**This article works best if you have already read: Low Cost Depression Treatment
Depression and "living on a budget" can co-exist. You can get the help you need without breaking the bank. Try these low cost treatment options if you are low on cash, but want to really address your depression.
If you live near a college or university, more than likely they have some sort of psychology or social work program. Call these departments and find out if they have a "graduate level" program (Masters & Phd candidates). If they do, they probably offer low-cost counseling to the public.
Students in these programs often already have real-life work experience on top of their education credentials and are closely supervised. The quality of therapy should be good.
A favorite of many couples seeking pre-marital counseling, many churches and synagogues offer private counseling and counseling groups which are headed by ministers and rabbis who hold degrees in pastoral counseling and have experience. This type of counseling is usually provided on a sliding-scale fee basis, and works well for many types of quality-of-life mental health issues such as depression.
People often feel more comfortable with counseling that also holds in account their spiritual beliefs and way of life. It's also nice to have a familiar face and someone you already trust with your spiritual health - assist you with your emotional health as well.
There are more qualified mental health professionals online more than ever. For most it is an extension of their traditional practices - and a convenient way to reach people that may not have normally made the office visit. Recent studies confirm that online therapy has been proven to improve the symptoms of mildly to moderately depressed clients.
This type of therapy is great if you suffer from mild depression, and rather not be bothered with in-person office visits. It is also great because the therapist can charge you less for a normal session -- there is no overhead. Most professionals will have their fees listed on their websites, but many may be open to negotiation. To find one, do a keyword search for the type of professional you are interested in or look for one at Psychology Today's website. They have a good directory there.
An effective way to work through depression is to join a support group in your area. Many of these groups will probably be focused on addressing what may be "symptoms" or "signs" of your depression such as: alcohol and drug abuse, anger management, eating disorders, etc. The root of these issues (your depression) should be discussed in these types of groups. That's how you know you've found a good one.
Support groups are often community based, but you can also find really good ones online as well. Just type in keywords such as "depression support group" or go to major sites such as google and yahoo groups and look for an appropriate group to try. If you rather stay offline - try looking for postings in your community newspaper, local library, hospital or Starbucks™!
Last but not least, this is the option that most people try first. Buying self-help books and/or reading articles like this one are great ways to begin to explore your depression treatment. What this option does is to get you to begin to think about what is going on, how you got there, and what you can do dig yourself out. Many people have been able to find their own way out of depression - although I believe it is option that would work much better in conjunction with another one of the low-cost options which include therapy.
Lisa Angelettie MSW, "GirlShrink" is a psychotherapist, author, and online advice authority. Her site GirlShrink.com is the #1 "Advice & Counseling" site on the web. Please visit us for more discussion on this topic in the
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