can be truly disheartening and a bit frightening even for the bravest of home movers. If your parents or a friend of yours have agreed to lend you some money to pay for the move, its your duty to make sure the relocation costs are kept to their absolute minimum. Moving on a budget is one thing, but moving on a VERY tight budget or even on a non-existing one is a horse of a different color. Thats right you need to use every presented opportunity to lower your moving costs, no matter how insignificant that cost-saving opportunity may initially look.
To make the move as cheap as possible, take advantage of our top money-saving tips when moving house so that you can have a very reasonably priced relocation.
How To Choose The Right Online Teen Therapy Service
Before you sign up for an online therapy service, do a little research. Make sure the platform offers counselors who specialize in teen therapy. Take a look at how the company screens its counselors and if their certification checks out. You can also look at online testimonials by customers to get an idea about the quality of service.
Youll want to decide which types of counseling you and your teen are most comfortable usingchat, video, or emailand if theyre available through the service. If your teen is interested in using the service on their smartphone, see if the company has an app and if your child can have sessions with their counselor by chat on the phone.
In addition, check what type of security they provide and if your chats will be encrypted, and if you and your child will have the ability to remain anonymous to your counselor.
Look at the price also, and see if it fits your budget. In addition, see if you can quit the membership at any time, or if its binding.
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Look Into Lower Cost Clinics
Therapists in private practice usually charge higher rates than therapists or counselors who work for institutions or clinics. Some of these clinics are federally funded and offer low cost or free therapy to people in need. Others are financially backed by charities or non-profits so that care can be given to people of all economic backgrounds.
Some ways to connect with low-cost clinics include:
- The Find A Health Center locator sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration
- The Find A Clinic tab on the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics website
- HelpWhenYouNeedIt, a website that provides lists of low-cost mental health clinics and treatment centers
How Much Does It Cost
The prices vary by company, but typically online therapy services charge a monthly fee to use the service, and don’t charge by minute or hour or text. For instance, BetterHelp, one of the bigger names in the industry, charges a flat fee of between $40-$70 per week for individual therapy, including all messaging, chats, phone, and video sessions. Couples therapy may cost a bit more, as online therapy sites on average charge between $80-$100 per week.
These memberships tend to be quite flexible, and allow you to quit at any time.
Most online counseling is not covered by insurance, so while its cheaper than in-person therapists, you will typically have to pay out of pocket.
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