Is Buying Your Therapist A Gift Acceptable, Or Is Paying For Sessions Enough?

We all go through hard times at some point in our lives. Mental health is not something to play with, and it can affect our perspectives, moods, and even livelihood. For those struggling, one of the best choices to make is to enroll in therapy sessions. According to Talkspace, psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, is when you work with a licensed therapist to help develop effective coping skills to deal with mental health conditions or specific tribulations in your life.


This can be an amazing option, as talk therapy can change your outlook on life. Going to therapy can be the outlet that can improve your well-being and how you go about your day to day. If your therapist is the right fit for your needs, it's normal to start to feel grateful to your therapist and all that they have done. It is not uncommon for people to feel the need to show their gratitude, especially through gifts, but is this okay to do?

What is your motivation for the gift?

Before you go buy the most lavish gift you can for your therapist, you should consider why you want to buy it. Clinical psychologist Dr. Aimee Daramus explained to Well+Good that while this can be a sweet gesture it can also be a reflection of your fears. This can include thinking your therapist doesn't like you, or you talk too much, or they have some personal issue with you. Having these thoughts can cause some people to buy gifts in order to nullify that insecurity within their own heads.


If this is not the case, it is perfectly fine to give your therapist a gift. Clinical psychologist Dr. Carla Marie Manly told Well+Good, "Due to the high level of connection that often results from psychotherapy sessions, it's not uncommon for a client to feel the urge to give a gift — small or large — to a therapist." In certain cases, the feeling is mutual to the therapist as well, especially considering the relationship that is created between a therapist and a client.

What you give your therapist matters

Believe it or not, what you give your therapist can make a difference in whether they can accept it. This is because giving expensive gifts can become a conflict of interest between the therapist and their clients. Dr. Carla Marie Manly further explains that it's a common belief that expensive gifts can potentially harm the therapeutic relationship. For this reason, some therapists have a no-gift policy, to avoid this potential situation.


In order to go about this successfully, the best advice is to see if your therapist is even open to gifts. That way you both are on the same page, and there are no issues in the future. Dr. Aimee Daramus explains if the therapist is not into gifts, don't feel upset, because the thought still counts. Furthermore, consider passing your therapist a nice card to share your appreciation. This will mean a lot to them, without them worrying about a conflict of interest.