How To Pay For Counseling


A lot of folks think they can’t afford counseling. I frequently have inquiries asking about free or heavily discounted services and although I am empathetic towards financial struggles I also have to make sure I can pay the bills and support my family. I reserve 10% of my active caseload for reduced fee clients and usually have a waiting list for those spots. I do not see clients free of charge.

If you are concerned about the cost of counseling consider your options. Many employers offer Employee Assistance Programs that may include behavioral health services. Many health insurance plans offer behavioral health benefits. I always recommend calling your insurance provider prior to making an appointment to verify coverage and benefits including copay amount, deductible and limits of coverage. Using an Out-Of-Network provider may also be an option as many health insurance plans will reimburse you for a portion of the out-of-pocket costs.

A Few Money-related Things To Consider When Choosing A Counselor

  • Ask if the counselor can offer a reduced fee if you can meet during “off peak hours.”
  • Seek out a Counselor Intern. Interns are typically recent graduates working under the supervision of an experienced licensed clinician.
  • Review your budget and have a good idea of what you can realistically afford to spend on counseling in a given month. Depending on circumstances, it may be appropriate to meet with your counselor less frequently than the typical once a week.
  • You can also explore organizations that help members with the cost of counseling. In Austin there are services for musicians, attorneys, members of the LBGTQ community as well as others. This is where Google can be your friend.

If you still have concerns, please reach out. If I can’t help I will do my best to steer you in the right direction.


About Michael Hilgers, M.MFT

I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor working remotely with clients around the world. I believe that everyone has the potential to change; to create new paths, to go in new directions. Life is hard. Counseling can help.

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