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Affording Therapy When You Don’t Have Insurance

Make Your Mental Health a Priority in 2021

Deciding to seek mental health counseling is one of the most self loving acts you can make. Fortunately, even if you don’t have insurance, you CAN afford therapy.

Self-love doesn’t always look like face masks and pedicure dates. Working on your mental health is just as, if not more important. While you may not be able to see physical results like a new nail color or outfit with consistency you will FEEL better. 

Mental health services have had a reputation of being a “luxury” rather than a necessity but I am happy to say in 2021 there are more options than ever to invest in your mental health.

Free or Cheap Options for Therapy

Employee Assistance Programs (see this post here) – even if you don’t have health insurance, your employer or your partner’s employer may offer this benefit. Check with HR to see if this is an option for you.

Cash Pay / Sliding Scale – many therapists don’t contract with insurance companies and only work on a cash pay basis. Ask a therapist you want to work with if they offer a discounted rate or sliding scale based on income. Some therapists even allow payment plans.

Community Mental Health Center – most community health centers receive federal, state, or local funding to provide mental health services in the community to those who are underinsured or uninsured. You may still have a small co-pay, but it may only range from $10.00 to $20.00 a session. See the list of community health centers at the bottom of this post.

Research Local Practices and Ask to See a New Therapist / Intern – when therapists first get out of graduate school, or are doing a practicum while still in grad school, they have to practice under a provisional license. They are usually unable to be on insurance panels, and offer steeply discounted cash pay rates. 


Mental Health Services should be available to everyone and anyone. As I listed above, there are opportunities for these services to be feasible for the everyday person. As a provider myself I strive to provide as many payment options as I can to my clients. 

Feel free to contact me with any questions regarding services and/or payments with me.

Kansas City Area Community Mental Health Centers

Johnson County Mental Health

Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center

Swope Behavioral Health

Mattie Rhodes Center

UMKC Counseling and Assessment Center

MNU Community Counseling Center

Valerie Owings

I am a licensed professional counselor, national certified counselor, and registered play therapist. Those credentials let you know that I am licensed to practice counseling in the state of Missouri, have met the standard to be certified by the National Board of Certified Counselors, and have extensive training and certification to practice play therapy. I am also a member of the American Counseling Association and The Association for Play Therapy.

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