From a scale of one to infinity, how badly do you need to talk to a counselor?
It’s admirable if you genuinely believe that your mental health is on point. You must be among the lucky people out there whose potential problems already die down before reaching you. Hence, there may not ever be a time in your life in which you’ll want SOS from a therapist.
Steve B. Reed, L.P.C., L.M.S.W., L.M.F.T. said “Replace that negative thought with a more desirable one. Imprint and integrate it well.”
If it’s the distance from the nearest counseling facility that worries you, there are online platforms at your service now. A virtual counselor is not so different from the expert you’ll likely meet in person, in the sense that the former also garners the same diplomas and certifications as the latter. It can also eliminate the fear of coming across anyone you know outside of the therapist’s office since the therapy can take place without leaving your room.
Consequently, if the issue is your health insurance – or lack thereof – then say no more. Here are cost-effective ways to consult a counselor even without one.
- Go To A Training Center
Your first stop should be a clinic where all soon-to-be-therapists commune. That can be inside or near a university that offers a psychology-related degree.
What’s great about this kind of facility is that they typically don’t charge a penny. You may only need to bring yourself along with your issues, and a practicing counselor will attend to you. A probable downside is that folks with severe mental disorders may have to go somewhere more official to receive treatment.
E. Michael Priddy, MA, LCPC said “A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks.”
- Attend Free Group Therapies
Another way to speak with a therapist is by contacting organizations that hold counseling sessions in your community. Anyone can often join for free, and some even give snacks on site.
Now, remember that group therapy does not only involve listening to the counselor talk for hours. The participants like yourself usually have to share your issues with everyone there before gaining advice. It is an applicable option, therefore, if you don’t mind letting others know about the problems you carry.
According to Celeste Viciere, LMHC, “Because so many therapists come from different backgrounds and teaching philosophies, it’s important to understand what lens the therapist is looking from.”
- Seek Counselors With Flexible Payment Schemes
Despite the widespread belief that traditional therapists charge for a leg and an arm before anyone can avail his or her services, there are a reasonable few whose rates can adjust depending on the client’s economic status. If the usual cost for every session is a hundred dollars to deal with social anxiety, for instance, it may drop to 70 bucks or less.
This sliding scale arrangement, fortunately, is already accessible in many facilities. It won’t hurt to call all the clinics near or even beyond your place to know if they have flexible payment schemes as well.
- Learn DIY Methods
In case none of the earlier tips is accessible, the internet is always a free source of information. You can search for websites that provide therapy, and then figure out the self-help treatments they offer through the blog section. E.g., journaling, exercising, getting creative, and much more.
The sweetest thing about counseling is that it comes in diverse forms. You don’t need to stick with the conventional one if: 1) you cannot afford it, and 2) it may never work for you. Think outside of the box if you must to be able to consult a therapist without depending on health insurance.
You can also explore the wonders of nature. According to Richard Shuster, PsyD, “Staring at the ocean actually changes our brain waves’ frequency and puts us into a mild meditative state.”