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How Much Does Therapy Cost : Effective Therapy Within Your Budget (Complete Guide)

How Much Does Therapy Cost: Effective Therapy Within Your Budget

Saying yes to counseling or therapy for your mental health can be a significant step toward developing a happier version of yourself. Mental health therapy may help modify self-destructive behaviors and routines, resolve difficult emotions, strengthen relationships, and much more. 

The availability of affordable health care can be a genuine worry for many of us. Beyond that, even understanding the healthcare industry’s billing jargon can be downright daunting. Things like premiums, copays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums may complicate what should be a simple process. Trying to make sense of all of these terms, unfortunately, can often be enough of a barrier to prevent people from pursuing the appropriate help for their mental health.

Let’s try to debunk some of the myths commonly surrounding the question of "how much does therapy cost"? 

But first, let’s establish an understanding of the basics.

Know More About Mental Health Therapy

According to the American Psychiatric Association , therapy is "a method of assisting persons with a wide range of mental diseases and emotional challenges" (APA). The process of consulting with a licensed therapist to resolve dysfunctional behaviors, attitudes, feelings, interpersonal concerns, and bodily responses is known as therapy.

The Health Care Cost Institute’s report disclosed that per-person spending on mental health admissions increased 33 percent.

There is a widespread notion that therapy is solely for people diagnosed with a mental health disorder. But the truth is, anyone can benefit from working closely with a therapist or counselor. Therapy involves several different forms of treatment and is delivered by the licensed therapist using various methodologies. The important thing is that the client works with the therapist and can recognize progress and constructive development over time. Therapy or counseling can help with:

  • Talking through your emotional ups and downs
  • Resolving disagreements
  • Recovering from trauma, grief, depression, anxiety, and more
  • Enhancing your interpersonal skills
  • Dealing with parenthood

With the basics covered, let’s talk about the cost of counseling.

How Much Does a Therapy Session Cost?

The typical cost of psychotherapy in the United States ranges from $100 to $200 per session (depending on the state, license level of the therapist, and other factors). Fortunatekly, insurance plans must cover mental health services under the Affordable Care Act. Furthermore, plans cannot apply different standards to mental health clients or finance mental health treatment at a reduced rate. This is good news! Almost without question - if you have insurance, you have mental healthcare treatment coverage.

Factors Influencing The Cost of Therapy

Therapy's cost, the therapist's skills, certifications, or licenses, the service offered, and accessibility are all factors that may influence your choice of therapy. To understand how much a session of therapy costs, let’s analyze some of these factors in greater detail.

1. Duration of Your Therapy Session

Time is one of the most evident elements influencing the cost of mental health therapy. Sessions are typically 45 minutes to an hour, and different codes regulate the amount of time a therapist may spend with you, as well as the cost of the session. Your session time will usually be affected by the issues you’re working on, how often you attend counseling, and other factors.

2. Insurance for Therapy

Under the Affordable Care Act, all insurance plans must cover mental health care. This means that most people with insurance have some therapy coverage and may also be required to meet additional criteria, such as having a mental health diagnosis or receiving a treatment referral. At times people may choose to pay for their therapy out of pocket. However, when using insurance to pay for therapy, people usually have a lower out of pocket rate, such as a copay or coinsurance.

Want to learn more about insurance and mental health therapy?

3. Your Therapist's Experience

Therapy can be more expensive if the therapist is an expert in a specific field and holds extensive experience. Find the right therapist to help you with customized treatment options and an affordable plan. The treatment or the therapist's specialization can also influence the cost. Highly specialized or difficult treatment processes may be more expensive.

4. Online or Offline Therapy

Online counseling may be more cost-effective than in-person therapy. You can communicate from the comfort of your home or workplace with online therapy. Find the best online therapy for your unique needs today and start your journey to a renewed you. In the case of in-person therapy, therapists in metropolitans may charge some extra dollars due to the commercial cost involved.

How Do You Pay for Mental Health Therapy?

Insurance often affords you the lowest out of pocket cost for therapy. But many counselors offer self pay rates, some even lower than what you may pay if you have to meet a deductible. Discuss fees and your treatment plan before starting therapy if you do not have insurance and intend to pay for your therapy out of pocket.

Low-Cost Therapy Options You May Consider for Mental Health Treatment

If outpatient private practice therapy is a bit beyond your budget, there are often options that can help you still get the mental healthcare you need.. Here are some ideas to consider:

Consider online options: Online therapy can be an excellent option for various reasons, including convenience and accessibility. Some online therapists charge flat weekly or monthly fees. Though you may be limited in how long you can spend with your therapist or how often you can see them if you participate with certain subscription-based companies.

Contact your local public health department: Your local health department can refer you to a community treatment provider or other low-cost or no-cost services.

Look for a company that offers a sliding scale: Many online directories allow you to narrow your search to providers who offer sliding scale pricing.


Mental health providers often have varying price ranges, so do some research to find the right therapist for you and your budget. While mental health treatment costs aren’t usually prohibitively expensive, finding affordable mental health care to match your requirements is always possible.

Explore more about various mental health issues, treatments, and costs of therapy by reaching out to us. Call us or talk to us now!

Frequently Asked Questions

The average cost of mental health treatment can be $60 to $120 for every session, with most Americans spending between $20 and $250 per hour, depending on the number of sessions booked and whether or not it is covered by health insurance. However, with health insurance coverage, fees can range from $20 to $50 each session, or roughly the same as the person's current copay. We at Lifebulb accept major commercial insurance plans and self-pay rates as low as $99, which may vary slightly by geography and therapist licensure.

Most people who pay for mental health treatment believe their money is wisely spent. Mental health treatment can help change the destructive behaviors and feelings that harm one's mental health. Furthermore, paying for the best mental health treatment can also lead to reduced disability and fewer sick days, which may be enough to cover the actual cost for certain people.

Most therapist appointments and group treatment are generally covered by health insurance in the US. However, the extent of coverage will differ depending on the insurance provider and plan. Furthermore, because insurance only covers "medically required" therapy, certain insurers may demand proof of a mental health diagnosis before paying claims.

Professional therapy offers specialized tools for recovery that may go amiss in self-treatment for a mental health condition. Although self-therapy may be successful in certain situations, professional guidance can be unparalleled in severe cases. For instance, learning coping skills for anxiety can be helpful, but suffering from panic attacks may warrant professional help.

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