What to Do If You Can't Afford Therapy Anymore

patient talking to their therapist

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Mental health care is cost-prohibitive for many. According to Verywell Mind's 2022 Cost of Therapy Survey, 40% of folks require financial support to afford their therapy sessions. This statistic highlights the current state of mental health and the barriers to receiving care.

The survey also found the average cost of a therapy session to be $178 per month. Considering the median household income as of 2020 in the United States is $67,521, receiving weekly therapy at that rate is a stretch for many.

While many require financial support to receive therapy, what about those who simply can’t afford it? This article is for those who are facing the challenge of being unable to afford therapy. It will cover options for accessing care at a lower fee and the resources that service this need. Read on to learn more. 

What to Do If You Can’t Afford Therapy Anymore

If you have reached a point where you can no longer afford psychotherapy, there is no shame. It is an unfortunate scenario, but there are options for receiving care.

Talk to Your Therapist About Your Finances

The first step is to tell your therapist what is going on. Considering the discrepancy between the average cost of a therapy session and the median household income in the United States, mental health providers are aware that access to care can be stifled by financial concerns.

So, being open and honest about your financial situation leaves room for them to help you. For example, your therapist may:

  • Allow you to negotiate your therapy fee to a rate that is more in line with your budget
  • Direct you to go through your insurance to find a provider
  • Refer you to group therapy
  • Discuss low-fee therapy options
  • Offer resources for free therapy

Consider Attending Group Therapy

Group therapy offers the opportunity for you to receive therapy and build community, typically at a reduced rate. While it may not be the best fit for those who prefer to have an individualized experience, it is an effective form of treatment.

Both short-term and long-term group therapy has been proven to significantly improve symptoms, interpersonal problems, and psychosocial functioning among those with mood, anxiety, and personality disorders.

You can head over to your favorite therapy directory, ask your current therapist, or visit Verywell Mind's review of the best online group therapy offerings to find the right fit for you. 

Search for Low-Fee Providers

There are some therapists who offer their services at a significantly reduced fee. Try checking out Open Path Collective. This is a therapy directory that exclusively features therapists who offer their services for $30 to $60 per session with a lifetime membership of $59. They focus on having diverse and inclusive therapists, making it a great option for many.

You may also want to look into nearby colleges and social service agencies. Many will hire therapists-in-training to provide free therapy.

Look into Therapy Funds From Organizations

Some organizations have begun offering therapy funds that those with marginalized identities can apply for.

A therapy fund offers money to cover a certain number of therapy sessions.

The Loveland Foundation, The National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network, and Inclusive Therapists are just a few funds you can apply to.

While therapy funds are a wonderful option to ensure access to therapy, it is important to keep in mind that it is a temporary solution since it has a cap on how many therapy sessions are covered. Additionally, the funds are limited, and an application is typically required.

A Word From Verywell

Mental health care is an essential form of healthcare. Losing the ability to afford therapy can be a jarring experience, but it is crucial that you remember that there are solutions to getting the care you need.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your options for care, consider reaching out to a friend or family member for help. They can help you narrow down your options, make phone calls, and offer moral support.

3 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Verywell Mind. Cost of Therapy Survey.

  2. United States Census Bureau. Income and Poverty in the United States: 2020

  3. Lorentzen S, Ruud T, Fjeldstad A, H⊘glend P. Comparison of short- and long-term dynamic group psychotherapy: randomised clinical trial. BJPsych. 2013;203(4):280-287. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.112.113688.

By Julia Childs Heyl, MSW
Julia Childs Heyl, MSW, is a clinical social worker and writer. As a writer, she focuses on mental health disparities and uses critical race theory as her preferred theoretical framework. In her clinical work, she specializes in treating people of color experiencing anxiety, depression, and trauma through depth therapy and EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) trauma therapy.