Finding affordable counseling in any city can be a challenge but we are hoping we can make this a bit easier for you with some well-researched options in Austin. This is a comprehensive guide that was put together with the input of over 2,000 therapists in Austin.
In Network and Out of Network: First off, if you have insurance, I strongly suggest you check your benefits to see what your in and out of network options are. In-network options are providers who have a contracted rate with insurance companies and most often this is lower than the cash pay rate. The issue with this tends to be that insurance companies squeeze therapists on the reimbursement rates and frequently therapists will leave their panel or greatly limit the number of insurance clients they take. This is a frequent point of frustration for people. Out of network allows you to see whomever you would like and you pay their full rate but then your insurance will kick in once you have met your deductible.
- One quick note for those looking for affordable counseling… If you are looking for help. Depending on the nature of the issue, it may take some time to treat it. This may mean a few months of coming weekly or it may take longer. Be prepared for this as counseling isn’t something where a therapist comes in and waves a magic wand.
- More experienced and specialized therapists tend to charge more for their expertise.
- Double check with your EAP about support options if you have it as it may be free.
Affordable counseling in Austin: Options in this vary from free to $100 per session depending on where you go. This is largely determined by the number of years of experience the therapists have and whether they work at a non-profit that may also have grant funding.
Looking for Free Counseling in Austin or Affordable Counseling?
Anxiety and Stress Clinic (UT) – The Institute for Mental Health Research’s Anxiety & Stress Clinic (the Clinic) is dedicated to providing high quality and affordable individual and group therapy for a variety of anxiety and stress-related disorders to the Austin community. Fees for individual therapy vary between $45 to $160 per 50-minute session and depend on income.
Austin Child Guidance Center – ACGC is a wonderful option for children and families. They take most insurance, offer a sliding scale, and have a private pay rate of $100. They offer assessments at a reduced fee too. (Central)
Austin DBT Associates – They work on a sliding scale starting at $60 for an individual session. DBT skills groups are $45 for both adults and adolescents. DBT is an effective treatment for helping people to manage the intensity of emotions and impulsive behavioral patterns that are causing fall out and disrupting the quality of their daily lives. (North and South Austin)
Austin Family Institute – AFI offers individual, couples, and families a low-cost sliding scale that is competitive with insurance copays. Like many places, the lower costs refers to working with the clinicians who have less experience. They offer ongoing training to their staff to help them grow. (Westlake)
Austin Travis County Integral Care – ATCIC is a low-cost option. All clients are required to provide proof of income, and insurance, at intake, and fees are determined based on income, and insurance coverage. They accept most major commercial insurance programs, and the client is responsible for in and out of network copays per their policy. Sliding scale fees are determined based on income. They have groups and resources to help those most in crisis. Integral Care improves the lives of adults and children living with mental illness, substance use disorder and intellectual and developmental disabilities in Travis County. (Central)
Capital Area Counseling – Many therapists start at Capital Area as interns while in school and some continue after finishing school. Capital Area is a wonderful resource for those that want to get in for low-cost counseling. Their rates start at $10 per session and go up to $55 and is determined by your ability to pay. They give you a 10% discount if you prepay for at least 4 sessions. They do not accept insurance. (Central/East Austin)
Catholic Charities of Central Texas – Offers in person and virtual support (telehealth) for therapy. Fees go up to $85 and are on a sliding scale. Has licensed therapists and interns. (North)
Center for Relational Care – (Chrisitan Counseling) offers low rates starting $30-130 depending on experience. Counselors are trained in Intimacy Therapy, EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, TBRI, TFCBT, Positive Discipline. (South, North, and Georgetown)
Center for Relationship – Expert as well as affordable relationship focused counseling for individual, couples, families, and groups. Counseling services range from $50 to $150. We bring a multicultural, spiritual, LGBTQ and Non-Monogamy sensitivity to all our work. All associates are trained in Gottman Method Couples Therapy (Levels 1-3), Relational-Cultural Model, and other current models of relational counseling. We also offer individual and couples yoga therapy, trauma-informed care, ongoing groups for clients and professionals, and couples intensives and retreats. Dr. Vagdevi Meunier, Certified Gottman Therapist and Master Trainer for the Gottman Institute provides consultation and training on all of our relational counseling.
Enhancing Intimacy Austin – Relationship and Sexual Health – Our mission is to help couples, individuals, and families strengthen their relationships with self and others, while increasing intimacy. Our sliding scale is $65 to $110 and you will receive therapy from fully licensed professionals or post-grad interns and associates.
GT Therapy – An interdisciplinary team of therapists (social work, LPC, and LMFT) who offer individual, couples, family and group therapy across the lifespan. While each therapist has his or her unique expertise, we are all systemic and Integrative and have a special focus on teens, college students, parents, and families. Post-graduate therapists offer a sliding scale from $75-125. (Central/University)
Jewish Family Services – You don’t have to be Jewish to go here and they provide a sliding scale on their counseling that goes down to around $10 and up. They can bill insurance. (NW Austin)
Just Mind – (sponsor) – A private practice with 25 therapists and our counseling services range from $80 to $155 depending on experience level. They work with children (play therapy), teens, adults, couples (Gottman, PACT, and EFT trained – evidence-based), and offer EMDR and Somatic Experiencing for those who have been through trauma. They have therapists who take select insurance. They offer ongoing training to their staff to help them grow and the majority of their staff has over 15 years of experience. (Central/NW)
Lifeworks – An agency that offers low to no cost counseling for children, teens, and adults. (Medicaid & South, East, and North Austin)
New Life – An agency that offers spiritual (Christian) counseling in Austin. They have two locations and their bottom rate is $80 in Austin or $65 in Round Rock and goes up to $145 per session. They work with children, teens, adults, families and offer EMDR for faster work with trauma. (Round Rock and South Austin)
Open Path Collective – Requires all therapists to commit to a fee of $30-$50. (All over)
People’s Community Clinic – The People’s Community Clinic is a non-profit, primary health care facility whose purpose is to provide high quality medical, counseling and health education to medically underserved and uninsured Central Texans. (Central and NE Austin)
Plan Central Texas – Free to low-cost counseling and support for those in need. Groups also available. (Central)
Plumeria Counseling Center – Plumeria is committed to offering exceptional counseling services at affordable rates. Counseling is a valuable and powerful method for cultivating change in oneself and one’s life and our rates reflect the experience of the therapist.$40 (graduate students), $50+ (1st year interns), $75+ (senior interns), $100+. Insurance taken: Aetna, Cigna, Humana, United, BCBS And Medicare (South Austin)
SAFE – SAFE, formerly know as Safeplace, provides free counseling. The counseling program is designed to meet survivors wherever they are in the process of healing and serves all survivors of interpersonal violence, including domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual abuse, and human trafficking. By informing survivors about the dynamics of interpersonal violence and assisting them in the development of goals specific to their situation survivors are supported as they heal from trauma and reclaim their lives. Counselors work with people with disabilities, Spanish speakers and members of the Deaf community. (East Austin)
Samaritan Counseling Center – They have a spiritual focus on their work. Samaritan works with veterans, individuals, couples, and families. They offer sliding fee scale counseling and acupuncture with special programs for low-income and the under-insured, as well as our Hope for Heroes program for military families. Their highest fee is $125 and they have grants to assist folks under 200% of the Federal Poverty Level as well programs to offset the cost counseling for families in our Hope for Heroes program. (multiple locations NW and one in San Marcos)
Sims Foundation – Mental health at low to no cost for musicians. (all over)
Texas Veterans Commission – Options for veterans through the VA. They offer counseling services to veterans and they also have a link to agencies that provide direct services to veterans. (all over)
Therapy Austin – Locations in central and north Austin. Interns serve counseling and thus can’t take insurance. Rates are $75-$125. (Central and North)
Waterloo Counseling – Provides affordable, culturally sensitive mental health services to all people, regardless of gender (LGBTQ), sexual identity and expression or HIV status. (Central)
YWCA – The YWCA offers counseling for individuals, couples, and families. Their standard fees range from $35 to $100 per hour, based on a sliding scale that includes family income and household dependents. For clients who qualify, our subsidized fees range from $10 to $75 per hour, based on a sliding scale that requires documentation of family income, household dependents, residence, and identity. For women veterans, people receiving compensation from Crime Victim’s Services, and selected daycare centers staff and parents, all counseling services are free. (Central)
Other Smaller Practice Options and Informational offerings:
Central Austin Psychotherapy – Central Austin Psychotherapy currently has openings and works on a sliding scale fee. We are located on West Koenig Lane and offer services to children, teens, families, couples, and adults. We work with relationship issues, developmental trauma, anxiety, depression, family challenges/communication, adoption-related issues with all members of the triad, and child/adult attachment trauma. Sliding scale dips as low as $50 per hour.
Dr. Jo Eckler – Jo offers energy work, individual therapy, and death & morning doula work and goes down to $60. (South Austin)
Discovery Counseling – Discovery is run Sara Weber and she has a big background in eating disorders and utilizing mindfulness in therapy. Her rates at $35-$60 per session. (Central)
JC Shakespeare – JC Shakespeare, LPC-S, works with adolescents and adults working through challenges with teens & adults on trauma, substance use, recovery, grief, and depression. JC integrates elements of somatic psychotherapy (EMDR, Natural Processing) with mindfulness, Internal Family Systems, and emotional awareness and regulation. Over 10 years of experience in schools, residential treatment, and private practice. $100-150 (South/Central Austin)
Luminary Counseling – A private practice with a counseling clinic with a flat rate of $50 for psychotherapy for individuals, couples, and families who cannot afford higher rates, need long-term counseling and immediate availability. (NE Austin)
NAMI – NAMI offers classes and education on mental illness as well as support groups that are run by volunteers. (Central)
Pregnancy Postpartum Health Alliance – PPHA has a therapy voucher program that provides low-income women who are experiencing postpartum depression, anxiety and/or OCD with up to 8 sessions of discounted therapy sessions.
Respark – Offers counseling for Individuals, Couples, Marriage and Sex Therapy with a focus on building intimacy in sex-positive ways. (Westlake)
Relational Counseling Services – A private practice providing affordable counseling for individual adults and couples. Individual and marriage counseling is provided. This practice offers sliding scale appointments between $45 and $95 per hour based on the client’s financial need. (Hutto)
Sol Community Counseling – They provide affordable, holistic counseling services through LMSWs who are supervised here. Our standard rate is $80 and we slide down as low as $50. (North Austin/Pflugerville)
The Practice ATX – The practice is a group practice in Austin that offers low-cost counseling services provided by interns (rates were not disclosed). (Westlake)
General Healthcare Assistance:
El Bueno Samaritan – El Buen provides comprehensive, integrated health and family services in a culturally appropriate environment. They offer a health home for individuals and families living in Travis County who are uninsured. Patients who qualify or are enrolled in the Medical Access Program (MAP) are welcome.
Health Alliance for Austin Musicians – HAAM provides services for musicians including routine dental work, doctor visits and prescriptions, eye exams, out-patient procedures, specialist referrals, hearing screenings and more.
Medical Access Program – (MAP) A local program provided by Central Health that covers primary care, prescriptions, specialty care, and hospital care.
Med Savers – (Pharmacy) A family owned and operated community pharmacy with a mission of helping people get the medication they need at prices they can afford. Based on a simple principle, “we don’t deal with insurance companies,” we’re able to offer the same generic prescriptions you get from your regular pharmacy for a fraction of the cost.
Project Access Austin– A system of medical care for low-income, uninsured Travis County residents.
Volunteer Healthcare Clinic – The Volunteer Healthcare Clinic (VHC) provides basic, non-emergency medical care and prevention education for low-income and uninsured residents of Travis County. On the 3rd Wednesday of the month, a Specialty Clinic is conducted for dermatology, psychiatry and nutrition counseling by appointment or on a walk-in basis. The Clinic opens its doors at 5pm and all patients need to be here by 6pm to receive a ticket for that evening’s clinic.
If you are curious about the cost of counseling in Austin, take a look at this resource.
Looking for Free Counseling in Austin