Counseling and therapy can vary in price, sometimes dramatically. Therapy can range from completely free (as when therapists offer up pro bono slots), to what is known as “sliding scale” or “reduced rate” (where your financial considerations are taken into account), to full fee (whatever a private pay therapist would charge, ranging from $75-200 or more per session). This of course depends on where you live, the therapist you’re considering, their level of education or experience, specialties, etc. Many therapists also give student discounts, military discounts, or other discounts, so it is helpful to ask your therapist if they honor any of those options.
When insurance enters the picture, and you find a therapist in your network (i.e., who takes your insurance), you simply are responsible for any copay or coinsurance that you will pay directly to your therapist (depending on whether you’ve met your deductible or other factors – always check with your insurance company beforehand). Your insurance company will usually take care of the rest. If you find a therapist you’d like to work with who is out of your network (i.e., who doesn’t take your insurance), you may ask if your therapist has the ability to go “out of network”. If this happens, you will pay your therapist’s full fee for a session, then the therapist will provide you with a receipt and documentation (sometimes called a Superbill) so that you can submit these documents to your insurance company to seek possible reimbursement. Keep in mind that some insurances don’t cover out of network providers, and rates differ for what insurance companies will cover for out of network sessions.