Seven of the best affordable therapies

Seven of the best affordable therapies

Do you need psychological help but are looking for cheaper options? There are a number of useful methods. However, don’t forget that it is always preferable to consult a professional.

Seven of the best affordable therapies

Last update: June 12, 2023

Emotional distress, anxiety, apathy, pain, and relationship problems. Every person goes through difficult times. It’s at these times that professional help can be useful, and the kind that preferably doesn’t break the bank. Fortunately, there are affordable forms of therapy that, in many cases, are just as good and effective as the more expensive ones.

In the field of mental health, there are a wealth of resources at your fingertips. These forms of assistance are always conducted by specialists. They are the only ones that provide improvement with a lower risk of relapse. One example is brief strategic therapy (BST). We will give you other alternatives.

When dealing with a mood disorder, a short strategic therapy, divided into six to ten sessions, can be helpful.

1. Free social resources

In any community, city or town, there are usually social resources focused on mental health. For example, public health and some social agencies often provide free psychological assistance. However, the main drawback is often the waiting time and the delay in getting an appointment.

Social Security

As a rule, the first option for many people when dealing with psychological problems is to go to their primary care center. Some clinics already have clinical psychologists. In other cases, they refer patients to external specialized services.

Social services

For those who find themselves in situations of social exclusion, such as victims of gender-based violence, or who have a family member with a serious mental illness, it is advisable to contact social services. They provide guidance and assistance.

Institutions and universities

In all cities there are entities aimed at supporting and intervening under certain conditions. For example, they address disorders such as schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder or eating disorders (ED). Therefore, it is a good idea to visit social services to ask for information.

On the other hand, there are also psychology colleges that provide free tuition. That said, these resources are generally geared towards the students themselves, but it doesn’t hurt to ask if there’s the possibility of a consultation.

lines of solidarity

Many countries have toll-free help lines. While not a form of therapy as such, they provide the fastest response when the individual’s suffering is intense. These are times when they are pushed to their limits and experience despair or suicidal thoughts.

These professionals guide and accompany the individual in times of great difficulty. They also provide information on available resources.

If you’re having a bad time and don’t have much money, you should talk to your GP or social services first.

2. Brief strategic therapy

Brief strategic therapy (BST) is an intervention model developed by two eminent figures: Paul Watzlawick and Giorgio Nardone. A study conducted by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway) highlights the importance of the emergence of strategic brief therapy.

This approach emerged as a response to the need for concrete and effective strategies in the field of mental health. The purpose of the BST is to detect how the patient reinforces and fuels his problems and how to deactivate these dynamics.

This psychological intervention lasts between six and ten sessions. Therefore, it is not a long treatment and is accordingly cheaper.

The problems dealt with by BST

  • Phobias.
  • Anxiety.
  • Panic attacks.
  • sexual disorders
  • Obsessive disorders.
  • Work, relationship and food problems.
girls talking about accessible forms of therapy
Group therapies are an interesting and economical option for some specific needs.

3. Brief Solution Focused Therapy (SFBT)

An interesting and affordable form of therapy is solution-focused brief therapy (SBCT). It is based on the systemic method. In just a few sessions, it focuses on the present to generate coping strategies and problem responses in the individual.

SBCT is one of the least expensive forms of therapy. Project towards concrete goals. It is an exciting alternative within the economic forms of therapy. It can treat the following conditions:

  • Anxiety.
  • Mild depression.
  • Personal crises.
  • Self-esteem, interpersonal, work and family problems.

4. Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)

Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) was developed in 2008 by Dr. Laney Rosenzweig. It is used to treat emotional suffering. It is a popular method and, on average, lasts five sessions. Indeed, it is both an economic and a strategic method.

According to research conducted by Fort Belvoir Hospital in Virginia (USA), ART is an effective, efficient and versatile form of psychotherapy. It combines different therapeutic models such as cognitive behavioral therapy, Gestalt therapy and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing).

Problems dealt with by ART

  • Phobias.
  • Trauma.
  • Anxiety.
  • Addictions.
  • Crisis and pain.
  • Panic attacks.
  • Relationship problems.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder.

5. Group therapy

Group therapy addresses multiple psychological problems and conditions at a reasonable price. It also allows the individual to see that they are not alone in their suffering as they realize that there are other people in similar circumstances.

The groups are led by a specialized therapist. They employ joint interaction and joint dynamics. These sessions can be enriching experiences and are generally within everyone’s reach.

Problems treated in group therapy

  • Phobias.
  • Ache.
  • Trauma.
  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.
  • Addictions.
  • Chronic diseases.
  • Personality disorders.
  • Eating Disorders (ED).

There are some short therapies that, in five or ten sessions, can address problems strategically. They are cheaper and highly effective options.

6. Alternative therapies

The best way to deal with problems is to rely on specialized professionals. Indeed, psychologists and psychiatrists have the power to treat emotional suffering. They have studied and prepared for this purpose.

But, if you’re looking for some low-cost options, there are alternative therapies. In many cases, these are treatments that are usually also organized by qualified personnel in the clinical setting. Here are some examples:

Workshops and training

Some psychologists offer the opportunity to attend workshops to enhance and promote personal growth. For example, workshops to improve self-esteem, manage anxiety, enable emotional intelligence or learn the art of psychological closure.

You may want to enroll in a class where you can work on the areas that are causing you problems. You should be able to find cheap or even free training, to provide tools for your well-being.


Retreats are natural environments usually far from the city whose purpose is to reflect and work on different emotional areas. The individual usually spends two days to a week in an environment with other people and a guide or therapist. While these sessions aren’t always conducted by trained professionals, some are.

7. Books

A low-cost approach to improving mental health is, undoubtedly, specialized books. Obviously this is not an ordinary therapy as such, but it can provide benefits, tools and a basis from which to start. At your fingertips, you’ll find a wide range of self-help publications.

But you have to be selective. Books written by mental health professionals are always the most recommended. Ideally, they should also include hands-on exercises.

Woman reading a book about accessible forms of therapy
Books are a form of alternative therapy for when you’re having a hard time.

Final note

We know that psychological therapy is not available to everyone. But it is urgent and the various public bodies should be more sensitive to this fact. Indeed, providing psychologists to public health centers is a reality that many groups have been asking for for some time.

Mental health care should be universal. Consequently, everyone who needs it should have access to it, provided by appropriate specialists. In the meantime, you can always keep looking for viable options that best suit your pocket.

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