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 Seeking information on private therapy cost and value is normal as with any decision to spend money on a service or product. We understand that even though looking after your mental health is important to you, the financial cost of talking therapy may make it feel out of reach. In this blog we talk about factors that influence the cost of seeing a private therapist in the UK. We also look at lower-cost options to help you take care of your mental well-being without spending too much money. Read on to learn more about the financial side of seeing a private therapist.

The Value of Private Therapy


Private therapy has long endured the reputation of being either a luxury or a desperate measure. However, much like physical health your mental health is a key factor in supporting your wellbeing and something well worth valuing.

When we consider the various ways we spend money to improve our lives, it is important to not overlook the significance of investing in our mental well-being. Private clinical therapy from a qualified professional, may seem expensive but it can be more cost-effective in the long run. If you find the right therapist to work with, this will also give you life-long tools to take care of your own mental health.

Private therapy has not only shorter wait times but also other important benefits that are not widely known.

Picture of woman happy investing in therapy cost

The Benefits of Private Therapy


  • Freedom of choice: In public healthcare, they usually assign a therapist to you. Whereas, when going for private therapy, you can choose the therapist best-fit for your needs based on their expertise.
  • Flexibility: You can discuss your treatment plan with your therapist and customise the plan as per your unique needs. You can have your therapy at a time to suit your specific life situation, such as having therapy to fit around work. Private therapy provides additional flexibility as it offers a wider range of specialised services. Some of these services include intensive therapy programs or alternative therapy approaches.
  • Consistency: You can trust that the care will stay the same because therapist changes are unlikely to happen.
  • Confidentiality: Accredited private therapists go the extra mile to ensure added privacy and confidentiality of every individual. Taking appointments in a discreet and safe environment is just one these measures.

Above all, the decision to address your mental health is an investment in your overall well-being and a step towards a happier life. With the right support you can navigate challenges and achieve positive change in your life.

Man thinking about investing in his mental health

Why is Therapy Expensive?


Therapy is a personal experience from the beginning. Due to this, cost of seeing a private therapist is not uniform and varies. It encompasses a wide range of techniques, practitioners, and approaches.

How much does private therapy cost in the UK? As a guide:

  • The average cost of seeing a Counsellor is £40-70 per 50 minute session
  • Seeing a Psychotherapist or CBT Therapist then ranges around £60 to £100 per 50 minute session.
  • The fees for seeing Clinical Psychologists or Counselling Psychologists are anywhere from £100 to £180 or more per 50 minute session.

What factors influence charges for therapy?


Fees for seeing private therapists are primarily dependent on two factors: provider’s qualifications, specialised training and the length of your sessions. Sessions with a counsellor might be more affordable, depending on the hourly rates. However, pricing does not necessarily reflect how long you will spend in therapy or how much you’ll spend long-term.

Many private therapists and counsellors may lack the medical training or official qualifications. For instance, some ‘therapists’ might actually be holistic practitioners without accreditations from recognised institutions. Such new approaches to therapy might work for some individuals. However, it is important to note that they lack evidence-based research and the costs are totally dependent on the practitioner’s choice.

On the other hand, a clinical psychologist who is properly accredited will charge a set fee and agree on an approximate timeframe for treatment. Unlike therapeutic techniques that aim to provide relief for specific feelings, a clinical psychologist helps you overcome your difficulties to the point where active appointments are reduced in frequency or no longer necessary.

The skills and expertise of a clinical psychologist help get to the base issue more quickly and addresses it with requiring less sessions overall. Thus, a qualified and experienced may charge more per session, but in the long run, aims to equip you with tools to maintain your mental well-being for life.

It is also important to note that most private clinics and therapists are registered with all major private health insurance companies. Therefore, depending on the kind of health insurance you have, the cost of seeing a therapist may be covered.


Check Therapist Registration / Accreditations


Before making a decision to go ahead with a private therapist it is advisable to check that they are accredited by their relevant professional body. By checking the relevant registers for that therapist you will be able to confirm they have appropriate qualifications to act as that type of therapist.

For example, Cognitive Behavioural Therapists (also known as CBT Therapists) are typically registered with the BABCP and Clinical Psychologists or Counselling Psychologists are registered with the HCPC. There may be other more specialised bodies that some therapists are registered with.  You can always enquire to that professional body if you are unsure of the level of training and qualification of a therapist.


Cost of In-Person vs. Online Private Therapy


Sometimes the cost of seeing a therapist face-to-face is slightly higher than seeing the therapist online. This is because it is influenced by factors such as the therapist’s location, practice facilities and overhead expenses. These costs may sometimes reflect in higher session fees.

Technological advancements have enabled therapy to be delivered online and since the Covid-19 pandemic this has become more popular. The reason this method has still stayed is because of the convenience and affordability it tends to offer. Eliminating the need for physical premises, online therapy allows you to access therapy from the comfort of your home. This in turn, reduces your transportation costs and gives you more control over your time.

At Select Psychology, we offer in-person and online therapy services with highly qualified specialists, you can learn more or book with us today – Get Started.


Low Cost Therapy Options


If the fees for seeing a private therapist seem out of reach, there are affordable alternatives available that you can consider:

  • NHS: If you are unable to fund sessions privately, booking in with the NHS is a great route to get the support you need. NHS covers talking therapies that can help with common mental health problems like stress, anxiety and depression. The sessions are delivered by fully trained and accredited NHS practitioners.
  • Reduced-Cost Counselling Services: Some private therapists may offer reduced rates for students, the unemployed or those with reduced incomes.
  • Employee Assistance Programs (EPAs): Provided by employers, EPAs offer free or discounted counselling services for employees or their families. These programs are valuable for people seeking mental health support without straining the budget.
  • Charitable Community Organisations: Religious or charitable organisations may offer counselling services at reduced rates or on a donation-only basis to support individuals in need.
  • Online Therapy Platforms: Numerous online platforms offer lower-cost cost alternatives to using a traditional therapist or practice. These platforms may offer competitive pricing and allow interaction with private therapists online and can include messaging, texting and video calls with therapists. 


Seek Quality over Cost


While cost of therapy is an important factor, it should not be the driving factor for choosing a therapist. Investing in someone who is professionally equipped to provide you with the treatment you need is crucial. If you wish to achieve lasting positive change, finding the right therapist specific to your issues and investing in a more experienced therapist is likely to be more cost-effective.

While the cost of seeing a private therapist may vary depending on various factors, its actual value in improving mental well-being is immeasurable. Investing in your mental health is an investment towards achieving a in happier and healthier future and better quality of life.

If you would like to learn more about what we do, who we help and the fees here at Select Psychology please get in touch using the button below and we can provide further guidance on our approaches and therapist options in a free phone consultation.