Right now, people need to speak to a psychologist more than ever. There’s quite a lot going on in the world right now, and it can be grating on one’s mental health. A psychologist can help you treat your problems and help you to accomplish your goals. The problem is that seeing a psychologist can be expensive.
The average session can cost anywhere from $70-$100. On its own, that doesn’t seem too expensive, but you need to have multiple sessions to get help. The first session is usually the consultation, after all.
It can cost hundreds, and when you don’t have much money, this can be a purchase that is rather difficult to justify.
Psychology is a career where licensed psychologists work hard to get to where they were. They spent years and tens of thousands on education and training, so it makes sense they would charge, but it’s also understandable that there are a lot of people who need help, but can’t get it due to the cost.
There are some free options, however. Let’s look at them.
Pro bono, or for the public, is when a psychologist takes on a client for no cost at all, which they consider to be a service to the public. Pro bono slots tend to be limited, and not all psychologists offer them. However, you may get lucky and be able to find one who is offering. Call your local psychologists and see what they are offering. It won’t hurt to ask, and even if you can’t find one, a psychologist may be able to give you a lead as to where to find free help.
Every local community has a clinic, all of which can provide free or low-cost mental health treatment. The downside of community clinics is that they are packed, with wait times being longer, but as we said, you could get lucky. These clinics tend to employ students, so not only are you getting help, but you’re able to give someone experience.
Community clinics can also include universities and colleges. If you attend the university, you can find a psychologist there for absolutely no cost. With that said, you may be able to get free or low-cost treatment even if you aren’t a student. See what the university has to offer.
Another way you can get the help you need is through insurance. You can find psychologists who will accept insurance, and if you have a plan, you can contact them to see if they cover you. Some insurance companies will be glad to cover you, giving you therapy for little to no cost.
Meanwhile, other insurance companies have an outdated view on therapy, thinking it’s a luxury. At least, that’s what they claim to think. Not only that, but even if your insurance company does provide therapy coverage, you have to find a therapist who accepts. A psychologist who accepts insurance has to go through paperwork, with many companies not paying well enough, so it is a challenge. However, you can ask around or do research and see what you can come up with.
If you need help now, you can contact a hotline. When one thinks of a hotline, they may imagine a suicide hotline, which some people will call when they feel thoughts of suicide. However, there are hotlines for less severe issues. While the people on the hotlines may not be trained psychologists, they are trained to listen, give advice, and connect you with resources.
Don’t like talking on the phone? No problem. Many of these hotlines also have live chat or email, which you can use to communicate and often get an instant response.
Another way you can get some help at no cost is to look to an online psychologist. There are many online therapy apps, and they can cost less overall. With that said, these online apps tend to have a free trial. You may get a week or two of free therapy, then you can decide whether to pay or cancel.
Obviously, a week or two of therapy isn’t going to fix your problems, but it can get the ball rolling. You can get the initial stages out of the way, then pay for the sessions that will help you quite a bit.
Sometimes, going to a support group can be a good way to get some help. You can find groups, whether in-person or online, that can help you. They consist of people, often people who are in the same boat as you, and they can give you advice and work to build each other up.
Support groups are not all created equal. Some of them have people who are experts, while others aren’t at all, so your mileage may vary.
Alternatively, you can try group therapy. This is a support group led by a psychologist. Group therapy can help multiple people to work off each other and get them the help they need. Because there is multiple people, the price for group therapy can be a lot less. For some people, group therapy can get results. For others, they may want a one-on-one session.
This isn’t free therapy, but many psychologists will have a sliding scale payment plan. You pay what you can afford. If you’re low-income, you probably won’t have to pay as much, making it a good option.
Finding a free psychologist is not easy, but there are a few options available for you. We do hope that one day, getting help is much easier for those who are low-income, but for now, you have to work with what you have. Look at your options, see what is available, and you may be able to find something. If you need any immediate help, you can call a hotline or sign up for a free week of online therapy, which can help you immensely.
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