Psychotherapists and their Fees

Psychotherpists and their fees

I have been asked, many times, “why is therapy so expensive?” Charging our fees is a well-thought out process, and many factors influence our decision. 

Why we charge what we charge:

  1. We are not covered by government health care programs (like doctors and nurses in Canada), and in some cases, not covered by private medical insurance. Our fees are in line with other private healthcare providers.
  2. We have invested $1,000’s on educating ourselves, and accumulating student debt in order to train to Master’s Degree level needed to practice this work. We also need to keep educating ourselves (as required by our governing body) to continue providing the best service we can to our clients.
  3. It is our business – how we earn our living. We are providing a service, and like other services (lawyers, accountants, etc.), we are offering our time, expertise and experience to help our clients with their lives.
  4. Our full fee does not end up in our pocket. Like any business, we have operating costs – room/office rent, office expenses, travel cost, insurances, etc. And we have income tax to pay. Then we have mortgages, bills and personal expenses to live on.
  5. The “market” can help decide what are the perimeters are for fees. Charging higher fees does not mean better therapy, as well as charging too little for our services can lead to stress and burn out. Each therapist needs to decide for themselves what they need to be able to run their private practice/business, but the market does set a standard for fees.

There may be times when we have to justify our fees to our clients – it is just the way it is. Some of my clients have been surprised by the amount of training and expenses I have incurred just to be able to practice. Almost all of them have understood why I charge what I charge after having a conversation with them.

Hope this helps.