How to afford therapy when you can’t afford therapy

In my other post on how to pay for therapy, I offered a variety of options for paying for therapy and using resources other than paying out of pocket and using insurance. Let’s get a little more creative – sometimes, even with sliding scale, insurance, or other programs, it’s still a challenge to make ends meet and take care of yourself. (Not to mention that as I write this, many people are unemployed, underemployed, and struggled to get through each day). So, how to afford therapy when you can’t afford therapy? Let’s explore.

1. Get familiar with all your options, and write out your budget.

Even if you generally know the numbers in your head, writing them out and looking at a visual can help crystallize what your options are. Clarity is key.

2. Consider a group.

Depending on your needs and comfort level, a group can be a great alternative to 1:1 therapy or counseling. A group can provide you with the safe space you need to process something or create change in your life at a more affordable cost ranging from free to $40 per session (those are estimates, but are costs I’ve seen in the past).

You can also find specific groups by topic, such as postpartum depression, grief, or job loss.

3. Go every other week.

Therapy is traditionally recommended every week, at least to start – however, some therapy is better than no therapy, and you can let your therapist know that you can only afford every other week and ask for journaling, activities, or other “work” to do outside of session on your own. Every other week counseling is something we always offer at Open View in order to make sure people can access counseling and therapy.

4. Be honest with your therapist about your constraints and budget.

Most therapists – the good ones, at least 😉 – will be more than willing to hear your needs and help you figure out how to meet them, whether that’s with sliding scale, flexibility in session frequency, or referrals to an affordable counseling center, group, or other options.

If you’re honest and upfront about your situation, the therapist will have the opportunity to work with you on options. If they’re left in the dark, they won’t be able to brainstorm or come up with alternatives with you.

5. Consider some of our flexible options here at Open View.

To best fit our clients’ needs, we offer a combination of flexible options, including but limited to:

  • Monthly sessions with affordable 30 minute phone check-ins
  • Monthly or every other week sessions with email correspondence options
  • Shorter, more affordable virtual or phone sessions with an action or “work” to continue therapeutic focus between sessions – this focuses on use of individual time that doesn’t cost you more for face-to-face time, but maximizes your experience
  • Personal program creation for a fixed fee, with scheduled check-ins for accountability and deeper work

These options won’t be covered by insurance simply because insurance does not have a code or standard for less traditional set ups. Insurance tends to cover 50 minute sessions, (some) groups, and other medical-model forms of counseling or therapy.

Reach out for more details or to talk to us about a personal program that will fit your mental, emotional, and financial needs.

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