6 Ways to Make Therapy Affordable...
...and a free therapy calculator!
I may be biased, but I know that therapy is a really valuable resource to help people get through life’s challenges and to tackle mental illness. I also know that there is a gap between the large number of people who need therapy and the small number of affordable ways to get it. A number of things contribute to this gap: insurance that doesn’t cover behavioral health, therapists who don’t accept your insurance plan, therapy fees that you can’t afford out-of-pocket, among others. There are many different ways to get the therapy services you need; it may just take some creativity and due diligence.
1.) Sliding scale:
Many therapists offer a few spots at a reduced rate based on your income. So if you are in a bind, ask if there are spots available for you, but also expect there may be a waiting list to get one. Here at Fleurish, each of our therapists offer a limited number of sliding-scale spots to folks who need them. You can also check out the Open Path Psychotherapy Collective, a membership program that gives you access to therapists in private practice who have reduced their fees.
Many health insurance plans cover some form and portion of mental health counseling, and are often flexible enough that you can choose your own therapist. At Fleurish we currently accept most Anthem/BCBS plans (meaning we are in network). Not all therapists take insurance or your plan in particular, but you can ask for a special receipt from them called a superbill and submit it to your insurance company for reimbursement. Call your insurance to see what the process is for your plan.
3.) Free therapy:
Some therapists offer a pro bono spot, so it may be worth asking if you can have that spot or get on the waiting list for it. If you are in college, most college counseling centers include a number of free sessions in your tuition. If you are employed, check your EAP benefits for reduced or free sessions as well.
Group therapy is often less expensive per session than individual therapy, and still effective for a variety of issues. Some practices or agencies even offer free groups.
5.) Work your budget:
Sometimes we spend money on things that make us happy in the short term, but don’t set us up for the long-term change that therapy can. If you are need of therapy, it may be worth taking a look at your budget to see if there are any places where you can tighten the belt and start saving up for therapy.
6.) See a trainee:
Another place to find lower-cost or sliding-scale options for therapy are community agencies. Many of these places hire therapists who are working towards licensure, but are still under supervision. If you are in Atlanta one great local option is Metropolitan Counseling Services.
I also want to offer you a final resource: the therapy calculator. This fantastic tool helps you figure out some ways to make counseling affordable based on your personal financial situation. It actually customizes the questions depending on things like health insurance, income, flex spending accounts, and how you file your taxes.
There are a handful of creative ways to make therapy affordable for your budget – in today’s day and age, therapy can be accessible, and it is my hope that this post helps connect you to the resources you need.
As always, if you are in the Atlanta area and in need of affordable therapy, give us a call!