How To Find A Good Therapist Without Breaking The Bank

If you talk to those who have been fortunate enough to receive therapy, many will tell you it can be life-changing. Although the taboo surrounding mental health still persists, more and more people are turning to therapy as a way to deal with what plagues them, both inside and out. According to a September 2022 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 22% of U.S. adults received some form of mental health treatment in 2021, compared to 19% in 2019. The age group most likely to seek out therapy, at over 23%, are those between ages 18 and 44. This shouldn't come as a surprise: the younger generations understand the endless benefits of therapy.


"There have been some studies that show that many physical ailments are ameliorated when someone engages in therapy," psychologist Marian Margulies, Ph.D. tells Forbes. "When people do not express feelings but swallow them and keep them buried and out of conscious awareness, one's body often reacts. It acts as a barometer that reads: danger! Something is amiss and needs attention... stomach aches, headaches, sleeping problems, and ulcers are just some of the ways our body reacts to stress and psychic pain."

But as much as therapy can be an amazing asset in one's life, the price can make it seem as though it's a luxury when it shouldn't be. Without insurance, therapy can cost anywhere from $65 to $250 an hour depending on where you live (via GoodTherapy). And, sadly, many private health insurance plans won't cover mental healthcare. However, if you want or need therapy but don't have a lot of money, here's how you can swing it.


Figure out what you can afford

When it comes to finding a good therapist that's not going to break the bank, the first step is figuring out what you can and can't afford. An easy way to do that is by making a budget so you can see where you can cut back and what the expenses are that you can't cut, like rent and utility bills.


"Your mental well-being is a key pillar of health and wealth, so it's important not to negate it," certified financial planner Brittney Castro tells "Most people are unnecessarily spending; they have no idea where they're putting their money... Shifting around your budget is really a balancing act."

But although it is a balancing act, it's one that can be done and is worth it for the sake of your mental health. This isn't even to mention that budgeting in itself is good for your mental health because it can help reduce stress and anxiety (via Everyday Health). If you find, after setting up a budget, you can only afford $30 a week for therapy, don't fret. You can make it work.

Low-budget options

It's important to realize that just because something isn't expensive doesn't mean it isn't good. For example, if you live near a university, supervised student therapists can be a good resource, and they're usually $10 or less an hour. The Association of Psychology Training Clinics has a list of training programs that offer therapy near you, as well as the types of mental health issues in which they have experts and trainees.


Furthermore, some therapists offer a sliding fee for each session based on how much you can afford, while others actually offer pro-bono therapy, so it doesn't hurt to ask either your current therapist or one you're interested in if they offer these types of services (via Psycom).

Thanks to technology, text therapy is an option that's not only affordable but extremely convenient too. BetterHelp offers plans that start as low as $40 a week, and Talkspace, which has made a name for itself as the text therapy app to have, runs as low as $65 a week. But if even those amounts are too much, then you can turn to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website and see what providers they have and if there are any financial assistance programs.


No matter what you're able to afford for therapy, there's an option out there. It just means, perhaps, giving up a brunch or Happy Hour or two and getting creative with your budget. After all, your mental health should never be put on the back burner.