How much does psychotherapy cost?
- Psychoanalysis is not only for the rich. Although money is an important element of treatment, it’s entirely possible to negotiate a session price.
- Health insurance does not cover psychotherapy. You can rely on cost compensation only when contacting a psychiatrist.
- It’s difficult to estimate the cost of a treatment in advance. Others may be behind the problem with which we come for therapy.
One of the main obstacles for those who want to start psychotherapy is money. In many cases, therapy is really expensive. And how valuable is our own mental well-being for us? This question is at the very center of therapeutic work. We asked specialists to find out what tariffs are and to understand what the discrepancies in prices are connected with.
Why money matters
We can talk for free about our difficulties (although not all) with a loved one or an occasional interlocutor, but such a conversation does not guarantee full attention to us, does not imply a result or continuation. Even if we are friendly with a psychologist at a party, this is still just a conversation.
Money changes everything. “Payment confirms the seriousness of intentions on both sides: the client and the specialist,” stresses systemic family therapist Anna Varga. “And at the same time, it reduces the therapist’s overwhelming significance: he does paid work, not wonders.”
Many clients believe that the therapist is omnipotent. When paying, they get a chance to quickly realize that he is an ordinary person and does not eat the holy spirit. The patient loses his illusions, but gets autonomy. And at the same time, taking out his wallet, he returns to reality after a session during which he was busy exploring the imaginary and unconscious.
What do we pay for
To help us achieve our goals in therapy, the psychologist uses the techniques and techniques that he learned during his expensive and many years of education. We pay him for qualifications, experience, skill.
“The psychologist maintains his professional level, and this requires expenses from him,” remarks a gestalt therapist Daniil Khlomov. “He is undergoing personal therapy, because clients share difficult experiences with him, and he needs to cope with this, participates in paid conferences, consults with colleagues about his work.” The price of the service also often includes the rent for the room rented by a therapist.
By and large, “payment serves as a guarantee that the therapist has no other interests than the interests of the client,” emphasizes Daniil Khlomov.
How much is it
Prices, called by analysts and therapists, reach 10,000 rubles per session with an average cost of 3,000 rubles. (In the province, prices are slightly lower than in Moscow.) The price depends on the frequency of sessions, experience, reputation, and sometimes the therapist’s ambitions, the cost of rent. With prolonged therapy, as a rule, one price is set for all sessions.
Hand-to-hand transfer of money helps the client return to the real world. This is a sign that the meeting is over.
The frequency of sessions is determined in conjunction with the therapist and may vary during the analysis. The duration of treatment is one year, and five or ten years – it all depends on your problem and motivation. But you can interrupt psychotherapy at any time without the obligation to pay a penalty. Talk about this with your psychoanalyst or therapist: he will help determine if you really completed the analysis or therapy, or if the resistance phenomenon triggered, because during the treatment you came close to something very important and possibly hurting you.
How to calculate the cost of the course
Estimating the upcoming expenses for therapy is not easy, because one problem may open another, and then the number of meetings increases. More precisely, it can be said about the cost of a very short therapy (6-12 sessions for a phobia like fear of air travel will cost from 18,000 to 120,000 rubles; 16 sessions for agoraphobia – from 48,000 rubles).
Is it possible to change the tariff during therapy
Yes, if your income has changed and the specialist believes that these negotiations are part of the therapeutic process. Payment is one of the impact tools that contribute to change, so discounts should be psychologically justified, said Daniil Khlomov: “It is important for the client to pay at least their capabilities. If he is looking for something cheaper than he can afford, he thereby creates an attitude towards himself as less significant than he really is. ”
When and how do we pay
There is no consensus on at what point in the session it is better to pay for the meeting. “Some therapists prefer to receive money at the beginning of the appointment, so as not to think about it later,” says Anna Varga. For others, hand-to-hand transfer of money is a way to ground the client at the end of the session. Hand-to-hand transfer of money helps the client return to the real world. This is a sign that the meeting is over.
Some therapists allow clients to choose the moment for calculation themselves, using their choice as a diagnostic tool. “The way a client handles money gives me additional information about him,” says Daniil Khlomov. “Whether he seeks to pay several sessions in advance or forgets to pay, this probably reflects the behavior that is typical for him in ordinary life.”
Recently, psychotherapy has been developing on the Internet. “Skype allows you to remotely receive qualified assistance,” says Anna Varga, “and increases the popularity of cashless payments. It seems to me that we will soon switch to cashless settlement. Therefore, the question of when the client transfers money to the therapist is not very significant. ”
According to Daniil Khlomov, the form of payment should correspond to the form of contact: “Non-cash forms can be used in the virtual space, and if we meet face to face, it is better to use a physical form of payment, that is, banknotes.”
Is there a free consultation
“Psychotherapy is only for the rich.” To end this prejudice, it is important to know that today anyone who wants to undergo therapy can do this regardless of their wealth.
“In case of cramped circumstances, you can contact the institute where they teach psychotherapy,” says Anna Varga. – Many of them have free psychotherapeutic assistance programs. At the same time, interns observe the work of the psychotherapist (they also obey the rules of confidentiality). The client pays for the help, but not with money, but with the fact that it gives young psychologists the opportunity to learn by observing the work of the master. ”
There are also state psychological centers for helping women, families, adolescents and career counseling centers where consultations are free of charge.
Do I pay for missed sessions?
I guess, yes. For most psychoanalysts and some psychotherapists, missed sessions are payable if you have not informed that you are not coming in 24 hours or 48 hours. Such an agreement strengthens the client’s responsibility for their actions. Do not forget to discuss this issue with your analyst, as well as the issue of sessions missed due to vacation. Some psychoanalysts tell patients their vacation dates and ask them to orient themselves.
Free – is it useless?
Will the therapy be effective if the client does not transfer the money to a specialist? The key point here is the professionalism of the therapist, says Anna Varga. “The therapist must maintain a professional position without becoming a lifeguard or friend.” He must be aware of what he wants from this work for himself, what bonuses he receives and whether it is useful for the client.
“The psychotherapy paid by the insurance company is likely to be short-term,” adds Daniil Khlomov. “But for deep work, a union of a therapist and a client is needed, free from the intervention of third parties, whose interests may not coincide with the interests of the client.” It would be good if the client himself paid the money and received a refund from the social insurance system. ” Those who go to the clinic therapist over time or participate in educational psychotherapeutic programs are apparently already very motivated to make positive changes in their lives and therefore have a chance to achieve them.
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