The Best Ways To Find Affordable Counseling Near Me

By BetterHelp Editorial Team|Updated April 18, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Dawn Brown, LPC

Counseling is something that is associated with the rich, or at least the people who have a comfy life. Those who are in the lower income brackets, who usually need treatment the most, may need counseling and other medical treatments more than ever, but can't afford it.

How to ask for mental health and therapy advice.

Finding The Right Psychologist For You Can Be Easier Than You Think
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If you are on a tight budget but want to look into counseling, there is no shame in still wanting to counsel. Counseling can help you deal with personal and mental issues, as well as help you make plans to reach your goals. This can make your life happier and more productive, and it's possible some good therapy can help you climb out of the low-income pit.

However, few good counselors work for free. So is it possible to get quality counseling for an easy price? Let's find out.

Mental Health Care- What You Should and Should Not Do

Before we give you some advice, here are some things you may consider avoiding. 

Thinking That You Might Not "Need" Therapy Or Online Mental Health Care

If you're highly considering therapy, but you believe you won't be able to afford it, don't dismiss the idea of therapy just because of that. If you have mental health problems, keeping them untreated can lead to serious health effects down the road, or may make your life situation a lot worse. For example, if you need couple's therapy, not attending that can lead to divorce.

Relying Solely On Your Friends And Family For Emotional Support

The people you associate with can be great to talk to about your problems, but they are not professionals. First, your friends are biased. If something is your fault, they might not tell you. They are not equipped to know how to present new ideas to people, and they usually don't know any long-term solutions to your problems. This doesn't mean you shouldn't talk to them, but it means they aren't substitutes.

Thinking The Internet Can Replace A Need For Therapy Or Mental Health Care

If you believe that you have a mental health disorder, the last thing you want is to try to self-diagnose online. First, many symptoms are shared, and we assume the worst. For example, if you have headaches all the time, you may look online and think it's a tumor. Usually, it's something less severe, if not harmless in the long run.

Also, talking to people online can be a great way to vent, but as we said before, it's not the best substitute for talking to someone who is a professional.

Spend Money You Don't Have

Even though you should talk to a therapist, one thing you should not do is to spend money that you don't have on a therapist just because you believe there are no affordable options. First, there are some better options out there, but second, by spending too much, you may find yourself in more trouble in the long run. You need to have some money to survive, and if you sacrifice basic needs for some counseling, it may hurt you.

Look At Your Insurance

If you have health insurance, talk to the provider. You may think that your health insurance plan won't cover counseling, as they're not doctors, but many health insurance providers see the value of counseling, and some plans include good coverage for counseling. By talking to an insurance provider, they can clarify what they do cover, and you can see if you qualify for some counseling.

Look for Colleges Or Universities

Many higher education schools have a program involving psychology or another form of counseling. These colleges usually have counseling services that are available to the public, and their cost is much less than a normal office. Sometimes, you may find that their therapy is just as effective as what you would consider being a "normal" therapist.

Look for Sliding Scale Therapists

Some therapists offer services based on a sliding scale, where they'll look at how much you make and how much you can pay and make you pay based on that. These types of therapists allow people who don't have much money to be able to attend regular sessions. You can search locally and see if any therapists offer that, or at least have another kind of therapy plan.

Group Therapy Is A Good Option

Group therapy can be more affordable because of how many people are in it. Sometimes, it can involve everyone chipping in their own money to make the service much more affordable for everyone. Sometimes, group sessions can be more affordable. You're with a group who has the same problems as you do, and you can work off each other. There are some who think that group therapy doesn't allow enough time for treatment when compared to individual therapy, but others have found it to be highly effective. It's worth a shot.

Does Your Job Offer EAPs?

Employee assistance programs, or EAPs, are offered by some jobs. Many jobs recognize that to have the best employees; the employees need to be in good spirits. That's why some of them offer programs to talk with therapists and other mental health professionals for a reduced rate or even free. Talk to HR and see if they have EAPs. If they don't, make a suggestion. A company cannot succeed if it doesn't treat its employees right, and EAPs are a good way to give the employees the care they need.

Call 211

211 is a service that can give you a list of all the counseling and mental health resources in your local area. This can be a quick and valuable guide you can use whenever you want to find someone in your area. You should be able to find affordable resources through there.

211 is also not an automated service but has people you can talk to to get more advice or if you just need someone to vent. Speaking of venting on the phone, we have another solution as well.

Call A Helpline

There are many helplines and crisis lines you can use to talk to a person right now. They aren't as powerful as counselors, but when you need help, they can be someone who can calm you down and help make the right decision. You may associate them with suicide hotlines, but you don't need to be suicidal to talk to a helpline and get some advice out of it.

Look For Pro Bono Counselors

Pro bono is when a professional takes on a low-income client free of charge. Not only can this help improve their reputation, but it's the right thing to do. There is an ethics code that says counselors should give some of their services out of goodwill. Some of them have a limited number of pro bono slots, and it's worth giving them a call to see if they have any open. If they say they don't have any slots open, ask for updates. Keep calling different therapists, and you may have an answer that says yes.

Change Your Spending Habits

Sometimes, you may have the money able to seek counseling, but you may need to make some other sacrifices in your life. Cook at home instead of eating out so much. Use less electricity in the house. Monitor your expenses and see if there's anything you don't need. Sometimes, there are expenses you can cut back on to afford a counselor comfortably.

Try Online Therapy

Finding The Right Psychologist For You Can Be Easier Than You Think

One form of therapy you can try looking at is online therapy. This form of therapy has become more popular over the years, and there are two reasons. First, the convenience. You can talk to a therapist anywhere and use different types of formats. If you're in a place where you can't speak, texting is available. If you can speak, you can video chat to have the most authentic experience possible.

Second, online therapy can be more affordable. There are many different payment plans to choose from, and online therapy also has discounts and days when services are offered for free. Some services are sympathetic towards those who don't have the money and can offer discounts.

Online therapy is accessible, and you can be hooked up with different counselors to find the one who best fits your situation. This can allow you to have a higher chance of succeeding and improving yourself.

Counseling is something that should be available for everyone, and while the affordability is getting better, the US still has a long way to go. Everyone should be at peak mental health and able to follow their dreams, which is what counselors can provide.

Don't think you don't deserve therapy because you don't make enough money. End the stigma about therapy being for the rich and famous. Instead, it should be for everyone, regardless of background. Find an affordable therapist near you and change your life. You may come out with more motivation and more ways to accomplish your goals.

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