There are actually no regulations here in the United Kingdom around what a therapist can or can’t charge their clients. It’s up to each individual therapist him or herself to decide what price they want to offer their services at.
Most therapists will raise their rates as they gain experience and expertise. So often (but not always) if a therapist is charging more, it is because they have years of client work behind them and are a specialist with certain issues.
Education and training can also be a factor. For example, a counsellor, which is a less intense and less expensive degree that can be gained at a local college, will generally charge less than a psychotherapist. A psychotherapy degree is a longer program at a university masters level. And if a therapist has then gone on to take additional training, so that they can offer you several different psychotherapeutic approaches, this, too, might mean they value their time more.
This is not to say a very experienced, highly trained therapist is always the most expensive. They might have a lucrative position in the NHS that allows them to work privately on the side at a reasonable rate. Or they might have some clients who pay full rate with insurance plans, which allows them to then offer a sliding scale to others on a lower income (this is always something you can ask a therapist about, if they have any lower priced spots).
Sometimes a therapist charges slightly less than others simply because they work from a room in their home, meaning they do not have the overhead of an office in an expensive area to factor in to what they charge.
This can be one of the advantages of working with a phone or Skype therapist. They can offer reasonable rates as they can work from home and save the time and cost of transport to an office. (You will find several such therapists here on our platform.)
But what if you have your heart set on a certain therapist who has a higher rate, and no sliding scale? We recommend you read our article on why therapy is so expensive. It might change your perspective around whether you can or can’t afford it, offering practical tips to help you invest in the best therapist for you.
Need a reasonably priced therapist? Harley Therapy platform offers therapists for all budgets. Use our search tool to find the right therapist for you at a price you are comfortable with.