Therapy is a commitment. Some people fear making this commitment because of the costs associated with it.
You’ll almost always require more than one session to gain all the skills needed to take charge of your mental health. And each session could cost you over $100 without insurance.
But there are a few ways you can get therapy for way less than $100, sometimes even free.
We’ll discuss some of these ways below as we answer the question, how much does therapy cost without health insurance in 2023? The goal is to help you find affordable therapy whenever you need it.
How Much Is A Therapy Session Without Insurance?
Most professional therapists will charge you between $100 and $250 for an hour-long session if you don’t have insurance.
Others may charge less than $100 (about $50 – $90) or more than $250 (around $300 – $500). It largely depends on the type of specialist and therapy session.
Here is a breakdown of the average cost of therapy without insurance based on the type of therapy and mental health specialist.
Cost Of Therapy Based On The Type Of Specialist
There are different types of mental health specialists, such as psychologists, counselors, psychotherapists, and psychiatrists.
All these professionals help people take good care of their mental health. But they undergo different training and use various methods to provide their services.
Because of this, the cost of seeing each specialist varies as follows:
A psychologist specializes in studying the mind and how it functions.
Many psychologists use evidence-based treatment options to help their patients deal with mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders. But they are not medical doctors, so they can’t prescribe medications.
You could pay $70 to $150 to see a psychologist for one session (about an hour). Although, some psychologists with higher levels of expertise could charge nearly $250 for a similar session.
Counselors are individuals trained to listen and offer helpful insight into several mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Their primary role is to help people prevent or resolve negative mental patterns and improve their quality of life.
Most counselors charge roughly $50 to $80 per session.
A psychiatrist is a qualified medical doctor who focuses on diagnosing and treating mental illnesses.
They assess different aspects of psychological issues, like psychologists, and prescribe medications to help patients get better.
Usually, psychiatrists charge the highest fees. Expect to pay approximately $300 to $500 for the initial consultation session. Then you’ll pay around $100 – $200 for any follow-up session to monitor your progress.
Psychotherapists use talk therapy and regular personal interaction to help people understand and deal with various mental problems.
Social workers are good examples of psychotherapists, although all other mental health professionals also use some talk therapy with their clients.
The cost of seeing a psychotherapist could be $60 to $300 for every session.
Different Types Of Therapy Sessions Costs
You can get different therapy sessions from each of the specialists above. Some common examples of these sessions include individual, group, couples, marriage, grief, and depression therapy.
You’ll most likely pay a different amount for each type of therapy when you visit your therapist without insurance.
For instance, a session with a counselor may cost $50 – $80, as we’ve mentioned. But if you see the same counselor for a specific type of therapy, like marriage counseling, you could pay more.
Find the estimated cost for some types of therapy sessions below:
INDIVIDUAL OR PRIVATE THERAPY
General one-on-one therapy sessions are the most expensive. You might pay $100 to $300 per session based on the specialist you see.
In most cases, an individual therapy session with a psychiatrist will cost the highest without insurance.
You could pay more than $300 depending on several factors, which we will discuss later.
Therapists provide group therapy when they see a group’s collective experiences might help individuals within the group improve.
Group therapy rates vary and may cost around $700 for an 8-week course.
On average, family counseling costs around $100/ hour.
MARRIAGE AND COUPLES THERAPY
The rates for marriage and couples therapy range from $70 to about $250 per session.
Grief counseling could cost you between $70 and $150/hour.
The average cost of depression therapy often depends on the severity of the condition. This information will determine your treatment needs.
You might require talk therapy and medication combined, meaning you’ll have to see a psychiatrist.
You’ll probably pay $100 to $200 every hour after the initial diagnosis session, which may cost $300 or more. The medication cost is also separate.
Often, anger management requires attending classes, which may cost $50 to $150 per class.
But there are some cases where you can participate in group management programs that last all day. In such cases, you could pay about $200 to attend the all-day program.
Getting Therapy For Less When You Don’t Have Insurance
From the figures above, you can tell that a therapist’s cost without insurance is a bit expensive. However, there are more affordable ways to access various specialists for different therapy sessions.
One of the most common ways is to use online therapy directories like Open Path Psychology Collective.
You can get a therapist for as low as $30 per session on this platform, depending on the type of session you need. You also have the option to choose whether you’d like to engage with your therapist in person or online.
Another affordable way to get professional therapy without insurance in 2023 is using therapy apps.
High-quality therapy apps such as Talkspace and BetterHelp provide access to over 3,000 mental health specialists for less than a dollar per session. Both apps utilize a weekly subscription mode of payment.
Subscription plans at Talkspace cost between $69 and $129 per week, while those at BetterHelp cost about $60 to $90 a week.
Therefore, you can access qualified mental health professionals for roughly $0.4 at Talkspace or $0.36 at BetterHelp, if you subscribe to the cheapest plan.
Plus, you interact with your therapist via text, phone calls, live chats, or video.
5 Factors That Affect The Cost Of Therapy
Besides the specialization of the therapist and type of session, five other factors affect the cost of therapy:
The standard duration for each therapy session is an hour for most therapists. That’s why nearly all the therapy cost estimates we’ve discussed are on a per-hour basis.
A session could be shorter – 30 to 45 minutes, or longer – around 90 minutes.
So the amount you’ll pay can reduce or increase depending on the session length. Note that some therapists may charge a flat fee per session regardless of the duration.
Insurance Status & Type
You now know how much different therapy costs without insurance, and you might be wondering how much does therapy cost with insurance?
If you have insurance, the cost of therapy reduces significantly. You might pay about $20 – $50 or nothing instead of $100 – $250 or more based on your health insurance plan.
Some plans offer comprehensive coverage and may pay the entire cost of each therapy session. Others cover a few full sessions, while most pay for part of each session. Then you pay for the rest of the session as a copay plan, within the $20 – $50 range.
Some of the most common insurance options that cover mental health treatment include:
- Medicare – Find a suitable Medicare plan through Enhance Health Plans.
- Obamacare – learn what Obamacare is all about, and see whether you qualify.
Many mental health professionals adjust their hourly rates depending on their client’s income. It’s called the sliding scale therapy payment.
These adjustments are often significant and may go from $100 to as low as $1 per hour. Essentially, the less you earn, the less you’ll pay.
One of the main benefits of sliding scale therapy is that it ensures everyone can access specialized mental care for severe conditions. Some conditions may include prolonged PTSD and complicated grief.
Most mental health professionals available through online platforms, directories, and apps offer their services on a sliding scale basis.
Other ways to get access to sliding scale therapy sessions if you don’t have insurance include:
- Local therapists. Call therapists in your locality and see if they provide therapy on a sliding scale payment.
- Federally Qualified Health Centers. These centers offer mental health care services on a sliding scale program. You can find a health center near you through a quick search on this site
Community Mental Health Centers. Most provide therapy and psychiatric care, at a discounted rate or based on income.
- Local Universities/ Colleges. The psychology department of most local colleges or universities is often open to the public and may offer sliding scale therapy for as little as $1.
A therapist’s location influences how they set their standard rates.
You’ll pay more (over $250 an hour) to see a therapist in New York compared to another state like Michigan (under $90/hour).
Programs & Initiatives
Various programs and initiatives offer mental health support to people for various reasons. Each program affects the cost of the therapy provided.
You might access the therapy you need for free through the following programs:
- Employee-based programs. Some employers provide employee assistance to help their employees get therapy when they need it.
- Clinical trials. Mental-health-related clinical trials offer free specialized mental care to participants. Check out ongoing mental health studies, and see if you could participate.
- Non-profit. Several non-profit organizations have programs where mental health professionals volunteer to work with patients.
- Support Groups. Support groups help one care for their mental health through the community. Usually, there are mental health professionals to offer proper guidance for the group.
When Should You Visit A Therapist?
You might find it beneficial to visit a therapist when you:
- Would like to improve the quality of your life but feel stuck and don’t know where or how to start
- Find it hard to regulate your emotions
- Cannot build or maintain healthy relationships
- Are grieving
Taking care of your mental health is essential, and you don’t have to go broke doing this. We’ve looked at several affordable ways to get high-quality therapy.
However, we recommend getting a health insurance plan as the best option, especially for individual or private therapy.
You can create an ongoing relationship with your therapist this way and monitor your progress better. Contact Enhance Health for help finding the best mental health insurance plan.