How Much Does Psychotherapy Cost?

Psychotherapy is the process of meeting with a therapist or counselor to address thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that interfere with well-being and daily life. Psychotherapy can entail meeting with a mental health professional individually, in a group setting, or with loved ones (such as in couples therapy or family therapy) for regular sessions, usually weekly, for about an hour.

This article covers the cost of psychotherapy, health insurance coverage for psychotherapy, affordable psychotherapy options, and how to find the right therapist for you.

How to Find the Best Therapist for You

Average Cost of Therapy

The price of psychotherapy is usually about $100 to $200 a session. However, cost can vary depending on the level of training of the clinician, their discipline, and where in the country you are.

If you're interested in online therapy without insurance, your fees will range from about $50 to $130 a session. The following are some rates from popular therapy sites:

  • Grouport: $35 a week for group therapy sessions
  • Open Path: Onetime $59 fee and then usually $30 to $60 per session
  • 7 Cups: $150 a month for therapy via chat throughout the week
  • BetterHelp: $60 to $90 per week depending on location
  • Pride Counseling: $60 to $90 per week depending on location
  • Talkspace: $69 for chat therapy to $99 for talk therapy

Factors That Impact Cost

Factors that affect the cost of therapy include:

  • Location
  • Duration of treatment
  • Health insurance co-pays
  • Health insurance networks
  • Type of therapy: Individual, couples, family, group, etc.
  • Therapist discipline, training, and specialization

Does Insurance Cover Therapy?

Health insurance plans sold via, the government's health insurance program, are required to provide mental health coverage. The amount you pay per session will vary based on your insurance deductible.

But regardless of insurance plan, there can be limitations on mental health coverage, including:

  • Deductibles: Deductibles are the amount you'll be required to pay for healthcare before insurance covers costs. Sometimes there can be separate deductibles for mental health.
  • Your diagnosis: Certain health plans exclude some mental health diagnoses.
  • Type of sessions: Group versus individual versus family, for example.
  • Number of sessions per week: Coverage will vary on how many sessions you attend in a single week.
  • Reimbursement cap: The amount of money your insurance plan will pay for therapy or the number of sessions per year may be limited.

Affordable Options

There are several ways to find a low-cost or no-cost therapist, including:

  • Group therapy: Group therapy could be less costly than individual sessions.
  • Free support groups: Support groups can be found online or in person:
  • Some websites provide free volunteer support.
  • Mental Health America provides a free support group finder.
  • Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families provide online and in-person support.
  • Therapy via chat: Some sites provide chat therapy as a telehealth option.
  • Sliding scale: This is when a therapist charges based on the client's income.
  • University clinics: Colleges and universities with mental health programs may offer free or low-cost therapy done by graduate students.
  • Professional organizations: The Academy of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies, for example, provides a list of low-cost therapy services nationwide.
  • Government-funded centers: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) clinic finder locates free community mental health centers.
  • Hotlines: Hotlines like the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (phone number is 988) and the LGBT National Help Center hotline (888-843-4564) can help with emergencies and information.
  • The healthcare Marketplace provides subsidies for those who cannot afford insurance.

How to Find a Therapist

There are several ways to find the right therapist, including::

  • If you have insurance, check if your company has a searchable directory.
  • Ask a healthcare provider, friend, or support group member for a referral.
  • Search online for sliding scale therapists.
  • Ask therapists you are interested in if they take sliding scale clients.
  • Search professional organization sites like that of the American Psychological Association.
  • Search the SAMHSA mental health facilities locator.

Some questions to ask a therapist might include:

  • What is your training and which organizations are you licensed with?
  • What therapeutic methods do you prefer?
  • What conditions do you have experience with?
  • Do you provide reinforcement via email or telephone in between sessions?
  • What would you do if my insurance denies coverage?
  • What will I be charged in case of a missed session?
  • Would you help me appeal to my insurance company in case of denial of services?


Psychotherapy is the process of meeting with a mental health professional to address mental health concerns that are interfering with well-being, relationships, and life goals. The cost of a session of psychotherapy can vary considerably, but averages from $100 to $200, with a co-pay ranging from $10 to $50. Online therapy services can range from about $30 per therapy session to about $130 per session.

Location, insurance coverage, length of sessions, type of therapy, and therapist discipline, specialty, and experience can all affect the cost of therapy. Insurance is usually required to provide some mental health services, according to federal law. However, there can be limitations of coverage, such as deductibles, session limits, and exclusion of certain diagnoses.

A Word From Verywell

If you feel you need help with your mental health, you're not alone. If your resources are limited, there are options to access low-or no-cost mental health care, including through community centers and support groups or via sliding-scale therapy and group therapy. It also never hurts to ask if a therapist you prefer provides discounts for patients in need. Your mental health and well-being are worth it.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is psychotherapy so expensive?

    Psychotherapy is expensive because of:

    • Insurance coverage limits
    • Many mental health professionals not accepting insurance due to barriers to network entry and poor reimbursement from insurance companies
    • Complicated steps for therapists who want to enter insurance networks
    • Low reimbursement rates
    • Reimbursement barriers for online therapy
    • Shortage of mental health specialists

    Therapists in private practice also face business expenses, from rent to insurance to marketing. In addition, student loan debt among mental health specialists can be high, averaging about $120,000 for those with a doctorate degree.

  • How can I get therapy for free?

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) clinic finder can help with finding federally funded clinics. Nonprofit centers, university clinics, online and in-person support groups, and therapists who take on some pro bono clients are other ways to get free or significantly reduced therapy.

    Hotlines like the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (call 988) and the LGBT National Help Center hotline (888-843-4564) can help in emergencies and with finding information on free resources.

  • Are therapists worth it?

    A therapist can provide a judgment-free zone where your mental health can be addressed privately and in a style and at a pace that works for you. Mental health care is health care, and finding a specialist for the mind is as important as finding one for the body.

24 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Neha Kashyap
Neha is a New York-based health journalist who has written for WebMD, ADDitude, HuffPost Life, and dailyRx News. Neha enjoys writing about mental health, elder care, innovative health care technologies, paying for health care, and simple measures that we all can take to work toward better health.