How Much Will My Therapy Appointment Cost?

Wednesday, May 29

Therapy can help improve your mental well-being and other aspects of your life in many ways. But it comes with financial costs. Since therapy rates vary widely, depending on factors like where you live and what kind of therapy you get, how much can you expect to pay?

The Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to include mental health services. But if you don’t have health insurance — or you can’t find a provider who takes your insurance plan — you may be wondering just how much therapy will cost you. We’ll take a closer look at therapy costs without insurance coverage in the following sections, so you can find a solution that fits your budget.

An overview of therapy costs 

Therapy costs vary based on different factors, such as the type of therapy and the therapist's credentials. The average cost of therapy for individual therapy sessions can range from $100 to $250 or more per session for in-person sessions. Online rates may be lower, such as on platforms that provide online therapy only. Some platforms, such as SonderMind, also offer affordable self-pay rates

Couples therapy may be higher if therapists charge more for working with two clients per session rather than one. However, group therapy rates are typically lower than individual session rates. 

Note that these are general rates. Actual rates can vary considerably based on several factorsthe state you’re in. Other factors to consider include therapist specializations and credentials and whether sessions are in person or online.  

Factors that can influence therapy costs 

When you’re trying to get an idea of how much therapy may cost without insurance, consider the main factors that affect these costs. Who you choose, where you live, and how you attend your sessions all impact the amount you can expect to pay. 

In the following sections, we’ll explore a few of the biggest factors that influence the cost of therapy.

Therapist or provider 

For therapy to be effective, it’s important to choose a therapist who offers the right support for your situation. Depending on who you end up seeing, your rates may be higher or lower. 

Therapists and other mental health providers, such as psychiatrists, who have a master’s degree or doctoral degree often charge higher rates. These providers have more expertise in the mental health field. 

Providers who have specializations, such as eating disorders, relationship therapy, or post-traumatic stress disorder, may also have higher rates. Some might specialize in a certain type of therapy or psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Experience also matters. Licensed therapists with several years of experience often have higher rates compared to those with less experience. 

Location (online vs in-person)

Are you planning on going to therapy in person or meeting with a therapist virtually? In-person therapy and online therapy costs can vary in some cases. Independent providers often charge the same fees while offering both options. However, those who provide care via fully online platforms might occasionally offer lower rates, but you’d need to check with the individual provider. 

In-person providers have more overhead in many cases, such as the cost of office space. Online therapists may not need to rent an office — which may allow them to offer lower rates. Keep in mind that online therapy overall is more accessible, but rates can still vary based on the platform and therapist. 

Do you live in a large city or a small town? The state or area of a state you’re located in can affect therapy costs. For example, providers in major cities like New York City typically charge more than providers in small towns or states with a lower overall cost of living. 

Session length 

How long are therapy sessions for mental health concerns? Shorter sessions, such as 30 minutes, usually cost less than longer ones. For example, you can typically expect to pay more for therapy when you do sessions that last for an hour or more compared to 30- or 45-minute sessions. 

How health insurance works to pay for therapy 

Some people use healthcare insurance to cover all or some of the cost of therapy. Insurance coverage can vary from plan to plan. Some providers might only cover a set number of sessions. Others might only cover a certain percentage of the cost. Insurance companies usually cover more of the cost for in-network providers vs. out-of-network providers. 

SonderMind is in-network with most major insurance plans. These include some Medicare, FSA, HSA, and EAP plans. If you decide to use insurance for therapy, we recommend contacting your insurance provider to find out your out-of-pocket costs for deductibles, copays, and coinsurance.  

To help you get an idea of how insurance works for covering therapy costs, we’ll walk you through a few basic terms.  


A deductible is how much you have to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance carrier starts paying. This varies by plan, so it’s always best to get the most current deductible information directly from your insurance company. 

How does a deductible work? Let’s say your deductible is $1,000. You would need to pay that amount on your own before your insurance company begins covering the cost of your therapy sessions. 

You can look up your insurance plan’s deductible details under your online account if you have one. Or you can call your insurance company to find out this information.


Your coinsurance is the amount you’re responsible for paying after the deductible has been met. Again, this varies widely from plan to plan. Your coinsurance will be a percentage of your therapy costs, rather than a dollar amount. 

So, let’s say your deductible is $1,000, and you’ve paid that amount. If your insurance company covers 70% of your therapy costs, you’ll now be responsible for covering the other 30%. 

To make sure you know your current coinsurance percentage, check with your insurance company directly. 


A copay is a set amount you pay for an appointment, due at the time of service. This is a fixed dollar amount, rather than a percentage. Copays are usually listed on insurance membership cards. 

Copay costs can vary by service. For example, you might have a higher copay for therapy sessions compared to your copay for regular doctor’s appointments. Since these vary and can change from year to year, always contact your insurance company to get the latest information. 

Depending on your plan’s details, your copays might not count towards meeting your deductible. You can expect to pay a copay at every visit until you reach your out-of-pocket maximum amount for the year. 

How much does therapy cost on average if you don’t use insurance?

Some mental health providers don’t accept insurance. So even if you have coverage, you may not be able to use it for therapy. If you go to a therapist without using insurance, you might pay more than you would with insurance coverage. Again, this depends on insurance plans, provider credentials, specializations, and location. 

Average rates for individual therapy without insurance tend to range from $100 to $250 or higher. But these rates may be higher for couples therapy or specialized therapy. Or they may be lower, especially if providers use sliding scale fees based on income.

Self-care fees might also help keep the cost of therapy lower and more affordable. These fees usually vary, depending on how long sessions are, where providers are located, and other factors. 

How to pay for therapy without insurance 

If you need help affording the cost of therapy without insurance, you have a few options available. You may be able to get low-cost or even free therapy, depending on your options. Knowing more about these options can help you figure out which may suit your situation best — and allow you to get the help you need for improved mental wellness. 

Below, we’ll explain different options that may be available to help you pay for the cost of therapy without insurance. 

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Your employer might offer an option that helps cover the cost of mental health services. This is known as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). These programs may include different kinds of support, such as financial support or mental health support and substance use services. 

Not all companies or employers have an EAP available. Contact your company to see if you do have this option and get details on what it includes. For example, you might be able to see a therapist for a certain number of sessions at no cost to you. In this case, your employer typically covers this cost.  

Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

Do you have health insurance through your employer? Then you might have the option of using a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to cover the cost of therapy sessions. How does this work? An FSA is an account that you put money into to pay for certain health care costs that are out of pocket. 

You can add to your FSA over time to save up enough to pay for therapy costs. These accounts are tax-free, so you don’t have to worry about paying any taxes on them. An FSA is a bit like a savings account, but you use the money for healthcare-related costs. 

Health Savings Account (HSA)

Do you have a high-deductible health plan (HDHP)? Then, you might be able to use a Health Savings Account (HSA) to cover some healthcare costs. This kind of account allows you to put money aside to pay for eligible health expenses. You may be able to use this money to cover the cost of your deductible or copays for therapy sessions, for example. 

Like FSAs, HSAs are tax-free — as long as you use the money for qualified medical expenses. There’s a penalty if you use the money for expenses that aren’t eligible. For example, couples counseling isn’t typically eligible for HSA spending, but individual counseling for a diagnosed mental health condition usually is. 


Self-pay fees can provide a way for you to afford therapy without insurance. Some places offer sliding scale fees that are based on your income. Sliding scale therapy helps ensure affordability, so you can get the help you need. 

Other places offer self-pay rates that vary based on factors, such as state, type of session, and length of session. These rates may vary considerably by provider or platform. 

SonderMind offers self-pay fees with rates in some states being lower than others. Longer sessions, such as 60-minute sessions, typically have a higher fee compared to 45-minute or 30-minute sessions. The initial intake session may also cost more. 

Tips for knowing what’s covered in your treatment plan

How do you know what exactly is covered in your mental health treatment plan? This information helps you determine how much your therapy sessions will cost. If you’re using insurance, contact your insurance company. For an EAP, contact your employer. 

If you’re using self-pay, FSA funds, or HSA funds, contact the mental health provider or platform for accurate rate information. Keep in mind that treatment plans can include multiple components or services. 

For a better understanding of what’s covered in your treatment plan, ask your therapist the following questions:

  • How long will my sessions last?
  • What types of therapy sessions are offered?
  • How often would you like to meet with me? 
  • How are you going to assess my progress?
  • Are there any additional costs, such as special assessments or materials?

How SonderMind can help you afford the cost of therapy 

SonderMind offers a solution for affordable therapy without insurance. Self-pay fees and transparent pricing overall help keep costs down for those who aren’t using insurance. SonderMind can also help reduce therapy costs in other ways, such as offering shorter sessions or attending sessions every other week instead of every week. 

SonderMind offers in-person and online therapy options, providing you with more convenience, accessibility, and affordability. With a variety of therapists and other providers to choose from, you can get the help you need at a cost that’s within your budget. Our providers include therapists, certified counselors, social workers, psychiatrists, and more. 

With SonderMind, you can also use other ways besides self-care, such as an EAP, FSA, or HSA. If you end up choosing to use insurance, keep in mind that our mental health professionals are in-network with most major health insurance companies. We also accept some Medicare plans.   

SonderMind makes it easier to afford therapy 

With or without insurance, you can expect to receive affordable care with SonderMind providers. Whether you choose in-person or online therapy sessions, we offer multiple ways to keep costs down. We also make it easy to find a therapist who fits your needs and your budget. 

Let SonderMind connect you with the right mental health care provider so you can begin receiving care within a week or less. 


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