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    Chavy
    Participant

    Thank you so much Okcalrity for allowing me to air some of my thoughts here.

    I was talking to a few friends who all have mental health challenges. We were talking about the exuberant and high cost of therapy. In the course of our conversation, one friend mentioned that it’s exploiting and taking advantage of the fact that they can charge a lot of money. I do agree with this, although I am b”H able to attend therapy. But I still understand where my friends are coming from. Honestly, it’s a pity that therapists charge so much! Thank G-d we have many many resources and clinicians available. But what happens when some can’t make use of the services because the therapists charges to much? I know that therapists also have expenses to pay off, but the cost of sessions (and therapy altogether plus a psychiatrist) seems very high. I don’t think it’s so fair to charge so much.

    I would love to hear what others think about this topic.

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    splitandtrying2bme
    Participant

    Hey Chavy!

    I like that you brought this up here, because its so true, and its something that we dont get to let out about very much, in my opinion.

    Therapy is really expensive. I get it that because its a profession, and the schooling, training and all – they need to make money, (and they do work hard), but it still sits in conflict in my head sometimes, because its so sad that it has to be like this. Like this, meaning, that individuals who may also be going through tremendous pain and difficulty cannot get the help they need because its too expensive. Also the ones who get help and go for therapy sometimes need more therapy than they can pay for and it can be so hard because they are literally desperate for every minute of session, and they know they cant get more because of a money limit thing. Its really sad.

    I enjoy hearing from caring professionals how they make their service real cheap for some people who absolutely cant afford it. I heard  once from a really great therapist that she sets up a certain amount of her time for sessions that are almost free, for those in need. She told me that the reason it’s almost free and not free, is in order to have safe boundaries where the client will feel safer because she is paying here for a proper service. With this set in place, the therapeutic relationship (which already is unconventional) is less confusing.

    When I think about therapy being expensive, I wish there was a solution for it that would work both ways. Cuz therapists aren’t going to just reduce their rate. And its too bad that so many cant get the help they need.

    Thanks for opening up this convo Chavy

    Definitely not an easy road to navigate and no one answer will satisfy everyone.

    Therapists like any other field deserve compensation ‘consummate with experience’ Graduate programs, especially doctoral programs can cost upwards of $250k.

    Many therapists begin their careers working in community clinics or similar settings where they are either not paid at all or receive about minimum wage; as therapists gain more experience and receive additional training they usually branch out into more specialized fields and are able to deliver more target treatment.

    Many therapists also offer sliding-scale payment; that is for people who have difficulty paying the regular fee, they can receive a discount. There are few other professions that offer a similar deal.

    Additionally, other medical providers generally receive a higher rate of return from insurance providers, this is not always the case with mental health providers.

    I hope this provides some insight looking forward to hearing other therapists weigh in…

    Hello Chavy,

    You are bringing up a great conversation and a question that often concerns clients. You use the word exploit which is the idea of one person taking advantage of another’s weakness. While private therapy is a large expense, I often view it as a luxury. That being said, therapy itself is most certainly a necessity and not a luxury. Therapy is offered in many ways, there are organizations that offer free or subsidized therapies in every community. Often clients would like to choose a private therapist who has a referral from someone they trust. While that is definitely more comfortable for many people it is not a necessity. Remember, as the client you have a number of choices in the therapy process, and the first choice is who and how you select your therapist.

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    ChumiB
    Participant

    I definitely see it as a “more experience = higher cost” but it can get vry expensive for something that many of us NEED.

    I worked backwards after spending too much money on it and it was debt or death. Literally.

    So I went to my health insurance website and found which providers accepted my insurance and lived near me. THen I googled reviews and thankfully I found one within my budget that worked for me.

    Chavy,

    It sounds like you did an excellent job at accessing the resources that are available to you. In the US, everyone has different insurance agreements and policies, so this may not work for everyone. However, for those with insurance that is a great way to get the therapy that is needed without the expense of a private therapist.

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you all for your replies and insight!

    It definitely helps me understand what therapy is so costly. I would however like to bring up what @ChumiB said, which is: 

    I definitely see it as a “more experience = higher cost” but it can get vry expensive for something that many of us NEED. I worked backwards after spending too much money on it and it was debt or death. Literally.

    I know this probably won’t change, but it’s disturbing to me that therapy can be seen as saving a life, or not using the services because it’s too expensive. Why is it that way? Yes, someone whose more experienced probably will be a little bit more expensive. But is that to the point where some are struggling to pay and invest in their emotional health, have trouble affording it?

    I’m referring mainly to professionals who charge above ($175) $200 and don’t take insurance or offer sliding scales.

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    ChumiB
    Participant

    In response to Chavy's post #7102:

    unfortunately it is the case for many.

    I was in a position of barely being able

    to afford day to day expenses and $200 a session, every week, was just beyond what I could afford. I HAD to find someone cheaper and I managed to BH. I feel that she’s just as good if not better than the $200 one only because we match perfectly and she’s helping me.

     

    But yes, unfortunately so many need therapy and can’t afford it.

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    In response to ChumiB's post #7104:

    Yes, yes!! I totally agree with you!! Any way to change this disturbing pattern?

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    I know I’m talking a lot here and airing out a lot of frustration, but it really bothers me that money seems to make the world go around. For example, I’m trying to hire an entertainer for an event I’m trying to make with a friend. We told her that the organization for this event doesn’t have money, but the entertainers probably didn’t want to do for less. We finally found someone who charges nothing compared to what the others charged.

    I know we all need a parnassa, but why is everything so expensive? Why can’t services of an entertainer be as a chessed? Obviously this can’t be done all the time, but is it really unrealistic to expect a chessed once in a while?

    I’m sorry for veering slightly off topic here. I’m just very bothered.

    Chavy,

    We often live in a world in which we believe that more expensive means better. That is not always the case. Just as you found a cheaper entertainment option that served your needs, each individual can find a therapy medium in their budget that still serves their needs. There are many ways to do this; clinics, insurance-based therapists, or other creative solutions. As a practitioner that works in Israel, I can tell you that I have had U.S. based clients over Skype due financial considerations. This trend can be applied to any way in which we spend money; food, clothing, schools…etc.

    Chaya Rochel

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    In response to chayasatt's post #7121:

    Thank you for your non-judgmental support – even though you are on the “other side” of the desk. It is true that people will rather see someone whose expensive, bc, to them, it means better. I know that’s not always the case, but isn’t it more often than not? I mean, a fresh graduate/young professional can be just as good. Or, can they? I’m trying to figure this out myself. I had a therapist who was didn’t have her license yet, but she was working under a limited permit and under a supervisor. She was really really good. Now, here’s my question. Can we say the same of a therapist that has more experience and a more advanced degree? This therapist was in the process of being Licensed as a mental health counselor. Is a psychologist just as good? I’m just trying to wrap my head around this…

    What do others say?

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    zissy
    Participant

    I don’t believe experience make one a better Therapist , they are just professionals who have been around the block more so to speak and have seen more clients and have more personal one and one . I think if some one has the abilities and the mind power to understand and have the  quick mind  to figure ppl out .and have the know how to guide another they are just as qualified as anyone else .Even more so bec thier education is currant and much more knowledge in the mental health field has been brought out in recent years . They are just as qualifed and some times they have a fresh eagerness to guide over those who have been in it for years

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    mindyblumenfeld
    Participant

    I truly sympathize with your words. And here’s my take. All ethical therapists have clients in their practice they take pro bono or at reduced rates as part of their strong religious and professional code of ethics. Secondly, there are a few wonderful therapists who take even Medicaid. Check your insurance roster for frum sounding names and check with a referral source if that person is trustworthy.  Thirdly, many top of the line non-Jews take insurance but only private. Ask about those who work with orthodox clients.  There are options. Good luck

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