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counseling at no cost

Mental health treatment is an important need. If you have problems with your relationships, mood, or are trying to navigate major changes in your life, you don’t want finances to be a barrier in receiving professional help.

Our desire at Piedmont Counseling Center is for everyone to have effective treatment, regardless of their ability to pay, but we must also balance this with our need to pay for our expenses. Fortunately, we do have options to help people who can’t afford counseling.

Why is counseling so expensive?

Healthcare professionals went into the healthcare field to help people. We did not choose this profession with money as the primary motivator, but for the fulfillment of making a difference in the lives of our patients and our community. Healthcare, including mental health, can be a major expense.

There are overhead costs involved with the provision of counseling services, that are similar to what any business would pay, such as office rent, utilities, and paying our non-clinical office staff (who answer the phone and schedule appointments). There are additional expenses, such as paying for licensure fees, malpractice insurance, and practice management software.These expenses add up and operating a group mental health practice is very expensive with overhead that must be paid each month. In addition, most counselors have significant student loans to repay (to be a licensed mental health professional requires a minimum of master’s degree and many have doctorates). Mental health professionals need to make a living and when subtracting the overhead and other costs, it is not possible to make a living as a counselor without counseling services being a significant expense.

Counselors do not charge a significantly different hourly rate than other professionals (accountants, lawyers, etc). Some individuals have sufficient financial means to pay this rate, while others are fortunate to have insurance that pays for all or part of their counseling expenses. We understand that some people don’t have either option.

Options with medicaid

Many individuals who are very low income (or have no income) are covered by Medicaid. These individuals have access to a variety of healthcare providers, including mental health professionals. Our team is not currently a Medicaid provider, but we hope to add this service in the future. If you have Medicaid, the best option for you would be to connect with a Medicaid provider. Here are two resources that will help you find a mental health professional who accepts Medicaid:

1. Go to the NC Medicaid website and do a search. You may do so using this link:
https://medicaid.ncdhhs.gov/find-a-doctor/mental-health-providers

2. Psychology Today is a database of mental health professionals. You can search by geographic region, type of insurance (including if the therapist takes Medicaid), and the therapist specialties. This will generate a list of providers that includes their picture, bio, and contact information. This will be a good option for many individuals to find a therapist who takes Medicaid.

our free counseling options

There are many individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid, but still can’t afford to pay for counseling. Such individuals can find it very difficult to find a therapist. Some churches and charities will provide counseling and no charge or a reduced rate. At Piedmont Counselng Center, we also have an option that may be helpful to you.

At Piedmont Counseling Center, we generally have counseling interns (though not always — it depends on the academic schedule). All healthcare professionals are required to have supervised experience — an internship — prior to being licensed. Counseling interns must have a minimum of 1 hour of supervision per week (often more). They are required to have completed foundational courses, such as assessment, ethics, and counseling treatment methods before they can ever meet with a patient. There is no guarantee that a counseling intern will be the best fit for you, but we highly recommend that you consider this option if you are in need of counseling, but aren’t able to afford it. While your counseling intern will not have years of experience as a professional experience, they do have life experience, a desire to help, extensive graduate training, and supervision by our experienced team of counselors.

Read more about our counseling interns by following this link. You may find that a counseling intern will not only be capable of meeting your counseling needs, but they will do so with excellence. Please call our office if you have any questions.