Cost of Therapy in the United States
Which states pay the most to access mental health support?
Most Expensive States to Access Therapy
$199.11 per session
$171.88 per session
$167.13 per session
Least Expensive States to Access Therapy
$120.00 per session
$114.13 per session
$115.63 per session
|State||Average cost of a therapy session||Difference from average ($139.43)|
Depending on where you live in the United States, the cost of accessing mental health support can vary substantially.
From our analysis, we found that the average cost of a therapy session in America is $139.43. But if you live in Alaska, you’ll pay a massive $199.11 per therapy session on average, assuming you have no insurance coverage.
Those in the northern Midwest also face high costs of therapy, with North Dakota residents paying 23% more to access mental health support than the average American. It’s a similar story in Minnesota, where you’ll pay $167.13 per session, or 20% more than it costs the average person to attend therapy sessions.
On the other hand, residents of other states pay a lot less to access the exact same types of counseling services. A session with a licensed therapist costs just $115.63 in Missouri, or $116.98 in Rhode Island, partly due to a greater supply of available therapists.
– Eileen Conroy MSc, Chief Operating Officer, Find A Therapist
Performance By Region
WEST (HI, AK, WA, OR, CA, NV, UT, CO, ID, MT, WY)
Most western US states are relatively expensive places to access therapy services.
Alaska is the most expensive state in the country to access mental health support, and California also made the top five. Therapy is also expensive in Wyoming, at $158.11 per session, and in Montana, where it costs $155.20 on average to access a licensed therapist.
Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming suffer from a lack of available therapists, leading to higher prices. On the other hand, Washington and California have a high cost of living in general, leading to higher prices, especially in California.
However, some western US states were actually less expensive than the national average. It costs $133.63 to access therapy in Utah, and $131.02 in Colorado – 6% less than the national average.
SOUTHWEST (AZ, NM, OK, TX)
The Southwest is a very inexpensive place to get therapy, when compared to most other US states. Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas all have a lower cost of therapy than the national average.
However, there is a significant difference between the cheapest and most expensive Southwestern states to access counseling.
Oklahoma is the cheapest of the four states, with an average therapy session costing just $125.68, or 10% below the national average. On the other hand, therapy sessions cost $138.75 on average in Arizona – just 0.5% below the national average, and 10% higher than in Oklahoma.
MIDWEST (ND, SD, NE, KS, MN, IA, MO, WI, IL, MI, IN, OH)
The northern parts of the US Midwest are some of the most expensive places in the country to access counseling and therapy services.
North Dakota and Minnesota are the second and third most expensive states to get mental health support, with therapy sessions costing around 20% higher on average than in the rest of the United States.
On the other hand, many other midwestern states have a much lower cost of therapy services. Michigan residents pay $125.06 per therapy session, while Missouri residents enjoy the cheapest therapy in the country, at just $115.63 per session, which is 17% below the national average.
SOUTHEAST (AR, LA, MS, AL, GA, FL, TN, KY, WV, VA, NC, SC, DE)
The Southeast generally has quite a low cost of therapy, with many states having access to cheaper therapy than the national average.
Louisiana is the cheapest southeastern state to access therapy services, at just $121.50 per session. In Tennessee, a therapy session costs $126.88, while therapy is also cheaper than the national average in North and South Carolina.
For the southeastern states with a higher cost of therapy, no state had an average therapy session cost more than 5% higher than the national average, highlighting that mental health support is relatively inexpensive in the Southeast. Delaware, Georgia, and Florida had the highest cost of counseling of any southeastern states.
NORTHEAST (PA, MD, NY, NJ, CT, RI, MA, NH, ME, VT)
The Northeast US was very interesting in that different states had a massively different average cost of therapy services, despite being located very close to one another.
A typical therapy session costs $159.13 in New Jersey or $156.70 in New York, but just $116.98 in Rhode Island. If you saw a therapist every week for three months, this would be nearly $480 cheaper in Providence, compared to New York City.
In the far North East, there is also a lot of variation. Therapy sessions cost $142.99 on average in Maine, $133.00 in New Hampshire, and just $127.62 in Vermont. Further south, therapy is cheaper, at just $123.75 in Virginia, which is very similar to the prices seen in southeastern states such as North Carolina.
We gathered data on more than 1000 mental health professionals to assess how much therapy and counseling sessions cost in each state. Apart from the state in which they operate, we recorded the cost of therapy sessions with each therapist or counselor, as well as their experience and qualifications. When a therapy provider listed their pricing in a range (such as $100-$150 per session), we calculated the average of these two numbers.
The professionals we collected data on all had at least a year of experience, and a current license to practice. We did not record data on any individuals currently completing an internship. Each professional was either a Licensed Professional Counselor, Marriage and Family Therapist, Psychologist, Clinical Social Worker, or Drug and Alcohol Counselor.
For each state, we ensured to collect data on a very similar mixture of professionals, to ensure that our averages were not skewed too high or too low. For example, in each state, we ensured that exactly 10% of the individuals we included were psychologists, because these types of professionals cost more per hour than most types of counselors and therapists.
To calculate the typical cost of counseling in each state, we found the average cost of a single therapy session, using data from all of the therapists or counselors in that specific state. We then adjusted each number to account for the experience of the therapists included.
Of all the therapists we studied, the average year that they started practising was 2006. If, for a given state, the average year in which each therapist started practising was earlier than 2006, the average cost of therapy sessions was revised down to account for the additional experience, and vice versa. To determine how much we revised the average cost up or down, we first found the average cost of therapy depending on experience, across all states – this difference then informed how much we increased or decreased each state’s number. This was a small adjustment – when a change was made, the cost of therapy was raised or lowered by 2.5% or less.
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Tom McNamara, PR Manager, Find A Therapist
*Data collected during January 2022. Find A Therapist makes no warranties or guarantees as to the accuracy of the data provided.