Sliding Scale Therapy Online: Benefits

Updated February 10, 2023by MyTherapist Editorial Team

Sliding Scale Therapy: Introduction

After talking about the benefits of client centered therapy, let's move on to another type of therapy which is the sliding scale therapy. Have you been wondering, “How does sliding scale therapy work? If you’ve ever heard someone say that they are getting reduced cost therapy, low-cost therapy, or therapy that is based on their income, they’re most likely talking about sliding scale therapy.

Once you understand that sliding scale therapy can offer you a discount on therapy services, the next question you’re likely to ask is “What is sliding scale therapy” and “How does sliding scale therapy work. In this article, we answer these questions and give you details on how sliding scale therapy works for today’s mental health professionals.
Let’s start with an explanation of how sliding scale therapy works.
Sliding Scale Therapy Explained
Online Therapy Can Be More Affordable Than In-Person Therapy
Sliding-fee scale therapy takes all of these factors into account when determining your cost of therapy. Alternatives to getting sliding scale therapy are reduced cost counseling options provided by subscription-based online mental health platforms. In the next section, we talk about how to get sliding scale therapy online, and let’s discover if “how much does therapy cost
The average cost of getting in-office therapy in the United States ranges between $65.00 – $200.00 per session. This cost doesn’t account for additional fees related to transportation, medication management, time off work, or childcare that are often associated costs.When clients use sliding scale therapy, it entitles them to receive the same quality of service as clients that pay full-price. The amount of the discount applied to sliding scale therapy is determined by the therapy provider, practice, therapy group, or counseling platform.

Get Low-Cost And Reduced-Cost Therapy Online

Weekly therapy sessions with BetterHelp platform providers that include psychologists, licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical social workers, and marriage and family therapists start at just $60.00 per week. It may not answer the question, "Is there affordable counseling near me?", but it definitely tells you there is such a thing as affordable counseling.

The most that clients on the pay for therapy services is $70.00 per week for expanded therapy options that include unlimited messaging therapy.

Therapy sessions conducted on this reduced-cost online therapy platform are conducted via SMS messaging, face-to-face-video chat, and audio sessions by phone. 

Additional services that online mental health clients may need to supplement their online sessions are offline sessions with a psychiatrist or primary care physician to request and fill mental health-related prescriptions, offline group counseling extensions, and other recommended offline support options that help clients achieve their mental health goals faster.

Sliding scale therapy is traditional therapy provided at a discounted rate to people who meet or are beneath a certain income threshold. 

Factors that determine the amount that a client will pay when using a sliding fee scale are total net income after taxes, the number of household dependents, household expenses, and other important factors. Once your therapist determines the amount of discount you’re entitled to based on the therapists sliding scale fee requirements, they will notify you, and this will be the rate you pay for counseling.

Why Sliding Scale Fees Exist

Now that you understand what sliding fees are, you may wonder where they came from. Sliding fee scales are available in many healthcare industries that include mental and physical health. These low-cost therapies and medical fees are designed to level the playing field for mental health care and medical care related services.

Sliding fee scales make it possible for everyone to get counseling and medical care regardless of their location, insurance status, or income. Services like psychotherapy have been considered luxuries in the past to improve the lives of people who can take advantage of these services. Improved mental health affects physical health and vice versa. 

Mental health awareness programs are helping people to understand the value of getting psychotherapy and mental health-related services. Mental health-related issues are having a larger impact on society as we realize how many people are suffering from mental health issues. Forty-three million people in America suffer from mental health issues annually. This has an impact on our world.

With such a large amount of the population affected by mental health disorders and related conditions, this isn’t a public health concern that we can continue to ignore. As awareness of the impacts of mental health (or lack thereof) become more widely known, more programs and services are being created and opening up to address this large-scale need. People with mental illness don’t have to suffer in silence anymore. Mental health issues are losing their stigma as more people open up about their battles with mental illness, as represented by the increase in the number of mental health-related services in the United States.

Counseling, Mental Health Therapists, And Strengthening Mental Health: Information

Now that you have a better idea of how many people are affected annually by mental health in the US, let’s look at a few more related statistics and facts.

According to the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH), over 40 million Americans struggle with mental health issues in the US annually. The top complaints about mental health sufferers are anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders. With 40 million Americans identifying as having mental health issues. Mental health awareness is becoming an important discussion when it comes to the topic of public health.

In 2008 the US government passed the Mental Health Parity Act that requires certain health insurance providers and employers to provide affordable mental health care services for their employees. Employers who have over 50 employees, who provide health insurance on the federal health insurance marketplace, and state insurance programs like Medicaid are required to provide their clients with equivalent medical care and mental health coverage.

The Mental Health Parity Act now requires these providers to offer mental health care plans and services that offer comparable mental health services and benefits as medical health care plans for diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and awareness for mental health-related conditions.

We consider mental illness just as serious as physical illness. People who suffer from symptoms of mental illness often suffer the same debilitating effects as people who are suffering from medical symptoms. Symptoms of mental illness can cause tension, rapid heart rate, clenching, and other physical stress responses in the body. If left untreated, mental health conditions can affect the overall physical health of the body.

What Are The General Benefits of Getting Sliding Scale Therapy?

Counseling and therapy have benefits for mental health. It helps in overcoming a specific mental illness. Many people are concerned about the therapy cost, especially when they think to pay out of pocket. Fortunately, there is affordable therapy or affordable counseling for people with low resources. Affordable counseling enables clients to pay lesser amounts for their mental wellbeing. For instance, they can help with issues relating to eating disorders, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and more. Eating disorder is a complex mental health condition that usually requires the intervention of mental health experts.  Eating disorders are characterized by irregular eating habits. Fortunately, they can also be treated.

For this reason, it’s important to find a therapist to provide support. Therapists can also help make clients make crucial decisions like continuing education and many other crucial choices. As little as continuing education may sound, it’s a crucial decision to make for certain people.

Many health care providers make use of sliding scale therapy to overcome a mental illness. Sliding scale therapy is a fee structure that is very helpful for anyone with a low-income range. During times when you’re confused, counseling serves as a weapon against psychological problems. In other words, it is helpful in conditions like grief, anxiety, and depression. When you speak about your thoughts and feelings, it helps you see them from a different perspective.

With the help of trained therapists, you may have a cathartic experience from counseling. A cathartic experience is beneficial to your mental health, and it occurs when you have a release of your feelings or thoughts that you have kept to yourself for so long. Besides, during a counseling session, you need to face your feelings. Daily, people go in and out without ever giving time to how they feel. However, with individual or group therapy, you have a good chance of facing your thoughts and emotions and directly dealing with them. Thus, it’s crucial to find a therapist when you feel confused or when you don’t have a clear mind.

In therapy, the expert uses different techniques to figure out the best line of treatment. Besides mental health conditions, therapy is great at helping people with relationships and providing support through hard times. Group therapy or therapy through a support group is efficient for helping people with a range of mental health conditions. You can call this type of therapy a support group. Some of the benefits of group therapy includes the ability to talk to other people who bears the same struggles as you do. It promotes of belongingness and relatibility with others. Group therapy, through a support group, usually takes place in various locations like mental health clinics. If you find yourself in a hard place, try to speak to a trusted loved one. Opening up your thoughts can be very helpful to your mental health. You may also reach out to a therapist to provide help through your challenges. If you are worried about a therapy center session’s cost, ask if they offer sliding scale therapy.

How To Get Started With Therapy

Online Therapy Can Be More Affordable Than In-Person Therapy

Whether you choose an online of the offline option for getting mental health services is completely up to you. However, we recommend that if you’re suffering from debilitating symptoms of chronic mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or bipolar disorder (BPD) that you get help.

Chat with a licensed therapist online by taking advantage of free consultations and trials offered by leading therapy sites like Getting started with online therapy is as easy as registering for an account, selecting a provider, and logging in to your sessions. 

For offline options near you, perform a Google search for free, low-cost, or reduced-cost therapy options near me.” Your search may direct you to therapy options that provide low-cost or sliding-fee scale therapy in your region. If you live in a rural area and don’t have any local providers – contact your local public health department or your local department of children and families for referrals and resources.

If none of these resources are giving you the results you need, contact your local United Way 211 service that can provide you with a listing of local resources for free and reduced-cost services in your region.

Mental Health And Therapy: Final Thoughts

Now that you have the answer to the question, “What is sliding scale therapy?” you can feel more confident when making your selection of an online therapy provider. Now, let’s move on and unlock your concern if “how much a therapist cost on average?” The national average for getting therapy in the United States can cost as much as $200.00 per hour.

Subscription-based therapy platforms are providing rural, low-income, and other mental health seekers with realistic options for getting affordable therapy online. 

If you’re ready to get started with affordable subscription-based therapy with a licensed and board-certified mental health professional in your area, contact a BetterHelp therapy expert online now to get started!


How does the sliding scale work?

What is an example of a sliding scale?

How do you set up a sliding scale?

What is a sliding scale in medical terms?

How do therapists offer sliding scales?

Why are patients put on sliding scale?

Why is sliding scale not recommended?

What do you need for sliding scale?

How do doctors determine sliding scale?

What is the importance of sliding scale?

Is sliding scale ethical?

How do you talk to a therapist with a sliding scale?

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