The average cost of therapy is $60 to $120 per session, with most American’s paying between $20 to $250 per hour depending on the number of sessions booked, and if it’s covered by health insurance. With health insurance coverage, rates average $20 to $50 per session, or about equal to your current copay.
Addition options such as online therapy costs $40 to $70 per week with a membership plan and typically offers 24-hour support.
Average Cost$90Minimum Cost$20Maximum Cost$250Average Range
Therapy, in all its diverse offerings, has the goal of relieving or healing disorders, mental illness, and of rehabilitating individuals and helping them function better socially. There are many different types of therapy one can sign up for to reach that intended goal, and the cost of the treatment will depend on the accreditation of the mental health professional, your insurance provider, and the methods used.
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How Much Is a Therapist Session?
If you need therapy, it is essential to understand the different ways therapists charge before developing a treatment plan. Mental health professions charge either per hour or per session, with prices fluctuating on a sliding scale based on your income. Community mental health clinics typically cost less than a therapist in a private practice.
The number of sessions you book, where you live, and your health insurance provider can affect your costs. Also, the current status of your mental health issues will determine which type of therapist you’ll need to see.
Therapist Rates Per Hour
Therapist rates average $90 per hour with most spending between $60 and $120 per session. If you live somewhere like New York or Los Angeles, standard rates for health providers can jump up to $250 per hour.
Sliding Scale Therapy
Another key variable in regards to therapy rates is whether or not you qualify for sliding scale therapy. For example, if a therapist’s standard rate is $150 per hour, if you make less than a set amount (i.e., $60,000 per year), you could benefit from one-hour therapy sessions for as little as $75. Each therapist and practice will set their own sliding scale fees, helping those with fewer resources seek and obtain the help they need.
Does Insurance Cover Therapy?
Across the United States, specific laws such as the mental health parity law require certain health insurance plans to cover therapy for mental health issues, just as they would cover physical ailments. Some insurers are generous with their mental health coverage, while many others require you to pay most of it out of pocket. Those who purchased insurance through the Affordable Care Act have access to some level of mental health care.
Those who obtain insurance coverage through their employers are also often covered. Some therapists participate in insurance networks, so if you typically pay a $50 copay to see your doctor, the cost to see a psychologist will not be any higher. To better understand what you need to pay individually, you should inquire about your current deductibles, copays, and coinsurance, as well as any out-of-pocket costs.
Therapy Costs & InsuranceInsuranceCost Per SessionWith Insurance$20 to $50Without Insurance$50 to $250
How Much Does Therapy Cost without Insurance?
If you do not have insurance, you can expect to pay the standard rate as set by your local therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist. As discussed, this rate could be anywhere from $50 to $250+ per hour-session.
How Much Does Therapy Cost with Insurance?
If you currently have health insurance, you may pay as little as $20 to $50 per therapy session if that is what you currently pay in regards to your insurance co-pay rate. In many cases, your insurance company will select a therapist for you. However, you can contact various local therapists to inquire about the insurance companies they work with.
Types of Therapy
If you are seeking treatment for a specific condition or circumstance, here’s what you need to know in regards to pricing.
Types of TherapyTypeAverage Cost Per SessionIndividual Therapy$70 – $150Couples Therapy$70 – $250Marriage Counseling$70 – $250Group Therapy$30 – $80Depression Therapy$100 – $200Grief Counseling$70 – $150Sex Therapy$100 – $200Anger Management$50 – $150Cognitive Behavioral Therapy$100 – $200Art TherapyFree – $100
Individual & Private Therapy Cost
The cost of private therapy will depend on where you live and in some cases, how much you make per year. On average, expect to pay at least $150 per hour session, as individual therapy is often the most expensive. If your income is low, you may be able to obtain lower rates.
Couples Therapy Cost
The cost of couples therapy varies depending on the professional you see and where you’re located. In general, counselors specializing in couples and family therapy charge between $70 and $250 per hour. Where you reside will impact the price you pay, as standard rates vary across the country. In the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, expect to pay anywhere between $120 and $250 per hour as a couple.
Marriage Counseling Cost
Family and marriage counseling rates range from $70 to $250. Across the country, you can expect to pay an average price of $100 per session for family counseling. When it comes to strengthening the relationship, individual therapy is excellent for addressing personal emotional triggers, but marriage counseling can be invaluable because you get to work through your issues and come up with solutions together rather than take a stand against issues within the relationship on your own.
Group Therapy Cost
Some counseling centers and therapists offer group therapy when they feel that the group’s collective experiences can help the individuals in it move forward. Group members encourage each other, grow better communication skills concerning their needs and struggles, and provide an excellent sounding board for their individual thought processes.
If you’re aiming to lower the costs associated with counseling, group therapy may be an ideal option. For example, instead of paying $200 per session, multi-session group therapy rates are often available — which could be as low as $700 per 8-week course.
As researchers learn more about depression, it’s becoming more apparent that a combination of talk therapy and medication are generally required. In terms of how much depression therapy costs, the final rate will depend on the severity of your depression in relation to your treatment needs.
If you do not have insurance and do not qualify for sliding scale therapy, expect to pay between $100 and $200 per hour to see a psychiatrist. The cost of depression medication will be extra.
Grief Counseling Cost
Grief counseling is typically offered at the same rates associated with psychologists, which is generally between $70 and $150 per hour. Since bereavement does not qualify as a mental health disease, it may not be covered by your insurance plan.
Sex Therapy Cost
Depending on the location in which you seek treatment, sex therapy typically costs between $100 and $200 per hour. Rates will depend on who you choose as your therapist, particularly in regards to their qualifications and expertise.
Average Cost of Anger Management Classes
Depending on where you go to benefit from anger management classes, you will likely pay between $50 and $150 per session. There are various programs available, and in some cases, you can participate in an all-day group anger management program for as little as $200 per day.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Cost
If your insurance plan covers behavioral medicine or psychotherapy, your premium may cover most, if not all of your therapy. In comparison, private practices will generally charge around $200 per session.
How Much Does Art Therapy Cost?
There are various art therapy programs offered across the country — some which cost $250. In other cases, art therapy programs are provided for free through local community organizations. For more intensive art therapy, expect to pay at least $100 per hour.
Cost of Counseling By Specialist
If you’re wondering what the average cost of therapy is, it’s important to understand the various factors involved — all of which influence the final price of a therapist. To obtain private therapy, expect to pay as little as $50 for a one-hour session, up to $300+ per session in larger, metropolitan areas.
Cost of CounselingSpecialistAverage Cost Per SessionPsychiatrist$100 – $200Psychologist$70 – $150Counselor$20 – $80Psychotherapist$100 – $300
Typically, a psychiatrist costs more than a psychologist, based on their medical background. Although each practice differs, you can expect to pay between $300 to $500 for your initial consultation, followed by at least $100 per hour as you move forward with your treatment plan. On average, across the country, this rate is closer to $200 per hour.
In comparison to other titles, a psychiatrist is essentially a medical doctor who is qualified to treat the psychological and physical symptoms associated with various mental health conditions. This includes treatment related to substance abuse disorders.
In most cases, a psychiatrist will work with their patient’s doctor and psychologist to implement the best possible treatment strategy. Unlike psychologists, psychiatrists can treat patients with medication — which is particularly important when treating seriously ill individuals, suffering from conditions such as schizophrenia.
Similar to psychiatrists, psychologists typically charge anywhere from $70 to $150 per session. In select regions across the country, the standard rate is $250 per one-hour session, as recommended by the Association for Psychological Science. However, many psychologists will offer a sliding scale fee, which is based on your specific income level.
While a psychologist is not a medical doctor, they do often have a Ph.D. In most cases, psychologists will work with patients while continuing to focus on their research. Most often, psychologists will specialize in a specific area, which is what influences their ongoing research.
Although psychologists do not prescribe medication, they do offer various types of evidence-based therapy options. For example, psychotherapy is an effective strategy that helps patients overcome distressing, problematic thoughts and behaviors.
Cost of Counseling
Individual seek counseling for many reasons, focusing on social, psychological, or personal difficulties. When you speak with a general counselor, expect to spend between $50 and $80 per session. Some offices will offer individuals access to student counselors who are available for as little as $20 per hour. These low rates are most often accessible to those living in low-income households. In this case, a student counselor is typically supervised by a registered psychologist who has a minimum of five years of experience.
Cost of Psychotherapy
Seeing a psychotherapist generally costs around $100 per session, with rates increasing among those who hold higher qualifications. Depending on your location, you may gain access to an hour of talk therapy for as little as $60 — with rates reaching as high as $300 in large cities. These fees may be covered under private health insurance plans. However, in most cases, only select mental health services are covered for a certain amount of time.
There are many types of psychotherapy models available, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy. In some cases, psychotherapy is often short-term to address select issues (i.e., 15 sessions or less), while long-term psychotherapy plans are implemented when dealing with more complex, long-standing problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Should I Go To Therapy?
It’s recommended that you start with one session per week then decide on the frequency after your mental health diagnosis with your therapist. Some therapy is quick and fixes the emotional pain in no time, while more extensive treatment, such as journaling, art therapy, and group therapy, heals you over months. Much of it depends on what caused the issues in the first place and whether your treatment is focused on the past, the present, or both.
How Much Does Betterhelp Cost?
For those who cannot afford $150+ per hour to speak with a licensed professional, Betterhelp offers behavioral health services online. This is based on a membership plan, which is between $40 and $70 per week, billed monthly.
Is Therapy Expensive?
While many think that therapy is expensive, you are paying for a professional service which focuses on life-altering treatment options. Those suffering from mental health conditions require this level of support — and for those who cannot afford help, there are various options available, including local support groups and government-funded programs.
Is There a Way to Get Free Therapy?
While therapy may not be free through your insurance plan, you could benefit from a significantly reduced rate. Other options for free or low-cost therapy include sessions with a university psychologist or student (which may aid research), an employee assistance program, online services, or community resources.
Although all of these are great options to support your mental health, if you are suffering from a diagnosable condition, it is highly recommended that you speak with a licensed, professional therapist.
What To Look For In A Therapist
The main thing to keep in mind when researching the best fit for your therapy is your goals—what would you like the end result to be once the series of therapy sessions are over? Do you want to learn and implement behavioral techniques that help conquer stress, overeating, or anger; do you want to process your path of grief in a healthy way; do you and your spouse need to learn great communication tools that you are then accountable to use?
When seeking mental health care or online therapy, you should consider:
- The level of training a therapist has, as highly experienced therapists will typically charge more per session. The level of training and experience a therapist also often corresponds to their reputation — especially those who have built a successful practice. If a therapist is in high demand, they can charge more for their time.
- The geographical location of your therapist. Large cities are often associated with higher costs of living, and in turn, therapists charge more per session than those who offer their services within small cities and towns. Online therapy may be cheaper since there are no physical boundaries.
- Whether or not therapy services are covered under your insurance plan.
- The level of specification you require. For example, if you would like to address a highly specific condition that requires an expert in that area, you may need to pay more — especially if you’re aiming to treat a rather unusual condition that is challenging to treat effectively.
Questions To Ask A Therapist
When evaluating different therapists, here are questions to ask to help you on your journey.
- What’s your approach to helping me with my issue(s)?
- How much experience do you have with my issue?
- Which state licenses do you hold?
- What has been your success rate with past clients with this issue?
- Are you directive during a session or more of a guide?
- What homework do you give between sessions?
- Will you see me if I run into problems between sessions?
- Will you always be ready to start a session on time, and if we don’t, can I recoup the lost minutes at a later date?
- What is your perspective on my issue?
- Can we do a paid test run for two or three sessions to ensure a proper fit?
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