Why Does Therapy Cost So Much?

by Harley Therapy
Reviewed by Dr Sheri Jacobson

Is therapy expensive?

Therapy can seem expensive compared to something like a gym membership. But some people pay more for a haircut at a top salon, or a night out. So whether or not therapy is expensive depends on your budget, and on what rates the therapist you are interested in charges.

Why do I feel therapy is expensive?

It might be because you live in a country where you can see a doctor free of charge. Or perhaps you feel strange to pay to sit in a room and talk to someone, when you can talk to your friends and family for free.

But if you try therapy, you will understand that what it offers is vastly different and far more helpful that talking to friends or to a GP.

What you are paying for

A therapist has advanced listening skills they spent years learning and honing. They know how to be very present, to hear without judging, and to understand not just what you say, but also your body language and behaviours. They also know how to ask questions that can quickly open your perspective on yourself and the world.

A therapist can make you feel seen and heard in a way you have never felt before. You suddenly become more aware of your own thoughts and feelings. It can feel like a revelation.

A therapist also provides you with support, empathy, and the tools you need to move forward in life.

How can I decide what therapy I can afford?

While it’s not a good idea to go into debt to attend therapy, many people can actually afford it. You just need to adjust to the idea of prioritising your mental wellbeing like you do other parts of your life. Is there something you could cut back on? Are you overspending on meals out, new clothes, or the lease of an extra car?

Unlike clothes which we wear then forget, therapy pays long-term dividends in the form of things like better relationships, higher self-esteem, and finally reaching life goals. So try to stop thinking of therapy as a cost, and see it as an investment.

If you aren’t working, don’t have savings, and only have benefit payments, we do provide lower cost therapists on our site (you can use the search function to find them). Otherwise, talk to your GP about free therapy provided by the government, or read our useful article on other ways to find low cost therapy.

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