How Much Does a Psychologist Visit Cost Without Insurance in 2023?
Consulting with a psychologist can help you learn how to effectively handle different issues that may arise in your life and manage mental health problems. On average, a visit with a psychologist without health insurance can cost anywhere from $75 to $200+ per hour. Many psychologists offer a sliding scale fee, which changes the price you pay based on your income status.
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The Cost of a Psychologist Visit Without Insurance
The table below outlines the out-of-pocket cost of seeing a psychologist in four cities in the United States. The average price of consulting with a psychologist costs about $145 and ranges between $60 and $150.
The Average Cost of Seeing a Psychologist in Different Locations
|Los Angeles, California||$200|
|New York City, New York||$200|
|Raleigh, North Carolina||$85-150|
|Kansas City, Missouri||$60-$125|
|Charlottesville, VA||$100- $150|
Factors that Influence the Cost of a Consultation With a Psychologist
The average cost of visiting a psychologist can range from $60 to $200. However, there are additional factors that may affect the cost of your visit. Some of these factors include sliding scale costs, the type of therapy needed, any prescribed medications, and whether or not you have health insurance.
Sliding Scale Therapy
Sliding scale therapy is a type of payment that many psychologists and therapists use to help individuals from any socioeconomic background afford therapy. You must qualify to access sliding scale therapy. Qualifications can vary from therapist to therapist.
Typically, sliding scale therapy and qualifications are determined by your income and the number of dependents, making therapy and consulting with a psychologist more affordable for those who pay in cash and do not have access to health insurance.
Contact the clinic or psychologist you want to see to determine if you qualify for sliding scale therapy. After this, you can work with your clinic to create a payment plan based on your needs. Even if you have access to health insurance, it can be more cost-effective to pay for your psychologist visit with a sliding scale fee rather than your health insurance. Most sliding scale psychologists and therapists charge between $75 to $160 for a session.
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Type of Therapy
There are various types of therapy, and each type can cost a different price. Some common forms of therapy include individual therapy, couples therapy, group therapy, depression therapy, and more. Check out the chart below for the average costs of consulting with a psychologist for the varying types.
Average Cost of Different Types of Therapy
|Type of Therapy||Average Cost|
|Individual Therapy||$70 - $150|
|Group Therapy||$30 - $80|
|Marriage Therapy||$70 - $250|
|Sex Therapy||$100 - $200|
|Art Therapy||$0 - $100|
The type of facility you see a psychologist in can impact the overall price of your visit. Facilities like community mental health clinics commonly offer therapy sessions with a psychologist at low costs. However, visiting a psychologist at a private practice can cost hundreds of dollars out of pocket. You can also see a psychologist at hospitals, medical schools, outpatient clinics, nursing clinics, and rehabilitation centers.
Cost of a Psychologist Visit Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below we outline some common questions regarding a psychologist visit.
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What is the difference between a psychologist, a psychiatrist, and a therapist?
Psychologists are trained social scientists who study human behavior and other mental processes. They are capable of diagnosing and treating mental health issues, and you can find them in various settings. Psychologists often work in conjunction with a psychiatrist, who can prescribe medication if that is what is deemed necessary for a patient.
Additionally, psychologists can perform both academic and clinical research, which is essential to advancing the field. Because of this, psychologists may use more clinical-based treatments and consult scientific literature when offering guidance to patients compared to therapists. They can also have various levels of degrees, such as bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorates.
Therapists are trained and licensed medical professionals who help patients make decisions and clarify their emotions to sort out problems. They often will provide guidance, support, and empower patients by allowing them to come to conclusions independently. A critical difference between psychologists and therapists is that therapists do not typically diagnose patients.
Psychiatrists are doctors of medicine who use their medical knowledge to assess patients. Psychiatrists are capable of evaluating and diagnosing patients and also can prescribe medications. Typically, psychiatrists should be consulted if a patient is undergoing a more severe mental illness.
How can I save money on a visit with a psychologist?
Scheduling regular psychologist visits can become expensive. However, there are ways to lower the total cost that you will be spending on your visit with your psychologist. Some of these tactics include:
- Check your insurance plan: Although it varies by plan, typically preferred provider organization (PPO) plans will cover a portion of your visit. Most of the time, a PPO will cover anywhere from 30% to 100% of your visit.
- Start a health saving account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA): With an HSA/FSA, you will be able to put your pre-tax money towards your therapy sessions. You will typically save anywhere from 10% to 40% of your visit via setting up an HSA or FSA.
- Meet with a psychologist in training: An appointment with a psychologist may be more affordable with a psychologist in training. They may be at universities, and despite the individual being in training, they will be overseen and will be given the tools to assist you.
What can I expect at my consultation with a psychologist?
Consultations with a psychologist can take place over the phone or in person. At each consultation with your psychologist, you will typically describe what has been on your mind and your general feelings.
Following this, your psychologist may ask follow-up questions that prompt you to think more internally and may allow you to reach conclusions on your own. They will also offer guidance or advice so that you can feel empowered in moving towards the life you want to have. Some common topics that may come up in your appointment include:
- Why you are seeking treatment
- Life circumstances
- Your goals for therapy
- An overview of your background
Will insurance cover my visit with a psychologist?
Insurance will not always cover the cost of a visit with your psychologist. Insurance plans will cover some portion of the visit most of the time, but not necessarily the entire visit. To confirm that your insurance covers the cost of seeing a psychologist, check your insurance account online first, and then call your insurance provider and potential psychologist to see if they accept your plan.
Typically, insurers only cover treatments that are deemed medical necessity like psychiatric emergency services, outpatient therapies, addiction treatment, and co-occurring medical diagnoses.
Psychologists can be critical in navigating our personal lives and any mental health issues we may be facing. Additionally, psychologists may be beneficial for those who may need medications prescribed as they work in conjunction with a psychiatrist and can obtain access to these prescriptions. The cost will depend on several factors; however, a visit with a psychologist can cost anywhere between $75 to $200.
If you are looking for ways to save on your health care expenses, Mira can help you access urgent care visits, lab testings, virtual behavioral health, and up to 80% off on prescriptions for an average of $45 per month.
Madeline is a Senior at UCLA majoring in Human Biology & Society with a minor in Spanish. She's currently a Healthcare Research Analyst at Mira, writing content for the blog to help the public better understand certain medical issues, technologies, testings, and the importance of healthcare.