Trying to find affordable mental health services and long-term psychotherapy at a reasonable price is frustrating and incredibly stressful, especially when you are going through a difficult time. Counseling on a sliding scale fee is something that's hard to come by and often when you do find it, its at a mental health clinic or with a provider who is inundated with cases or doesn't have the proper training to help with true depression and anxiety. Here are few tips to help you find counseling services at an affordable rate.
Don't be afraid to negotiate with a psychology practice or with your prospective therapist directly. Therapist are accustomed to lowering their prices in order to make their services more accessible, especially if they think you will be a good client. Ask them if they offer a discount for buying several sessions up front, if they do any Pro Bono work or simply tell them that finances are difficult for you right now but you are serious about attending regular therapy sessions at a price you can afford. You may be surprised how they respond. Many psychotherapists and licensed clinical psychologists have an associate therapist who works for them and is happy to see you at a reduced rate.
Another tip is that many therapist offer better rates during the off season, which in South Florida are the summer months, especially August. Call around to some different mental health practices during this time and the holidays as well, especially between Christmas and New Years. Some therapists will be away on vacation but the ones that are still in town are looking for work and have the same overhead they always do. Make sure once you start seeing that therapist, you request to lock in your rate for at least 6 months.
My last recommendation on how to find affordable therapy for depression, anxiety and substance abuse is Call Call Call. Go on www.psychologytoday.com or www.goodtherapy.org and call as many therapists as possible. Look for younger therapists who are more likely to have just graduated and give you a better rate because they haven't build up their practice yet. If you call ten clinical psychologists, you are bound to find one that doesn't mind offering a sliding scale fee. Also, older therapists who are close to retirement will some times make their mental health services more affordable because they might have a pension, a home that is paid off or investments that make them comfortable financially and they are more focused on working part-time at their leisure. Last but not least, a webiste and app called www.thumbtack.com allows you to submit a request for a licensed mental health professional and then five of them will compete to be your therapist. You can use this to your advantage to find the right price for you.
Big News!!!! For the convenience of my clients, I have developed a second East Boca Raton office location right next to The Fresh Market on Camino Real in recently refurbished and beautiful Downtown.
If you think this area may be better for you or if you are looking for affordable therapy, call me today to find out how you can save money by seeing my associate psychotherapist Lindsay Cooke, Licensed Mental Health Counselor at my new second office location.
Written by: Blair H. Mor, Psy.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
MorMindful Therapy & Psychiatry