A lot of therapists on social media are advocating to make your mental health a priority, as they should, but also clearly stating that therapy is part of that. Even on this blog from time to time I’ve mentioned that for some issues therapy is the best solution. Even though these points are valid, therapy can feel like a luxury to most people.
You might be recognizing that you are struggling more than normal, perhaps before you were able to bottle things in easier but now everything seems to just be spilling out. It could be that you are experiencing new troubles or symptoms of repressed trauma. Maybe you feel finally ready to work through it, and then you see the price tag…
Therapy seems to range from $100-250 an hour, is that the case where you are? For some with a little reprioritizing, maybe they could budget this in. For others, it’s simply out of the question. I get it, and don’t lose hope because there are some other options.
Do you have insurance that could possibly help cover it? Could you ask if they offer any discounts? Discounted rates are easier to find in community therapy offices. Some regions will have their own offices with government therapists that have more flexible fees. In my area, the wait list is long for this therapy, about 6 months, but putting your name on that list could get you closer to your goal than giving up. Be patient.
In this day and age we also have online therapy which is offered at a fraction of the price of private therapy offices. Have you heard of Better Help, Calmerry, or Talkspace? If you do a little digging you might find something that suits you, in your price and area. These services can be stopped at any time and you can fill out their online forms to look into pricing without any commitment.
Lately I’ve discovered some apps even for smartphones and tablets that are- FREE! Yes, that beautiful little word, free. In Canada, AbilitiCBT is being offered for free in a couple provinces because of the pandemic (aren’t we seeing an epidemic of anxiety because of the world situation?!). The wait list is getting longer just to set up an appointment with a therapist to set up your app with the appropriate homework and lessons geared just for you however, but again, worth the wait for free. Or, internationally we have my little friend called Woebot. It’s an automated robot, that discusses cognitive behavioural therapy tips and tricks for you, through depression and anxiety, grief and pandemic fatigue. One thing to keep in mind with Woebot is the responses are automated, the conversations have preconfigured responses for you to choose from so don’t expect it to be perfectly tailored to you. The way I see it is just as some extra help, which is always useful but not perfect. Remember that little word we love so much? Free? Yeah, we can’t expect perfection with free but if you’re like me, you’ll take what you can get.
Along the lines of technology we also have websites, youtube, social media posts provided by actual therapists. Some really enjoy content from ones such as @evolveandbloom or @micheline.maalouf. These two provide little tips and tricks that everyone can benefit from and gain a little insight from as well. They’ve also created a podcast, Anxious Like You, that is free to take a listen to. Are there any podcasts or sites you follow for professional advice?
Educating yourself is still important. Micheline Maalouf recommended a list of books for those with trauma you can take a look at: The Body Keeps the Score, Complex PTSD from surviving to thriving, Befriending Your Nervous System, and Healing Trauma by Dr. Peter Levine. What if you’re not dealing with trauma per say? This book: Mind Over Mood, is a great workbook for both anxiety and depression using cognitive behavioural therapy. That book was recommended to me in my community based therapy years ago. Any other books you might add to the list?
It’s a difficult feeling, needing help but facing setbacks in your road to recovery because of things like finances. You are far from alone, but hopefully these other resources can be useful to you in the meantime. Hang in there!