Psychotherapeutic services require a very personal connection with a provider, and it is not uncommon for someone to not “connect” with various providers. The important thing is to find one that you/your loved one trusts and where you feel “heard” by the provider. Keep in mind that it can take some trial-and-error to find the right treatment team.
You may also wish to visit our Mental Health Treatment & Services page where you can read about Psychosocial Treatments and Complementary Health Approaches. In the meantime, you may want to consider the following resources for finding an affordable mental health provider:
- To begin with, you may wish to consult your local NAMI Affiliate regarding low-cost mental health clinics in your area. To find your nearest NAMI Affiliate, click on your state through the Find Your Local NAMI menu.
- SAMHSA is a government organization that maintains a database of low-cost treatment facilities across the United States and is the “go-to” resource for locating affordable mental health care nationwide. Contact SAMHSA at (800) 662-HELP (4357) or online through their Treatment Locator.
- Federally funded health centers can also be a good resource for those without health insurance or with a limited budget. You pay what you can afford based on your income; many of these centers include mental health services. Find a federally funded health center near you.
- National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics are safety-net health care organizations that utilize a volunteer/staff model to provide a range of medical, dental, pharmacy, vision and/or behavioral health services to economically disadvantaged individuals. Offers a Find A Clinic function on its website.
- Some teaching colleges and universities may offer low-cost therapy provided by graduate students of psychology who are supervised and can provide services at a lower cost as they gain counseling experience. If there is a teaching college/university in your area, contact the psychology, psychiatry, or behavioral health department and inquire about availability.
- Programs that connect low-cost therapists to patients such as Open Path is another option. Open Path is a psychotherapy collective that connects people in genuine financial need with private therapists who can lower their costs per session. Rather than paying per session, clients sign up once and pay a lifetime membership fee, which provides access to the discounted rates on therapist sessions in the future.
- Open Counseling is a service that provides lists of resources on attaining accessible care and counseling resources for therapists and centers. The website indicates if providers listed are accepting new clients (updated regularly); many listed providers list their rates.
- You may also wish to investigate a service called Theravive, which offers a resource directory for low cost therapists, listed by state.
- Online therapy is another option, from chats with actual therapists to free downloadable tools and worksheets. Some options, like BetterHelp, TalkSpace or 7 Cups.com, charge a fee per week, which is often more affordable than traditional counseling.
- Additionally, your local house of worship might have offer Pastoral counseling from a trained Minister, Rabbi, Priest, Imam, etc., which is usually free. Most counselors, if not all, will be members of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. If your house of worship does not offer Pastoral counseling, it is worth investigating to see if they offer a fund that might help you pay for therapy.
- Websites, such as Helpwhenyouneedit.org and www.211.org, allow you to conduct a zip-code-based search for local resources including affordable medical & mental health clinics, housing, food, employment, etc.
- For resources on medical/non-mental health (children’s health care, dental care, eye care, women’s health), the Free Clinic Directory offers a free clinic treatment locator by zip code; each clinic listing offers reviews, services provided, and contact information for clinics for the uninsured, no cost and affordable medical clinics.
- If you are an Active Duty service member or Veteran (as well as their family members) affected by mass tragedies or natural disasters, Give an Hour offers free therapy from mental health professionals who donate an hour of their time.
- If you are a student, consider taking advantage of any free campus resources (and ask for the availability of a student discount elsewhere).
- If you are employed, you may wish to explore whether or not your employer offers an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP). An EAP is an employer-paid benefit that is separate from your medical plan. It is designed to help employees through challenging situations. Typically, employees can access counseling through the EAP for no cost. As the EAP is designed to provide short-term assistance, there is usually a limit (ranging from three to eight) to the number of free counseling sessions. If you are not sure if you have an EAP plan, call the 800 number of the back of your insurance card or contact your employer’s Human Resources department.
A final note - for individuals who are self-pay, some providers may offer a sliding-fee scale that allows people to pay based on their personal income and what they can afford. If you have concerns about cost, be direct and honest with your provider.