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5 Tips for Finding Affordable Family Therapy

When you have serious issues that affect your whole family but don't have money in the budget to see a therapist, you might need to look for more affordable family therapy options in your area. The cost of a single session with a licensed therapist can easily cost $100 or even more. Those sessions can seriously help you recover from trauma together though. Even if you don't have insurance, you can find affordable ways to get help.

Check With Your Insurer

Before you look at the prices of therapy sessions and wince, contact your insurer. Insurance companies will often cover several sessions with a licensed therapist, though it depends on your policy and the coverage that you have. If your policy covers mental health counseling, the insurer can give you recommendations on which offices and therapists in your area are the best, including which ones your policy covers and how much those sessions will cost out of your own pocket.

Related resource: The Top 10 Low-Cost Online Master's Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy

Look for a Local College

If you do not have health insurance, contact colleges in your area and find out which ones have master's and doctoral programs in both marriage and family therapy and counseling. To graduate from those programs, students must complete a certain number of clinical hours working with real patients. Campus clinics often offer lower rates than traditional offices do and may even have some free sessions available. To qualify for a free session, you'll likely need to meet some income guidelines or restrictions though.

Ask for a Lower Rate

Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S., an associate editor for Psych Central, recommends asking therapists for discounts when you make an appointment. Let the therapist you choose know that you do not have insurance and ask if the therapist offers a lower rate. You can also ask if there is a discount available for those who pay in cash. Many medical professionals offer lower rates for those willing to pay in cash because it saves them the hassles of dealing with insurance companies that typically try to negotiate over rates.

Try a Community Clinic

To find affordable family therapy in your area, consider signing up for a session at a community clinic. Many community clinics offer a sliding scale system that lets you pay what you can afford based on your income. You'll need to fill out forms that state how much you make, and some may require that you submit a copy of your most recent tax filling. Based on your income, the clinic may drop the price of a session from over $100 to $50 or even $20. Some clinics may even let your family meet with a therapist for free.

Choose Online Sessions

Another way you can save on the cost of the therapy that you and your spouse or family need is with an online session. There are a number of therapists who now offer online counseling for those in need. All you need is a stable connection to the internet, a web cam and a debit card or credit card to pay for your session. The therapist will use the web cam to view you and anyone else participating in the session, and you can see the therapist over your own computer screen. Online sessions are more affordable, and some therapists will even give you a discount on your first session.

Family therapists work with couples and families dealing with issues like separation or divorce, the loss of a loved one and even infidelity. If you need affordable family therapy for your loved ones, you can visit a community clinic, turn to an online therapist or even ask for a cheaper rate.