Sliding Scale Therapy NYC: $150 + Under Sessions
Find the best sliding scale therapists in NYC. “Sliding scale” refers to the range of session fees that a therapist is willing to accept for clients with limited resources. For example, a therapist's standard session fee might be $175 per session, but they could list a sliding scale of $125 to $150. This means that whenever possible, they’ll work within your budget to help you receive mental health care at a price you can afford.
Most NYC therapists who offer sliding scales see clients in Manhattan. The majority are located in Midtown, but there are many who practice on the Upper East and West Sides and in Lower Manhattan. There are also a number of sliding scale therapists in Brooklyn and Queens.
Sliding scales were designed for clients who pay for therapy out of pocket. If your therapist agrees to lower their fees for you, insurance will not cover the cost of your sessions.
Therapy with sliding scale therapists typically lasts 45 minutes to one hour. Therapists who offer sliding scales treat individuals of all ages including adults, college students, teenagers, and children. Many also offer couples counseling and family therapy. And while most sliding scale therapists see clients in-person, some offer remote or online sessions as well.
Find vetted sliding scale therapists in NYC below. Click on any professional to watch an introductory video and book a free initial call to find a great fit! To refine your search, add your fee range under ‘Payment options’. For help from home or the office, check ‘Online video sessions’ under ‘Locations.'
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How to find a sliding scale therapist in NYC
Do I qualify for a sliding scale fee of $150 or less?
Maybe. If you can’t afford the full session fee, you can present your therapist with documentation of your income and number of dependents. Many therapists have processes in place to quickly determine whether to qualify a client for a reduced session fee.
However, don’t take it personally if your request is declined! Whether a therapist agrees to see you on a sliding scale will depend on how many of their clients are already paying low fees, as well as other factors related to the health of their practice.
When would I choose a sliding scale?
ew NYC therapists are in-network with insurance plans, and those who accept insurance are often fully booked. It can be difficult to find a match between your insurance and a therapist who is right for you.
If you’re paying out of pocket, therapy in NYC will cost anywhere from $175 to more than $250 per session. If that’s not affordable, you should ask your therapist if they offer a sliding scale and what rate they may be able to offer you.
When do I ask my therapist for a sliding scale fee?
You should ask your therapist for a sliding scale fee before your first session. If you know that you’ll need a reduced rate, determine what you can afford per session and then share that with the therapist in your initial phone call. In many cases, you and the therapist will be able to find an agreed-upon rate that will work for you both.
Remember that you can ask for a sliding scale fee at any time. Over the course of therapy, your financial situation or your insurance coverage could change. If that happens to you, it’s fine to discuss this with your therapist and ask about reduced rates at that time.
Are sliding scale fees covered by my insurance?
No. Sliding scales were designed for clients who pay for therapy out of pocket. If your therapist agrees to lower their fees for you, insurance will not cover the cost of your sessions.
Keep in mind that there are benefits to bypassing insurance. Your privacy will be preserved from future insurers who would otherwise know your therapy history. If you don’t have a diagnosable mental health condition, you can still work with a therapist out-of-pocket to address your concerns, and there is no deductible to meet before insurance starts contributing.
What alternatives are there to sliding scales?
If the sliding scale fee is still above what you can afford, and your insurance offers mental health coverage, consider searching for a therapist who is in your network. Having trouble finding one near toy? Consider branching outside your neighborhood, too. Many therapists offer remote or online sessions which can be just as effective as traditional, in-person therapy (just make sure your insurance covers tele-therapy sessions).
If your insurance doesn’t cover mental health, there are a number of nonprofits and therapist training institutions located throughout NYC that offer need and income-based therapy at low cost.
Note: Some Zencare providers also offer sliding scale fees of $100 and under per session.