Therapy, as in psychological or psychiatric, is generally covered by health insurance. Mental illness and other psychological issues can have a huge impact on a person’s life and the lives of those around that individual. It is definitely a need for many people and not a luxury. If health insurance is not an option that you have access to and you say to yourself, “I need to find a therapist near me”, then, there are other affordable choices.
Most therapists, social workers, and psychologists understand the importance of therapy in the lives of individuals who depend on it. According to Chris Corbett, PsyD, “Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks.” Therapists who are in private practice may not even accept health insurance because of the red tape and paperwork that goes along with it. These practitioners often offer their services on a sliding scale because they don’t want to turn anyone away who needs help. Research therapists in your area and see if they offer a sliding scale payment plan. Even if it is not mentioned on their website or in other information that they provide, it doesn’t hurt to ask if they offer this option. Many of these practitioners may also offer a free first visit so that you can see if you have a connection and feel comfortable with their way of delivering services. This is a perfect time to ask about a sliding scale. If they do not offer this option, then, they may know of another therapist who does and you can ask for their assistance.
Yes, there is an app for that. There are therapy apps available now where you text your discussion with a therapist. The initial consultation is free and then you pay on a weekly or monthly basis. The cost is substantially lower than private practice, but more than a health insurance co-pay. This could be a great option for people who have busy schedules and aren’t able to schedule appointments during regular business hours. There are many apps to choose from so looking at their descriptions and reviews can be very helpful in finding one that is right for you. But remember, “If a person is actually in need of therapy, these can be a great supplement, but they cannot take the place of engaging with someone who can offer individualized interpretations and insights that an app cannot provide.” says Tanisha Ranger, PsyD.
If you are comfortable discussing your issues with others who are going through similar circumstances, then, group therapy may be the perfect and affordable option. Due to the fact that it is one therapist with a group of people, the fee is split between all the members of the group. It can be a truly validating and helpful experience to be with people who have similar feelings, issues, and viewpoints. It could be the best option for saving money and getting the support that you need.
Online therapy can be somewhat similar to a therapy app. You can choose from one of the many online therapy websites where you may start by filling out a questionnaire. Your answers on the questionnaire will match you with one of the hundreds of therapists available on the site. You then text or email your therapist at any time. This is perfect for those people who aren’t able to schedule appointments during regular business hours and it also gives you the freedom to ask questions or get support whenever you need it. If you don’t feel a connection with the therapist you are matched with, then, you may request a different one. But John M. Grohol, Psy.D. insists that “This kind of effort takes a fair amount of commitment and understanding of the online world.”
Other options with online therapy are live chat sessions, live video sessions, and phone sessions. It can be flexible with what you need and what you feel comfortable with. The cost of these services is similar to the cost of the apps. It is cheaper than a private practice counselor but more expensive than a co-pay. One huge benefit is that you get to access your counselor more than just once a month. This alone can make you choose this option.