Taking care of our mental health is crucial to living a long and happy life.
However, therapy is often mind-bogglingly expensive, and many people give up on it because they can’t afford it.
If you or someone you know is in a similar boat, here are therapy alternatives that won’t break the bank while offering much-needed care.
Let’s dive in!
Talk To Your Insurer
If you have health insurance, you should get therapy at a low rate–the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act ensured that.
Even the Affordable Care Act includes mental health coverage.
However, the problem is that most therapists don’t work within the network, so health insurance doesn’t cover their costs.
The problem for in-network therapists is that they are often booked out, so you must schedule appointments early.
However, if you need to talk to a therapist urgently, you can approach one who’s out-of-network and ask if they’ll accept your insurance.
This is a long shot, but you’ll have peace of mind if you find one.
Ask About Their Cash Charges
Your insurance might not cover mental health, or you might not have insurance.
In such an instance, you can’t get an in-network therapist.
However, your options include an out-of-network therapist and one who doesn’t accept any insurance–which comprises 30% of all psychologists.
When you approach these therapists, let them know your financial capability and ask if they have alternate payment plans or more affordable options.
Psychologists have differing rates, so you might find one you can afford.
Look For Pre-Licensed Therapy
Finding an affordable psychologist is not easy–it takes time and effort.
However, you might consider a pre-licensed official–these are therapists who have completed college but don’t yet have a Ph.D. or an official L.C.S.W.
Pre-licensed psychologists are more affordable and typically train under a licensed therapist’s supervision.
While they might not be as accomplished as their seniors, pre-licensed therapists can still help.
And, as always, research is vital to find a good fit.
Look For An Online Therapist
We are in the digital age, so online therapy is a natural fit.
Online therapy–or telehealth–is considerably more affordable than most alternatives.
It’s also easier to access, and you won’t have to spend significant resources just looking for a decent therapist.
You can also try different therapists and not feel guilty for skipping one–if your sessions with them just aren’t working.
However, online therapy is chockful of options, and you can easily get overwhelmed.
Basically, the more affordable a digital therapy app is, the less qualified the psychologist.
However, if you want an even cheaper option, an app like Happy connects you to someone trained to listen sympathetically as you speak.
Consider Group Therapy
If you don’t mind sharing your mental health problems with others, the good news is public and private group therapy sessions are primarily free.
They can be online or in an area close to you, and they often have particular themes: like anxiety or depression.
Some mental health organizations also hold open group talks for everyone, so you can pop in and talk about what’s bothering you.
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