Most people will experience difficult times in their lives, however, only few will seek professional help. One of the main reasons is the cost of counselling. People often say to me that they can’t afford to seek help as the counsellors charge too much and they would only consider seeking help if the counsellors were to charge less.
And that made me think of this expectation that counsellors will be open to negotiate their price. Counsellors often train longer than doctors or lawyers and as part of our training we have to have personal therapy that we have to pay for ourselves. Once we finish our training we have to participate in certain amount of hours each year of continued personal and professional development and attend monthly supervision that again we have to pay for ourselves. And when we qualify we often have to work for free for years to gain a valuable experience. Plus, we still have to pay for association registration, insurance, room hire, marketing etc. So we rarely overcharge for our time.
So why is there this expectation of us lowering our prices? Why are we expected to offer low cost therapy or even free therapy? Would you try and negotiate a price with your dentist, hairdresser, plumber or cashier at ASDA? And how willing would you be to charge less if you were running your own business?
Saying that, most counsellors have a sliding scale. I have one as I understand that sometimes people might go through some tough financial times that might stop them from seeking help.
However, instead of looking at the cost of counselling as barrier that stops you from seeking help, why don’t you look at counselling as an investment in yourself? Why instead of thinking how much it will cost you to seek help and improve your life you consider how much you might end up paying more for not doing anything?
For instance, do you have to often take time off from work because you are stressed or depressed, but you won’t seek professional help? Could you end up losing your job because you haven’t dealt with your issues? And this is just one example. Think about other areas of your life that concern you and how much it could cost you not to do anything about your problems.
Committing to counselling is an investment in yourself. And yes, it costs money, time and energy. However, the result and reward of your investment is a more conscious you. Investing in yourself now will help you not only deal with your past and present issues, but equally it will help you deal with any future life challenges.