High cost of therapy

Stolen Soul

Registrant
I've been shopping around for a therapist. I've received some quotes for what they charge for their services. Apparently, one hour of therapy is about $120-$160. So If I go to four sessions per month, therapy will cost as much, if not more, than the rent. (~$520) Is this typical for South Western USA? It seems a bit much, but maybe that's just the norm and I'm not familiar with the economics of therapy.
 
Unfortunately yes, that's pretty standard. Some insurance plans cover at least a few visits...but if you don't have insurance, or have very basic insurance, it really does add up. There are some resources out there online that are lower cost, though. I know 1in6.org can be controversial here for its stance on sexual identity, but it's a pretty good portal for online resources.
 
I definitely had sticker shock when I began looking for a therapist last year. I began with a therapist listed on this site and he charged $175 for a fifty minute session. Since I live in the San Francisco Bay Area those four sessions cost less than my rent. I moved to another therapist later in the year who charged $150 for fifty minutes but he suggested since I wished to do somatic work that we meet for 75 minutes... a session and a half... or $225 each week. I've done three rounds of therapy over the last 36 years, all in an effort to make sense of my crazy life. I'm grateful for what I've learned about myself and it has made a difference. The price we pay for having been sexually traumatized is high... I guess the price we must pay to heal is commensurate. The key Stolen Soul, is you want to work with someone well grounded in sexual trauma experienced by men, ideally someone prepared to work somatically. It is in the body that memories of sexual trauma are held. You'll run into a few threads on MS talking about the book The Body Keeps the Score, which is really important for survivors to read. I have a link in my signature line to something I wrote on the subject.

Good luck.
 
When I first sought therapy I was able to get it at a nonprofit for free. I went for about three years. She was incompetent and damaging in hindsight but that was a "her issue" not a subsidized care issue, but I just wanted to say there are additional options to more standard therapists/practices. Also sometimes getting insurance if you don't have it is worth it (the healthcare.gov marketplace was how I sought mine) it brought my cost to just 5 bucks for appts once I was seeing someone who charged normal/market rates but took insurance.
 

Stolen Soul

Registrant
@copernicus 1in6.org looks like it has some useful information. I will look at it more closely. Thanks for the reference.

@Visitor Some of the therapists I was considering do have somatic techniques as part of their practice. I have read The Body Keeps the Score and it is a very interesting book. The author seems to be biased towards EMDR. On the other hand, I'm no psychologist so I don't know if other alternative techniques are as efficient. It's relieving to see how trauma affects a person and why certain things crop up after the traumatic incident.

@unafraidofmyvoice Many of the therapists ads I was browsing seem to take insurance. But many also recommend not to use insurance because of the limitations and it tends to interfere with progress. They also mentioned a possible social stigma from the insurance companies putting mental health entries in my medical records. I guess using insurance is still better than not doing therapy at all if money is the main obstacle.

I appreciate the responses. I really do want to heal so I'm willing to sacrifice the $$$ if it means I will be able to progress. I've tried reading books and healing on my own, but have only made very limited progress so it's time to try something different.
 
I would be a little wary hearing that from a therapist, but that's just me-I've heard of some giving a price break to cut out the insurance because it benefits them, which isn't necessarily bad but the stigma comment would give me pause. However this is a legitimate concern if you are in the type of job (govt, military, etc.) where mental health treatment or certain diagnoses would be relevant. I'd look for someone who is patient and responsive to all of your questions and any financial concerns, and, don't be afraid to shop around and meet with several and keep looking for someone who specializes professionally in your needs and is also a good fit for you individually. I don't have any experience with EMDR or somatic experiencing but my understanding is they have strong reputations for being effective, but I will say I have found craniosacral therapy and the alexander technique to be very helpful and worth every penny (there are also good free audio and print resources for these).
 
Stolen Soul - Bessel van der Kolk was initially sceptical about EMDR but his senior staff was quite enthusiastic and they researched the topic. He eventually became an advocate for it. It was through EMDR that I first unpacked memories about sexual abuse at hands of neighbor boys and men. That was in the mid-1990's when EMDR had just arrived on the scene. When I was considering therapy last year I did a bit of research and found that EMDR has evolved and is an even better tool. I chose a different approach with a therapist trained in somatic work and who specialized in very early trauma which I experienced as well... actually before I could talk. Needless to say that kind trauma has no story associated with it... only body sensations. But EMDR was useful with later trauma and I wouldn't hesitate to use it again if the need arose.
 

manipulated

Moderator
Staff member
There are excellent therapists at all levels. Don’t overlook the nonprofit social service organizations like Catholic Social Services, Lutheran Social Services, even Community Mental Health. I know the religious tilt and affiliation with Perp cover up by their funding source may stop many but in my experience here they are fiercely independent of the clergy and much more open to lgbtqi and our issues than the other “Christian Counseling” centers . Best of all they all have sliding fee scales to assist with cost. Most do not take insurance but are a great source of quality referrals if you have insurance.

as in all of life Buyer Beware! Use the consumer guide pinned above, interview them BEFOREyou start therapy and ask about the areas that concern you and trust your gut.
 
I got lucky in a change in job led to coverage for Therapy. I don’t understand how politicians and people all talk about the need for mental health care but not required to be standard in insurance coverage.
 

manipulated

Moderator
Staff member
Yeah every mass killing we hear lip service of parity in health care (treating mental and physical Health with comparable resources and coverage) but that is usually all it is is lip service..
 

Stolen Soul

Registrant
I decided I'm going to meet with several therapists before committing to any of them. Unfortunately, their typical 20 minutes on the phone for initial consultation is not enough time for me to decide weather I feel comfortable with the person or not. They ought to know people with my background don't socialize much so I don't have the social intuition of a typical person without my issues.

I need to attend at least 1-2 sessions before I'm ready to commit long term. Hopefully, they won't be offended if I decide to drop them after 1 or 2 sessions. I'm meeting with a trauma / incest / EMDR specialist next week.

@manipulated Thank you for your suggestions and advice. I certainly want to keep my options open. I'm a bit biased towards secular practitioners. It's not that I believe religious affiliated therapy wouldn't be effective, but it's more of my past negative experiences from getting involved with religious organizations. Perhaps therapy will help me here as well.
 
Zoinks! I am going to a fantastic therapist. He is smart, kind, a bit pushy when I need it, compassionate, and funny. And he only charges $80/hour. I knew that was cheap but didn't have any idea how cheap until reading this thread.
 

Stolen Soul

Registrant
@Greg123 $80/hour? Wow, what a deal! I'm so glad you found someone to work with. Male therapists seem to be a bit rare around here or else they don't focus on SA. The few I've contacted are fully booked and can't take on more clients.
 

manipulated

Moderator
Staff member
I'm a bit biased towards secular practitioners. It's not that I believe religious affiliated therapy wouldn't be effective, but it's more of my past negative experiences from getting involved with religious organizations.
EXACTLY what I was trying to express without offending those who believe in only religious T.
 
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