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Finding Reduced Fee Therapy

Like all health care services, therapy can be costly. The best way to reduce costs is to utilize your insurance benefits, either through an in-network provider, or by utilizing out-of-network benefits. The insurance page has more details about utilizing out-of-network benefits. People often overlook hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in reimbursement because filing claims is inconvenient or intimidating. In most cases, it doesn't have to be. Please feel free to ask for guidance at any time. 

In addition, many people find that a paying for a higher premium every month for an insurance plan with more benefits is actually less expensive over the year than a low premium plan. In addition, an FSA account may help cover out of pocket costs for therapy. FSA's and insurance premiums often have tax benefits too (check with your employer about details). Be sure to look at the bigger picture of health care costs over the year, taking into account mental health care for yourself and any dependents, and other health care costs. 

A second option for reduced fee therapy is to receive therapy from a graduate student at a university clinic or group private practice. All therapists must complete hundreds of hours in an internship to finish a masters degree or PhD program, while under the close supervision of senior therapists. You can often receive high quality, reduced fee therapy at these locations. In some cases, you can also receive out-of-network insurance benefits for seeing interns (for details, confirm with the therapist before booking). Some options in the DMV are: 

  • Meltzer Center at George Washington University. Offers assessments and therapy for children and adults (but not couples) on a sliding scale. 

  • George Washington Center Clinic. Part of the GW Psychology program. Offering sliding scale with PhD candidates for individuals, children and couples.

  • The Center for Healthy Families in College Park, MD offers sliding scale for individuals, couples, and families. Fees are $15-$120 depending on income.

  • Sunstone Counseling. A large group practice with multiple locations throughout Virginia, serving adults, children, teens, couples and families. They often have graduate interns providing couples therapy and sex therapy. Fees are around $75 and lower fees are often available. 

  • Virginia Family Therapy. A large group practice with multiple locations throughout Virginia with several interns offering reduced rates of $50-110. Serving young children, teens, adults, families, and couples. 

  • Jonah Green and Associates. A group practice in Kensington, MD serving children, teens, adults, families and couples. They often have a graduate intern providing a sliding scale of around $20-$40 per session. 

  • The Woolf Center. A group practice in Rockville serving children ages 10+, adults, couples and families. There is often an intern at this practice, offering a reduced rate of around $110. 

  • The Imago Center of DC. An organization serving individuals and couples. They often have graduate interns offering therapy, including couples therapy, at very reduced rates of $50-$75 per session.

  • Dandelion Counseling. A group practice in Tenleytown, DC, serving children, teens, adults, couples and families. They often have graduate interns offering reduced rates.

  • Harmony Holistic. A group practice in Bethesda and Rockville, MD offering individual therapy, couples therapy and sex therapy. They often have interns offering reduced fees. 

  • Heartwerq. A group practice in DC offering individual therapy, couples therapy and sex therapy. They usually have an intern offering reduced rates. 

  • Kennedy Counseling Collective in Petworth, DC. A group practice that usually has an intern offering a sliding scale. 

  • Sarah Moore, a private practice in Arlington, often has interns providing services for $75-$150 per hour. 

  • The Trauma Resilience and Education Center (TREC) in DC often has a psychology intern providing reduced fee. 

  • Strength and Ease. A group practice in Charlottesville that sometimes has an intern offering virtual services for couples and individuals in Virginia, for about $110 per session. 

  • The Counseling Center Group. A group practice offering virtual or in-person in DC or MD. Interns see teens, adults, individuals, families and couples for about $50 per sesison.

A third option is to receive therapy from an agency or practice offering reduced fee. Some options in the DMV are:


Finally, if you are a student, you can usually receive reduced fee therapy through your university counseling center, or if you are employed, you can contact your HR department to see if they offer an EAP (Employee Assistance Program, which often offers free therapy for a limited number of sessions). 

An alternative to couples therapy is a weekend educational workshop with your partner where you can learn about the skills used in couples therapy. While this is not a substitute for professional care, this option offers benefits at a lower cost than therapy. Following are reputable programs that are based on established models of couples therapy and research in the field. Most offer online as well an in-person options. 

Lastly, if you are on a Medicaid insurance plan, there are several agencies that will offer therapy, usually without a copay. Some options are:

  • Mary’s Center. With locations in DC and Maryland. Accepts MD Medicaid, DC Medicaid and sliding fee option. 844-796-2797.

  • Innovative Clinical Associates in downtown Silver Spring, MD. Accepts MD Medicaid. Offers therapy, medication, and evaluation for children, adults and couples. 301-565-0720.

  • Creative Ways therapy in Columbia Heights, DC. Offers services in Spanish and English for children, teen, adults and families. Accepts many DC Medicaid plans. Does not accept private insurance. 

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