By Dr. Perry, PhD
Therapy can be costly. But, there are resources that can help you even if you are on a budget. Mental health professionals are generally people who entered the field of psychology because they wanted to help others. Don’t let your budget stand between you and the help you need because we won’t. Here are some avenues to try if you are feeling emotionally stuck and financially handicapped, but haven’t reached out for help.
1. Group therapy
Group therapy provides an opportunity to engage in social environments that are intended to be supportive and safe. Group therapy settings can be helpful because it reminds people who are suffering that they are not alone. Group therapy generally costs less than individual therapy. People who struggle with social anxiety may find groups to be stress provoking so it may not be the best option for everyone. However, many would agree that sharing can be healing. There are different types of groups for different types of struggles. Look for the specific group for what you are experiencing and take the leap.
2. Look for sliding scale fees
Most psychotherapists offer sliding scale fees. It is not uncommon that people will avoid getting help because they feel embarrassed by how much they can afford. Keep in mind that by nature, mental health professionals tend to be helpful and caring individuals. They sometimes have psychological assistants and interns who can work with you for fees as low as twenty-five to forty dollars. Even if you see a psychotherapist who has a higher fee than what you can afford, don’t be bashful to ask if they will work with you. At the very least, they will nudge you in the direction of someone who can help you within your budget. As mental health professionals, we don’t like turning people away, especially when it is because of a limited budget. We know how hard it is for a person to ask for help. We don’t take it lightly when a person shows this much courage.
3. Low fee clinics
There are most likely low fee clinics in your area. It is as easy as typing into Google “Low fee psychotherapy clinics in (your city). You will undoubtedly find resources and people who would be happy to help you. The quality of care in low fee clinics may vary at times because they often are used as training facilities. However, the relationship between you and your therapist plays an important role in your growth in therapy. If you aren’t happy with the therapist you connect with first, don’t give up. Simply ask to see a different therapist. We don’t take it personally when someone doesn’t want to work with us. Our job is to help you find the help you need even when that means it isn’t us you work with.
4. Do your own research
Be careful with this one. A lot of people do their own research and end up self-diagnosing with something that may not be entirely accurate. There is a huge difference between self-diagnosing via Google and having a trained professional diagnose you using the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). But that doesn’t mean you can’t find healthy support from doing your own research. There are many mental health professionals who have blogs, YouTube channels, and other resources online. These resources can be helpful, especially when you feel like you don’t have other options.
5. Insurance and Superbills
Have you checked to see what services your insurance will cover? Most people don’t and are surprised to find out that mental health services (at least some and sometimes all) are covered. Some insurance companies even offer Superbill coverage. A Superbill is essentially a receipt for services that a mental health professional will give to you. You then submit the Superbill to your insurance company. Depending on your plan, your insurance company may reimburse some or even all of the cost.
Many people struggle for years before reaching out for help. This just isn’t necessary. On a weekly basis, I sometimes see anywhere between 20-25 people in my office. I am thankful to have a therapist who makes sure I am functioning mentally, emotionally, and behaviorally at my best. There undoubtedly are people in your life who rely on you as well. Leave no stone unturned when seeking the best in yourself.
I hope you found this helpful. If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation to work with me on your mental health please click here.
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