I Can't Find Affordable Counseling Near Me
Therapy can be expensive – but why?
America has an extremely flawed mental health care system. It caters to the wealthy rather than all people who need treatment for mental illness. It’s unfair that having a lot of money can make it easier to get mental health care. You may be thinking, “If I have a good insurance plan, I can find counseling.” But unfortunately, that isn’t the case for many people. Many insurance companies have a high deductible to meet before they’d start paying for therapy, and this often deters people from seeking treatment. Maybe you’re sitting there wondering, “How can I find counseling near me?”
You’re not alone – many people need therapy and can’t get it.
You’re not the first person to ponder this question. Many people want to work with a reliable therapist in their area, but unfortunately, that’s not always possible. A lot of therapists refuse to take in-network insurance plans because they don’t want to deal with the paperwork and phone calls associated with accepting these plans. So they tell potential clients: “I only accept out-of-network plans, but you can submit these receipts to the insurance company and get reimbursed.” They may think they’re helping the client, but they’re often not. The therapist in question charges something like $300 for an initial session, which the majority of people in the United States cannot afford, even if they will eventually get reimbursed. The bottom line is this: it can all get very expensive.
So, what are my options if I’m not rich?
If you don’t have that chunk of money to give a therapist upfront, you could investigate low-cost mental health clinics. These facilities offer more reasonable rates to see a therapist and get the help you need to treat your mental health issues. The problem is a lot of these places have huge waitlists, and it can be hard to get in to see a mental health provider. The idea of a mental health clinic that serves people who have a lower income is a novel one; however, in practice, it has its challenges.
So you’ve looked in your area, and you can’t find a clinic with an available therapist, and the private practices are extraordinarily expensive. You need to see a therapist, and your depression is worsening. What do you do next? Consider other options like online counseling. If you’re unable to find a reasonably priced mental health provider in your area or one who takes your insurance, online therapy could be a fantastic alternative. You can access treatment from the comfort of your home, office or anywhere with a stable internet connection. There are some companies that provide a free trial of online counseling so you can try it out before committing to working with an online therapist. Ultimately, you’ve got to do what works for you. Maybe that’s finding a therapist who’s willing to offer a “sliding scale” payment, which means they will work within your budget, or you wait long enough to get a spot in a mental health clinic. Perhaps you hit the jackpot and find a therapist who accepts your insurance plan. Only you know what’s going to work best for you. Don’t let anyone tell you how to get treatment.
Therapy involves patience. The reality is, no matter why you’re seeking therapy, finding the right fit in a therapist involves a lot of time and effort. You’re going to make a lot of phone calls, send a ton of emails and communicate with a variety of diverse personalities before you find someone you feel you can connect with. If you notice yourself becoming frustrated with this process, that’s natural, but please don’t give up. Once you get the right counselor for you, you’ll know. Then the real work begins.
Getty image by 7sentidos.