Frequently Asked Questions about the Cost of Counselors and Psychiatrists in Texas

Research tells us that therapy is effective at helping people improve their lives, so the decision to start counseling and to find a therapist that fits your needs is an important one. You are investing in your psychological and physical health so you can get the most out of your time in this world. That’s a totally worthy goal! But it’s hard to know how much to budget for this. You want a great counselor that can really help you more than anything else. But it does need to work for you financially.

How Much Does It Cost to See a Counselor or Psychiatrist in Texas?

On the low end, you may qualify for free counseling or medication management appointments at non-profit centers that are funded by grants. On the high end, there are therapists and psychiatrists in private practice that charge several hundred dollars per session, particularly in crowded, high-rent urban areas. The cost varies widely and is dependent on many factors. In this blog post, I will prepare you to find a therapist that works within your budget. I will also guide you in making informed decisions about how and when to access your insurance.

How Do I Budget for Counseling or a Psychiatrist?

Ultimately, as you plan to begin counseling, you need to determine what your budget is for this. Don’t worry! Just because you COULD budget $300 a week toward therapy doesn’t mean that it will be necessary. This just gives you an idea of where to start. For example, if your budget is less than $100 a week, it is likely that you will need to find a community mental health agency, utilize your insurance, or find a private therapist who is an intern or offers a lower fee (“sliding scale”) for those in need. Look for this information on a therapist’s website, or on their therapy network profile (such as Psychology Today).

How Often Will I See My Therapist or Psychiatrist?

You will also need to consider how often you will be attending counseling. Most therapists will recommend weekly appointments at first, as this frequency is often necessary for creating new habits that lead to lasting change. There are some therapists who ONLY work with clients on a weekly basis. I would recommend planning your budget around weekly sessions for 6-12 months to begin, and then reassess at that time. Plan to discuss this up front with potential therapists before beginning therapy.  

What is a Good Fee for Counseling or Psychiatry?

A good fee is one you can afford, for long enough to help you make changes, with a therapist that is a good fit. Even $20 is too much to pay for bad therapy! You need to find the right therapist for you, and you don’t want to waste your time with an affordable therapist that doesn’t meet your needs. This will not save you money in the long run, nor will it give you the outcomes you want.

Will Insurance Cover Counseling or Psychiatry in Texas?

We have insurance so that it can cover our medical needs. But using insurance for counseling can be complicated. Most insurance companies require a diagnosis of a mental health disorder if they are going to cover it. Many people don’t meet criteria for a mental health diagnosis, yet want counseling and could greatly benefit from it! It is always your choice to work with a therapist, but you do need to be clear about whether you want to and/or need to use insurance to fund it, and whether you meet criteria for using it in the first place.

Privacy and Insurance

Most people also want as much privacy as possible when entering therapy, and including a third party payor can have a big impact on your privacy at home and at work. Finally, each insurance plan has contracts with different providers- and who and what you need may or may not be accessible through your insurance plan. Depending on your occupation or what you are looking for help with, you might decide to avoid involving insurance even if it would cover your services.

What If My Counselor or Psychiatrist in Texas doesn’t take my insurance?

Most therapists will help you obtain out of network reimbursement from your insurance company, if you have it. There is even an app that will help you get reimbursed for out of network services (Better). First, focus on finding a therapist that is a good fit for you and then call your insurance company to understand your benefits.

What is the most important thing when choosing a therapist in Texas?

We now know from research that a good therapy outcome depends heavily on having a good working relationship with your therapist. What does that mean?  Find someone who is well-trained to work with your particular issue and find someone you LIKE! You will find it easier to lean into the vulnerability that is necessary to see good therapy outcomes if you create a partnership with someone you can trust. Set your health and happiness as a priority and find the best fit therapist you can afford. Great therapy can be expensive, but your health is worth it!

If you are looking for a counselor in Plano TX or a counselor in Frisco TX give me a call at 469-850-2420 for a free 15 minute phone consultation. My name is Danesa, and I am happy to help connect you with a great therapist in the area, or we can determine if we would be a good fit. My specialties include body image, food and weight issues, eating disorders, depression and anxiety.