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16 min read

Can’t Afford Therapy: What to Do Now

Written by Klarity Editorial Team

Published: Dec 11, 2023

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Zoe Russell

Table of contents

Do you believe that therapy could help solve what’s been negatively affecting your life but are struggling to validate the potential cost? The challenge of affording therapy is an increasingly prevalent concern in our society, with increased mental health awareness on the rise. Financial constraints should not be a barrier to receiving the support you need. This blog from the professionals at Klarity is prepared to address these concerns, offering a beacon of hope and practical solutions for those feeling overwhelmed by the costs associated with mental health care.

We understand that each individual’s situation is unique, and so are their financial limitations. Therefore, this guide is structured to provide a broad spectrum of options for those who can’t afford therapy, ranging from understanding and navigating insurance coverage to exploring low-cost and alternative therapy solutions. By examining various approaches, we aim to empower you with the knowledge and resources needed to access quality mental health support tailored to your financial circumstances.

Our goal is to present you with options to instill a sense of confidence and control over your mental health journey. The path to wellness should be accessible to everyone, and that is exactly our mission at Klarity. Whether you’re struggling with the high costs of therapy or unsure where to seek affordable mental health care, you can find a provider on Klarity that fits within your means.

How Much Does Therapy Cost?

The cost of therapy can be influenced by multiple factors, including geographical location, with therapists in urban centers often charging more than those in rural areas. The therapist’s level of experience and qualifications also play a significant role; highly specialized and experienced therapists may charge higher rates. Furthermore, the type of therapy – individual, group, or family – can affect the cost. Group therapy sessions, for instance, are generally more affordable than one-on-one sessions.

Understanding these pricing dynamics is crucial for setting realistic expectations and planning accordingly. It’s about balancing the quality of care you need and what you can reasonably afford without putting undue financial strain on yourself. With Klarity, your initial visit with a licensed mental health professional costs $149 and then $59 per follow-up. 

Contributing Factors That Affect Pricing

One primary factor is the therapist’s experience and qualifications. Seasoned therapists with extensive training or specialization in certain areas of mental health often charge more for their services. This is due to the added value they bring through their depth of knowledge and expertise.

Location is another significant factor. Therapists based in metropolitan areas or regions with a higher cost of living typically have higher rates than those in less urban areas. This is reflective of the general economic conditions of the area.

The type of therapy you’re seeking also impacts cost. Individual therapy sessions, which offer personalized attention, tend to be more expensive than group therapy sessions, where the cost is shared among multiple participants. Additionally, the duration of the therapy sessions can influence the price. Standard sessions are usually around 50 minutes to an hour, but some therapists offer shorter sessions at a reduced rate.

Insurance and Therapy: Navigating Coverage

Insurance can be a major factor in making therapy more accessible and affordable for patients. For many, the prospect of navigating insurance coverage for mental health services can be daunting. However, understanding how your insurance works and how it can be utilized to offset the costs associated with therapy is a critical step in your mental health journey.

Most health insurance plans now include some level of mental health coverage, thanks to evolving laws and a growing recognition of the importance of mental health care. This coverage can significantly reduce the financial burden of therapy. To make the most of this opportunity, it’s essential to grasp the nuances of your insurance plan and how it relates to mental health services. Even if you don’t currently have health insurance, affordable therapy options are still available.

How Insurance Can Offset the Cost of Therapy

A key aspect of utilizing insurance to cover the cost of therapy is understanding the specific benefits your plan offers. This often includes factors like copays, the fixed amount you pay for each therapy session, and deductibles, which are the amount you need to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance begins to cover costs.

Another critical element is knowing the difference between in-network and out-of-network therapists. In-network providers have agreements with your insurance company to offer services at a discounted rate. Seeing an in-network therapist usually means lower out-of-pocket costs for you. On the other hand, out-of-network therapists do not have such agreements, which can yield higher prices. However, some plans offer partial coverage for out-of-network services.

By understanding these elements, you can better estimate your therapy expenses and choose a therapist who fits both your mental health needs and your financial situation.

Tips to Understanding Your Mental Health Coverage

First, thoroughly review your insurance policy to understand the specifics of your mental health benefits. Look for details about coverage limits, whether certain types of therapy or mental health conditions are excluded, and your financial responsibilities (like copays and deductibles).

It’s also a good idea to speak directly with your insurance provider. They can clarify any uncertainties and provide information specific to your plan. Asking questions about the number of sessions covered per year, requirements for copays, and any necessary pre-approvals for therapy services can provide further clarity on the expected cost.

Finally, when selecting a licensed therapist on Klarity, confirm their insurance coverage status. Discuss with potential therapists whether they accept your insurance and if they are in-network or out-of-network. Some therapists might even offer to check your benefits on your behalf.

These steps, while initially requiring some effort, can significantly ease the financial burden of accessing therapy, allowing you to focus more on your mental health and well-being.

Licensed providers on Klarity provide personalized treatment. Find a provider that matches your needs and preferences.

How to Save on Therapy

Finding affordable therapy options while maintaining quality care is a crucial juxtaposition for many seeking mental health support online through Klarity. The good news is that there are several strategies to help reduce the cost of therapy without compromising on the merit of the services rendered. These methods cater to a variety of needs and circumstances, providing flexible options to fit different budgets whether you are seeking therapy to manage conditions like ADHD, anxiety, depression, or insomnia.

Sliding Scale and Income-Driven Pricing

A sliding scale fee structure is a flexible payment option many therapists offer. Under this system, the cost of therapy sessions is adjusted based on the client’s income and financial situation. This approach makes therapy more accessible to individuals across various income levels, ensuring that financial constraints do not hinder access to mental health care. 

When searching for a therapist who offers sliding scale pricing, it’s important to discuss your financial situation openly. Therapists who provide this option are typically understanding and accommodating, and they can work with you to determine a fair and manageable fee. This system makes therapy more affordable and aligns with the principle of making mental health support inclusive and accessible to all.

Ask For Shorter Sessions

Opting for shorter therapy sessions can be a practical way to reduce costs. While standard therapy sessions are usually 50 to 60 minutes long, some therapists offer shorter sessions at a lower rate, such as 30-minute appointments. These sessions can still provide significant therapeutic benefits, particularly for follow-up appointments or discussing specific issues. 

Discussing this option with your therapist to ensure that the shorter duration will still meet your therapeutic needs is important. For many, shorter sessions can be an effective way to maintain regular therapy within their budget constraints.

Visit a Community Mental Health Clinic

Community mental health centers are valuable resources for affordable therapy services. These clinics are often funded by government programs or non-profit organizations, allowing them to offer low-cost or even, in some cases, free services. They provide a range of mental health services, including individual therapy, group sessions, and sometimes psychiatric care. 

To find a community mental health clinic in your area, you can search online, contact local government health departments, or ask for referrals from other mental health professionals. These clinics ensure everyone has access to mental health care, regardless of their financial situation.

See a Psychologist in Training

Sessions with psychologists-in-training can be a cost-effective option for receiving therapy. These individuals are usually graduate students in clinical psychology programs, working under the close supervision of licensed psychologists. Because they are in training, their services are often at a lower cost. 

These training clinics are typically associated with universities or training institutions and adhere to high standards of care. Clients can benefit from receiving therapy that incorporates the latest research and practices in the field while also supporting the training of future psychologists.

Choose Group Therapy

Group therapy presents an economical alternative to individual therapy. In group therapy, multiple clients participate in sessions together, guided by one or more therapists. This format reduces the cost per individual and provides unique therapeutic benefits, such as peer support, shared experiences, and learning from others’ perspectives. 

Group therapy can be especially beneficial for those dealing with common issues like anxiety, depression, or grief, as it creates a supportive community environment. It’s important to find a group that aligns with your specific needs and where you feel comfortable sharing and interacting.

Apply For an Employee Assistance Program

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are employer-provided services that often include free or discounted mental health support. EAPs are designed to help employees deal with personal issues that might affect their work performance, including mental health concerns. If your employer offers an EAP, you can access confidential counseling services, often with a certain number of free sessions. After utilizing these sessions, the EAP can also refer you to long-term therapy options that suit your needs and budget.

Opt For Telehealth Services

Telehealth services have become increasingly popular, offering therapy sessions via phone or video conferencing through platforms like Klarity. These services can be more affordable than in-person therapy due to lower overhead costs for therapists and the elimination of client travel expenses. 

Online therapy services also offer the convenience of receiving treatment from the comfort of your home, making it an accessible option for those with busy schedules, mobility issues, or those living in remote areas and unable to make it to a doctor’s appointment. Many telehealth therapists on Klarity provide the same range of treatments as they would in person, ensuring you receive comprehensive care.

Strategies For When Therapy Still Isn’t in the Budget

Even when traditional therapy is financially inaccessible, there are still many alternative strategies that can offer support and relief. These options are not only cost-effective but can also be powerful tools in their own right for managing mental health.

Try Self-Help Strategies

Self-help strategies encompass a wide range of activities and resources that can be used independently to manage mental health. These include self-help books, which offer insights and techniques from mental health professionals and can be a great source of guidance and support. Topics can range from managing anxiety and depression to improving self-esteem and coping with stress.

Mindfulness practices, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga, are also highly beneficial. These practices can help reduce stress, improve emotional regulation, and increase self-awareness. They can be practiced at home or with the aid of free or low-cost apps and online tutorials. Additionally, the internet offers a wealth of free resources, including articles, videos, and webinars on various mental health topics. These resources can provide valuable information and strategies for coping with mental health issues.

Find an Online Support Group

Online support groups offer a platform where individuals can connect with others who are experiencing similar mental health challenges. These groups provide a sense of community and belonging, which can be incredibly beneficial for those who feel isolated in their struggles.

Participating in an online support group allows individuals to share their experiences, gain insights from others, and receive professional help from the supervising life coach or clinical social worker.

These groups can be found on various platforms, including social media, dedicated mental health forums, and websites. Many are moderated by mental health professionals or experienced peers, ensuring a safe and supportive environment.

Test Out a Mental Health App

The rise of digital health has led to the development of numerous mental health apps. These apps offer a range of resources, from mood tracking and stress management to guided meditations and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques. Many of these apps are free or offer services at a fraction of the cost of traditional therapy. They can be a great way to gain insights into your mental health, learn coping strategies, and maintain your well-being. Some apps also offer the option to connect with a licensed therapist for online sessions at a lower cost than in-person therapy.

Tap Into Your Support System

Your personal support system – friends, family, colleagues, or community members – can be an invaluable resource. These individuals can provide the emotional support, understanding, and encouragement you need. Simply talking about your feelings and experiences with someone you trust can be incredibly therapeutic.

Building and maintaining a strong support network requires openness and vulnerability, but it can be significantly beneficial for mental health. This network can provide a sense of connection and belonging, reduce feelings of isolation, and offer different perspectives and advice.

Access Affordable Therapy With Providers on Klarity

Klarity stands out as a pioneering platform designed to bridge the gap between individuals seeking mental health care and affordable therapy options. Recognizing the challenges many face in finding cost-effective mental health services, Klarity simplifies the process of connecting with qualified therapists who fit your specific needs and budget constraints if you can’t afford therapy.

Klarity recognizes the importance of convenience and accessibility in mental health care. Many therapists on the platform offer online therapy options, allowing you to attend sessions remotely from the comfort of your home. Don’t wait; take our free assessment and find a provider that fits your budget today!

Catchings, Cynthia. “What do Do if You Can’t Afford Therapy.” Talk Space.

Kim, John. “7 Tips for Dealing with Life if You Can’t Afford A Therapist.” Psychology Today.

Rowe, Steven. “What do Do if You Can’t Afford Therapy.” PsychCentral.

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