By: Marie Miguel
Finances are often one of the biggest barriers when it comes to finding a therapist. Financial strain is a stressor that can impact your mental and physical health in serious ways, and it feels like a double-whammy when the cost of care is holding you back from finding mental health support. The good news is that if you’re interested in finding a therapist or counselor but find yourself asking questions such as, “How can I pay for therapy?” “How do I find free therapy?” or “How do I find affordable therapy?” there are options.
How To Find Affordable Therapy
What’s considered affordable will vary from person to person. Below, there are options for those seeking low-cost services as well as free services.
Many health insurance plans cover mental health services as well as physical health services. Some even cover dental and eye care. With this in mind, the battle tends to be finding someone who takes your insurance. Here’s what to do:
- Search the web. You can do this by searching terms like “anxiety therapist near me” alongside the name of your insurance company, or you can use an online therapist directory. Most therapist directories online have an option to select the type of insurance you have in addition to other factors, such as what kind of therapy you’re looking for and your zip code or city. This can help you narrow down your search and find the right provider.
- Ask your doctor for a referral. You can make an appointment with an existing primary care provider, or you can schedule an appointment with a new general doctor if you don’t have one. At your appointment, explain a little bit about what’s going on and ask for a referral to a therapist who takes your insurance.
- Contact your insurance company directly. Many people do this by calling their insurance company and asking how to find a therapist near them who takes their insurance, but in some cases, your insurance company may have a website where you can search for mental health providers who take your insurance.
Workplace Or Student Services
Some workplaces offer employee assistance programs that allow you to access counseling. If this is something that’s available to you, it’s an option you can take advantage of. Employee assistance programs may cover various forms of counseling or therapy, including individual counseling and couple’s counseling.
If you are a student at a college or university, you may have an on-campus mental health center with counselors or therapists. Suppose you don’t have mental health providers that work at your school. In that case, someone at your student resource center, health center, disability office, or a similar on-campus space may have information regarding how to find support as a student.
Here are some services that might be available to you locally if you’re seeking mental health therapy:
- Community centers that offer low-cost therapy.
- Religious institutions such as churches that offer free therapy.
- Providers who offer sliding-scale rates. Sliding scale rates are often determined and provided based on your income level, and they can decrease the cost of therapy significantly.
- Student therapists near you who offer low-cost services. Student or resident providers working toward licensure have been through extensive schooling and are overseen by licensed providers. Often, you’ll be able to see a student or resident provider for as low as around $35/session.
If you’re in the United States, calling 211 is a way to find your unique local resources in most areas.
Online therapy platforms like BetterHelp are often more affordable than traditional in-person counseling or therapy is in the absence of insurance. When you look into online therapy, make sure that you’re using a reputable website with licensed providers. All of the providers on the BetterHelp platform are licensed, and plans start at as low as $80/week. Financial aid and special offers are sometimes available. An added bonus of online therapy is that it often allows you to start seeing a provider sooner.
Regardless of how you find therapy, you deserve to get the support that you need. Don’t hesitate to take the first step and reach out today.
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.
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