Why Does Therapy Cost So Much?

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Published Date|
June 24, 2022

Why Does Therapy Cost So Much?

If you’re struggling with your mental health lately, let me start by assuring you that you are not alone! As a matter of fact, it's estimated that about 450 million people globally are currently struggling with some form of mental illness.

That's where therapy comes in. We all know that interest rates are rising, stock markets are unpredictable, and well-paying jobs seem fleeting, so it can be tough to imagine forking out our hard-earned coins to deal with something intangible. But could it be worth it? 

Our team at KMA has worked in the mental health industry for 20+ years, so we know quite a bit about the cost of therapy. Whether you’ve already started your therapy journey, or just need a little bit more information, this article will help make sense of the cost of psychotherapy. 

Let’s keep reading to find out more! 

What is Therapy?

Therapy, also known as psychotherapy is a form of treatment used to address various issues surrounding both emotional distress and mental health problems.

Although there are multiple types of therapy, the most commonly known form is talk therapy. This is where a professional psychotherapist sits with their client and uses different methods of discussion, listening, and counselling to help treat different mental, emotional, personality, and behavioural issues. 

How Do I Know What’s Right for Me?

When it comes to figuring out what’s right for you, you might have to start with some research, but a little research can go a long way! 

When finding a therapist, follow these tips:

  • If you have a family physician, start there. Give them a call, let them know your symptoms, and let them refer you to someone they know and trust
  • Look around, ask a friend you know has gone to therapy and read about other people's experiences 
  • Remember that this is your journey, but you aren’t alone. Leave the guesswork to the professionals
  • Start with just finding two or three therapists to contact, and go from there

How Much Does Therapy Cost?

This is the big (and scary) question for most people. So let’s just rip off the bandage and get right into it. 

In most places around the world, therapy can run roughly anywhere between $60-$300 an hour. I know, I know! Seems pricey, so let’s talk about why therapy costs so much. 

It’s a common myth that therapists WANT to charge that much. In reality, most mental health workers despise the business side of mental health because they understand it makes treatment harder to access for a lot of people. 

Not only do therapists spend years and years on education, but they also have their own set of fees they have to pay just to practice.

Here are a few factors that impact the cost of therapy:

Supervision fees: Supervision ensures you are getting the best health care possible! These fees can run anywhere from $3000 - $5000 per year.

Multiple professional association fees: Mental health associations help with professional development and support. Again, this is all about providing clients with the best service available! These typically cost $200-$350 annually. 

Licensing fees: To be a licensed practitioner, the cost fluctuates in different parts of the world. In North America, therapists can expect to pay up to $300 for their license.

Insurance: Liability insurance is important for therapists to have in case of any unforeseen issues with a client in crisis. This is about $500 per year.  

Session and post-session work: Lastly, your session time and follow-up work! The work doesn’t stop at the end of your session for a therapist. From documentation to finding new resources, therapists are working longer hours than most people expect.  

These factors are all considered among other things when coming up with the price of their service. 

The good news is most therapists take insurance!

Some insurance plans cover the full cost, while others cover a portion. Either way, it would be useful to look into your current plan and see what type of coverage you have. You can learn more about insurance-covered therapy here.  If you don’t have insurance, or you still don’t think the price is worth it, let’s talk about some other options.

Affordable Therapy Options

In the last few years, affordable therapy options have come to the forefront, mainly in the digital/virtual space. Some therapists charge less for virtual sessions, apps are being created to connect you to therapists at affordable rates, and private practices are beginning to offer sliding scales to clients. 

This is where that research comes in. Take some time to see what’s out there, and don’t be afraid to call around and ask about sliding scales. Another option for anyone in Ontario is searching up OHIP covered psychotherapists. Some programs will get you in pretty quickly if you’re willing to do the work to find them.

Read What Should I Do if I Can't Afford Therapy? to learn more.

Next Steps for Beginning Therapy

You’ve made it to the end of this article, and you want me to tell you the right answer. I wish I could make this easy for you, but ultimately you have to decide what feels right. 

Mental health isn’t everyone's main priority, and that’s okay! You have to make the best call for yourself based on what's realistic. But keep in mind that there are so many different options when it comes to accessible therapy, price can’t be the only thing holding you back. 

At KMA Therapy, we want to hold your hand through your psychotherapy journey. We know it can be tough to find the right therapist, or just figure out what is right for you! Whether you’d like to work with us or not, we want to provide you with some more information to help you make the best decision for your mental health.

Here are a few more articles that might help you on your journey: 

If you are struggling with your mental health and want to learn more about your options, give us a call at 416-487-6288. You’d be surprised at the difference a healthy mind can make. 

About the Author

Tre is KMA's rockstar recruiter. As a podcast host and entrepreneur, he’s learned to utilize both creativity and charisma to help remove walls between employer and employee, while creating a space for transparency and authenticity.

Author |
Tre Reid
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