If you are struggling with stress, mood, or your mental health overall, therapy can be an immensely useful tool. But, as anyone who's tried to seek out mental health treatment knows, therapy can get pretty expensive. Good Therapy estimates that the cost of a therapy session can rangebetween $5 and $300, depending on the area, and notes that insurance may not cover it. So what do you do if you can't afford therapy?
"Therapy is an investment: an investment in yourself, your own well-being and your future," counselor Heidi McBain tells Bustle. "It can be very expensive, especially to see a specialist in the field, but you’re worth it."
Before you start search for free or low-cost therapy options — which very much exist — make sure you have a budget in mind for what you can truly afford to spend, whether that's $15 a week, $30 a month, or nothing. And if researching reduced-cost options feels like a burden unto itself, recruit a trusted friend to help you do some research. Reaching out to your support network can also be helpful — they may have found low-cost resources already who they can link you with, if you are comfortable asking.
Just because therapy doesn't seem financially accessible right now doesn't mean it can't work. Free or low-cost therapy is available through a variety of different avenues, whether that's a dedicated low-cost service, or negotiating a lower rate with a private counselor. Your mental health is always worth investing in, and there are always options that can work with your budget. Here are a few things to try if therapy seems financially out of reach right now.