IS THERE AFFORDABLE THERAPY?

Dr. David Sack states that, “Contrary to popular misconception, you don’t have to be crazy, desperate or on the brink of a meltdown to go to therapy. At the same time, therapy isn’t usually necessary for every little struggle life throws your way, especially if you have a strong support system of friends and family…” but he goes on to share that “most people can benefit from therapy at least some point in their lives.” (Sack, D., M.D., May 18, 2013, “5 Signs It’s Time to Seek Therapy”)  Therapy helps with a wide range of subjects, such as anxiety, depression, relationships (i.e., family, friends, partners), trauma, stage of life, health issues, vocational stressors, grief and loss, legal issues, sexual issues, and many more. 

Here are some reasons to seek therapy:

  • Overwhelming feelings of sadness, hopelessness, anger, and/or reactive behavior that are uncontrollable.

  • Experiencing symptoms and behavior of insomnia or hypersomnia, change in eating patterns, reactive behavior (i.e., angry outbursts), withdrawing from once-pleasurable activities, inability to concentrate, increasing challenges in meeting demands (i.e., work, home, school, social life), and other challenges that are unmanageable.

  • Experiencing suicidal thoughts or self-harm.

  • Utilizing negative coping mechanisms such as drugs, alcohol, food, shopping, and/or sex, that are having a negative impact in one’s daily life. 

  • Past and present trauma, such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, emotional abuse, or spiritual abuse.

  • Marital or relational distress, such as poor communication, difficulty solving problems, sexual difficulties, infidelity, major life changes, negative life events, and other issues.

  • Chronic medical problems that are having a negative impact on his or her daily life.

  • Legal proceedings or pressures that are having a negative impact on his or her daily life.

What prevents an individual from seeking therapeutic assistance?

  • I would rather talk to family or friends instead of to a stranger.

  • What good is talking going to do.

  • I do not know how comfortable I would feel in sharing my problems to a stranger.

  • It is hard to find time in my hectic schedule.

  • Therapy cost too much

The cost of therapy is the biggest reason for why people do not seek therapy. When an individual discovers that the therapist’s hourly rate can range between $150 to $300, they immediately assume that they cannot afford professional help, therefore they just stop looking. Therapy can be difficult to afford when one is already dealing with the high cost of rent, food, health insurance, auto insurance, gas, and other expenses. So, what things should one start thinking about when it comes to considering therapy? 

The pros and cons of talking to family and/or friends about your issues:

  • They can be a great support system in hard times.

  • They give advice, whether helpful or harmful.

  • They do not challenge and allow you to gain valuable insight into yourself.

  • They can at times be the source of your problems.

  • They may not be equipped to hold your pain and they may feel overwhelmed by your problems. You might start to feel like they view your entire life as one big catastrophe after another.

The benefits of talking to a therapist:

  • Therapy is confidential, so what is shared in therapy is protected by the law, as long as you do not present as a danger to self, others, or someone is a danger to you.

  • Therapy treats both the psychological and physical symptoms. Some individuals do not realize that by suppressing their emotions it can trigger physical symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, changes in eating pattern, headaches or migraines, muscles tension, chronic pain, digestive or bowel problems, and ulcers.

  • Therapy provides a safe, empathic, and compassionate space where one can express and process their repressed emotions without feeling judged.

  • Therapy provides tools, such as effective communication skills, conflict resolution skills, identifying negative thought patterns, and emotional regulation.

Finding time and money to do therapy:

While the cost of therapy can be daunting, I want to help. Here are some practical steps one can take to make therapy work for you financially.

  • Speak with your employer regarding changing your work schedule.

  • Find a therapist near your place of employment or home, that way you can go before work, during lunch, or after work.

  • Check with your health insurance if they offer in-network or accept out-of-network mental health or private practice therapy services.

  • Re-evaluate and re-organize your budget to accommodate therapy. 

  • Find a private practice that offers low or sliding scale fee. I offer low-fee and sliding scale counseling.

  • Give me a call or schedule an appointment. I believe the best way to move forward is by reaching out for help. I will work with you to find the best counseling solution.

I provide therapeutic assistance and I make therapy affordable:

  • I provide a safe space for individuals, couples, and families to explore and process their thoughts and emotions.

  • I provide a safe space for individuals, couples, and families to talk about things that they would not normally talk about, such as past experiences, trauma, anxiety, depression, and other life challenges.

  • I provide individuals, couples, and families with skills and tools, such as effective communication skills, conflict resolution skills, and emotional regulation.

  • I accept most out-of-network health insurance.

  • I offer low-fee counseling so that one can afford therapy.

If you are experiencing anxiety, depression, stress, worries, fears, hopelessness, anger, isolation, relationship issues, or other symptoms, I provide a safe space for you to talk and explore those concerns. If one feels that they can’t afford therapy, I offer affordable counseling. 

Bekke Abe