Guest Author - Lisa Angelettie M.S.W.
How many times have you thought about seeking help for your depression but talked yourself out of it, because you just can't afford it. Here are what I suggest are some great low-cost depression treatment solutions that could work for you.
NEGOTIATE WITH YOUR THERAPIST
If you were given an A+ referral for a great therapist, started therapy and then realized that you can no longer afford it. Talk to her/him. They may be willing to negotiate a lower fee based on your individual circumstances.
This works particularly great with a therapist that you have had a previous relationship with, but can work with someone you want to work with for the first time as well.
Look for social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists under your insurance plan or in your HMO's network. Most plans will usually pay for about 20-30 visits per year, as long as there is some diagnosable disorder. Depression will fall under the guidelines for coverage - but you may have to see your primary physician first in order to get the diagnosis and then a referral.
I found my first therapist this way when I was fresh out of undergraduate school.
SLIDING SCALE FEES
Some mental health providers may have sliding-scale fees - which essentially means that they they will provide you with a fee for services based on your income. Most of the time, this is done on a faith-based policy. Most professionals will trust what you are saying to be true. A few others (usually ones funded by outside sources such as via government grants) may require proof of income - such as a pay stub or tax records.
Some people believe that the quality of care may be compromised in this type of setting - but I strongly disagree. A lot of private institutes will run this type of service in order to give graduate students a bit more experience - but they receive constant supervision by seasoned pros, so it's sort of like getting 2 or 3 therapists for the price of one.
LOCAL MENTAL HEALTH CENTERS/CLINICS
Many communities have local mental health clinics or centers that serve people who do not have the means to hire someone privately. Centers like these usually serve families with all types of issues: depression, addiction, teen-issues, bipolar disorder etc. - and have to adhere to strict regulations about having licensed mental health professionals on staff. So this is another great option, and quality of care should be good.
Centers may require income information similar to sliding-scale requirements.
**Wait! There's More. Want to learn about More Low-Cost Depression Treatment options? Click Here.
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 depression forum to talk about it further. Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter for topics in the news, new articles, website & book reviews, and other useful depression resources. Subscribe below.