Finding a Counsellor you can afford

While it can be considered to be one of the best investments of your life, seeing a therapist can also seem like a luxury you just can’t afford. However, there are many options for affordable counselling. Here I’ll outline the general rates for therapy, and what you are paying for.
As with all professions, the greater the experience and qualification of a practitioner, the higher the rates can go. I have no problem with this, and like to see someone as qualified as possible. However, that doesn’t mean I have the financial means to do so. Thankfully, there are options.

Qualified Therapists:
Rates can range from around €60 to €100, depending on the therapist. There are no set rules or rates, as with other healthcare professionals, so shop around for your location. See if you can negotiate. It if it too expensive for you, look elsewhere. This is not to say that the therapist isn’t worth their fee, just that there are alternatives.
Trainee Therapists:
Trainee therapists must complete a set number of hours with clients. They can work through centres or independently with insurance and their college’s permission. MyMind.org employs trainees, as do many other centres, with rates at around €20 or €30 per session. Although they are not finished their training, psychotherapy students are in supervision and in their own therapy, along with being long enough into their studies that their college deems it the appropriate time for them to be trusted with clients.
Low-cost centres:
There are also many centres that work on a donation basis, although there can be a waiting list.
A few low-cost counselling centres include:
The Dublin Counselling Centre (01-8788236) reports a waiting list of a few weeks and a very low price of €5.
The Village Centre, in Tallaght (087-9049497), reports one to six weeks waiting lists, “depending on availability”, with counselling costing a minimum of €10 a session.
The Coiscéim Counselling Programme (021-4666180) has a waiting list of six weeks and costs “€5, €10, €20, and upwards depending on the patient’s ability to pay.
The Limerick Counselling Service (061-314111) takes “a max of a couple weeks” and costs from €10.
HSE:
If you have a medical card, speak to your GP about getting on a list for therapy. The wait can be 6 months though, and they only offer a set number of sessions. This is problematic. For example, a person could be at the end of their run of sessions and have a major breakthrough, but they are then left to work through this without support. However, CBT is also available on the HSE and leaves less of a concern as working to a set timeframe is part of the CBT process.
The HSE also has the Connect service (1800 477 477), a telephone counselling-and-support service for adults who were abused in childhood. It’s open Wednesday to Sunday, from 6pm to 10pm.

College counsellors:
Most colleges offer free counselling with fully qualified and accredited therapists. Again, it may take a few weeks to get an appointment, but once there is space available you should have a weekly set appointment for as long as you need it while a registered student.
Tips:
Look around. See what is available to you in your location and your price range. Call and see if the fees are negotiable. Make sure your therapist is correctly accredited, or working towards accreditation through the registered colleges. All that being said, what is most important is that you see a therapist you feel comfortable with. Even if a therapist is free, if it does not feel like a safe, non-judgemental space for you, look elsewhere. Attending counselling can be one of the best things you ever do. If you feel you are ready to talk, please read these posts to learn what to look for in a therapist, and how to know that they are accredited:
http://theirishwellnesshub.com/2015/10/04/how-to-choose-a-therapist/
http://theirishwellnesshub.com/2015/10/04/how-to-make-sure-your-therapist-is-accredited/

If you wish to book a psychotherapy session with Bébhinn please click here: https://theirishwellnesshub.com/book-an-appointment/

 

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