Where’s my therapist?

When I moved to Portland looked for a therapist. I wasn’t hopeful that I’d find someone who took my insurance and so I didn’t think I could afford one. When I found my therapist and she agreed to take $50 a session I was relieved. I instantly got a good vibe from her on the phone and I was honest about how I couldn’t afford to pay her regular fee of $200 a session. I’ve tried many times to rationalize that that’s how much therapy typically costs. Many different therapists have told me that their initial evaluation cost $500. I was talking to my friend about this and I said: “they should apologize before they tell you what their rate is for therapy.”

Do therapist only care about making money?

It got me thinking, do therapists only care about making money and not about helping people? From their rates, it seems that way and I’m not sure why they’re so expensive. I would assume that psychologists want to help people but that’s not always the case. As a therapist when a client comes to you and says they can’t afford your extraordinarily expensive fee it would behoove you to try to work with them and find a compromise when it comes to a rate per session. People come to therapy in a poor mental state at times. Some of them don’t want to live anymore, and you’re sitting there telling them they have to pay $700 for an evaluation? It doesn’t seem humane to me. After the $1000 evaluation, the follow-up sessions are $300 each time. Maybe one of the reasons that the person is feeling depressed is that they have no money to afford treatment. If they’re telling you they can’t afford therapy obviously there’s a reason. Poor people are not poor on purpose.

Stop blaming poor people for being poor

Are we are blaming people who don’t have money for being poor? That’s morally reprehensible, and we need to stop doing this. Everyone has mental health problems regardless of their financial status. Money is a legitimate issue that needs to be addressed on I understand that a therapist needs to make a living and support themselves, however regardless of their access to financial resources, all humans should be able to access mental health services. There should be a system in place where people who are in crisis to get discounted therapy based upon their mental health diagnosis. For example, if someone is suicidal, they should get discount and treatment because we’re trying to save lives right? Depression kills people correct?

Treatment is expensive…so expensive!

Every time I psychiatrist tells me that their initial session costs hundreds of dollars I want to scream in their office. It’s infuriating to me, and I don’t understand why a mental health provider could have the audacity to charge that amount of money and not accept insurance. The concept makes me physically ill.I wanted to see somebody that was in my area. I couldn’t find a therapist in my town, and I had to commute to downtown Portland. I don’t have a problem doing that, but it makes me wonder about mental health services for individuals and couples in smalls towns.

What can we do?

What can we do? I’m serious; what is it that needs to change for people to get mental health care? I’m primarily concerned about the low-income people I am mainly preoccupied with those of us who don’t have millions of dollars. I know that is hyperbolic, but the point is: it’s not fair. There are instances where not being able to go to therapy kills people. If you are severely depressed and you don’t receive treatment your life is in jeopardy. Have you ever experienced not being able to find someone to help you when you are in a crisis mode? How can we get people the help they need? How can we save the lives of people that want to end their lives? There’s got to be a way to fix the situation. What can we do? I’m listening.