Cost of Going to Therapy: Online versus In Person


It happens too often. You want help, you know you need help, but you cannot afford it. Whether it is going to the doctor for a cough that won’t go away, or seeing a therapist for a depression that you have had for most of your life, sometimes cost is simply a reality. You need to take that into account as well. We understand that. Going to therapy can be demanding, but it does not always have to be expensive. Let’s look at the differences between the costs of therapy online versus seeing someone in person.

Going to see a counselor in their office has several perks. You do get to see them face to face, which may make it seem more personal and connected to you. It also has one major benefit when it comes to cost. Insurances do not often cover online counseling. Insurances are often some of the last to try new things when it comes to your care, preferring traditional methods first, so online counseling may not be what they cover. As always, check your coverage, but as of right now, few cover it.

The big detriment to in-person counseling is that it generally ends up being more expensive. Prices for an hour of therapy range from $60 to $300. Insurances may cover most of that if you have it, but you will also likely be faced with an out-of-pocket copay that can range from $10 to $80. Some copays may be so expensive they effectively prohibit you from seeing a specialist anyways, which would be what a therapist would be counted as.

Then there is the reality of having to have transportation and time off from work to go to the counselor’s office. What it costs does not end simply with what this person charges. How far away is the office? How much gas does it take to get there? How long do you have to have a babysitter and how much does that cost? These are all factors to take into account as well.

Now, online counseling fees also have its ups and downs. One of its biggest benefits is that the rates are often much more reasonable. Online counselors can meet you while they are at home, so they can have low overhead and give you better rates as a result. Our site, for example, charges $35 a week for sessions, payable monthly at $140. This is significantly more affordable than an out-of-pocket rate of $90 an hour at $360 a month. Even looking at insurance, copays on average will be around what we charge, and no one has to fill out any insurance forms or seek any reimbursement from them. Your insurance company does not need to even know you are seeing a therapist.

The downside to this is that insurance does not reimburse for online therapy, or cover it at this point in time. There is also the other reality of having to have the equipment to see a counselor online, tablet, laptop, etc. You also need to have the internet connection that can handle a video conferencing site, which may be more than what some people have. It also costs you time and electricity with your device.

There may not be a simple answer as to which is more economical, as both have their advantages and disadvantages. Online counseling will almost always work out to be cheaper than seeing someone in their office, and this is often true even if you have insurance. The main question would be do you have a strong internet connection? If so, then exploring online counseling is something you should do.


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The views and opinions expressed in this post and any associated articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect opinions or policies of eTherapyPro. These posts and articles are shared for your enjoyment and consideration. Read them or not at your sole discretion and liability. They are not intended to replace counseling services rendered by licensed professionals. Consult with your counselor before implementing any content from these articles into your life.