Tips for Finding Affordable Therapy

In our fast-paced, often stress-laden society, mental health has never been more critical. However, the costs associated with therapy can sometimes be a hurdle for those who need help. But don’t despair, as there are numerous ways to access affordable mental health care. In this article, we’ll explore a variety of resources and strategies to help you find therapy that fits your budget.

Understanding the Cost of Therapy

The cost of mental health therapy in Denver can vary significantly based on factors such as the type of therapy, the therapist’s level of experience, and whether they accept insurance.

Traditional therapy, where you meet with a licensed therapist or psychologist, can range from $100-$250 per session, depending on your location and the professional’s expertise.   However, some therapists may charge more than $250 per session, if they have specialized skills or a high level of experience.  Our rates are available here.

Should I use my Health Insurance?

Insurance will only pay for things that are “medically necessary”.   Therapists must prove that your mental health condition is affecting your health and overall functioning on a daily basis.  Most people seeking counseling are struggling with complex life challenges. They are not necessarily suffering from a mental health disorder and are not in need of a diagnosis. Insurance does not cover “I am having a hard time” or “I am grieving a loss”.  Many of the clients that we see do not have diagnosable disorders but they do benefit from therapy.

Here are some things to think about before using your Health Insurance to pay for therapy.

  1. Stigma and Privacy Concerns: Some people may hesitate to use insurance for therapy due to concerns about privacy and stigma. Even though medical records are confidential, some individuals worry about their mental health treatment being documented and potentially viewed by others.  You should ask if insurance will diagnose/record you as having a mental health issue in their system.
  2. Limited Coverage: Some insurance plans may not cover mental health services, or may only cover certain types of therapy or a limited number of sessions. Marriage Counseling is an example service that is often not covered.  This can limit the choices for individuals seeking therapy and can result in significant out-of-pocket costs.
  3. Network Limitations: Insurance companies typically have a network of providers they contract with, and going “out-of-network” can often result in higher costs. If a particular therapist or mental health professional isn’t part of your insurance network, you may need to pay a larger portion of the cost or even the full cost out of pocket.  
  4. High Deductibles: Even if mental health services are covered under your insurance, high deductibles could mean that you have to pay a significant amount out of pocket before your insurance starts to cover costs. This can make accessing therapy expensive, especially for individuals who can’t afford to meet their deductibles.
  5. Shortage of Providers: In many areas, there is a shortage of mental health professionals who accept insurance, which can make it difficult for insured individuals to find an available, in-network therapist.  Newer Therapists with less experience often start out working for insurance providers to gain experience.  They often work longer hours for lower pay until they get more experience and can  find a better situation.  Some of our therapists started out working for insurance providers.

It’s important to know what your insurance plan covers and to advocate for the mental health services you need. Don’t hesitate to contact your insurance company directly to clarify any questions or uncertainties you may have about your mental health coverage.

Sliding Scale Therapists

Many therapists work on a sliding scale, meaning they adjust their fees based on your income level. If your income is relatively low or you’re experiencing financial hardship, you could be eligible for reduced rates. You can contact our Client Coordinator for a free consultation to ask about our sliding scale rates.

Community Mental Health Clinics

Community mental health clinics often provide low-cost or free therapy services. These clinics receive federal funding to offer services to individuals and families who otherwise couldn’t afford therapy. A simple web search for community mental health clinics in your area should point you in the right direction.

Graduate Student  Interns

You may be able to receive therapy from graduate students training in counseling or psychology. These students provide therapy under the supervision of licensed professionals and are often more affordable than seeing a fully-qualified therapist. Contact our Patient Coordinator to see if we have appointments available with an intern.

Group Therapy and Support Groups

Group therapy or support groups can be a cost-effective way to access therapeutic support. While not a replacement for individual therapy, these groups can provide beneficial support and connection with others who are facing similar challenges. Check the websites of local mental health organizations or hospitals for group therapy or support group offerings.  We have a Teen Group Therapy session upcoming. 

Employee Assistance Programs

Some employers offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) as part of their benefits package. EAPs provide short-term counseling for employees dealing with personal or work-related issues. If your employer offers an EAP, this could be an excellent way to access free, confidential therapy.

National Helplines and Text Services

In times of crisis or severe distress you should call the national helplines such as:

  •  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK)
  • 988  Suicide and Cisis Lifeline (988)
  • Crisis Text Line (text HOME to 741741)

These services are available 24/7 and free to use. These services are not a replacement for therapy but can provide immediate, short-term support.

Affordable Therapy in the Denver Area

In conclusion, while therapy can be expensive, there are numerous ways to find affordable care. Don’t let the cost deter you from seeking the help you need and deserve. By exploring the options outlined above, you can find therapy that suits both your mental health needs and your budget. Your mental health is invaluable, and there are resources available to help you navigate this journey affordably.

Let’s figure out how to help you.  Please contact our Client Care Coordinator for your complimentary 20-minute phone consultation today and read more about our services on the front page of our website.

Self Care Impact Counseling envisions a new age of counseling for adolescents, adults, couples & groups that makes a REAL difference with core values of GROWTH | BALANCE | COMPASSION | INNER HARMONY.