5 Ways To Get Therapy Even If You Have No Money

Get access to mental health care no matter your financial situation

a flower at different stages of growth

Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash

While this article was on my list of “posts to write,” I can’t pretend its moving up in the cue wasn’t sparked by Megan Thee Stallion’s recent creation of the website Bad Bitches Have Bad Days Too, a list of mental health resources that include helplines for the LGBTQIA+ community and organizations dedicated to mental health care and wellness for the Black community.

Megan is POWERFUL (not that we didn’t know this already). I still remember seeing a video of her on Instagram a while back in which she was doing squats and giving her friend a piggyback ride at the same time, (of course I can’t find this video now, so if it was actually a dream, it was the best dream I’ve ever had).

In addition to the great resources provided on Bad Bitches Have Bad Days Too, below are some ways to find free or lower-cost therapy (because mental wellness is healthcare and access to that should never depend on how much is in your wallet).


Using their “Search for treatment” tool, findtreatment.gov allows you to enter your zip code and find nearby therapists based on qualifiers such as their accepted payment options (including free or those who are sliding scale, i.e. those whose fees are adjusted based on your income), their type of treatment offered, and language spoken.

Open Path Psychotherapy Collective

Open Path Psychotherapy Collective is a nonprofit that has a searchable network of sliding scale therapists. They require a one-time lifelong membership fee of $59 to join and charge between $30 and $60 per session for individual therapy (or $30 to $80 per session for couples or family therapy).

Search “sliding scale therapy [your city] [your two-letter state abbreviation]” on Google

I know this sounds ridiculous, but the above is a good way to pull up counseling centers that offer sliding scale therapy, but might not pop up in your searches otherwise.


Freementalhealth.us aims to provide its name. The site has listings of state run facilities, mental health centers that offer sliding scale payment options, and Medicaid-approved mental health centers. You can search by zip code or city and each of the listings includes the office’s contact information and/or website.

Your local colleges and universities

In addition to teaching students how to be mental health professionals, colleges and universities often have clinics that are open to the public and offer sliding scale or low-cost payment options so that they can practice. While you are meeting with a therapist who is a graduate student in this scenario, they are working under the supervision of licensed counseling professionals. In my personal history, I have had great experience with therapists-in-training.

Mental health and access to its care is incredibly important. Don’t let a broken costly healthcare system or futile stigmas deter you from wellbeing — there are ways to get the care you need. Know that even though it can feel overwhelming, it is possible.

If you’re in need of immediate support, please go to the “I’m looking for mental health help for myself” page on Mental Health America to speak with someone. It is free and confidential.

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