Today's post is written by guest contributor, Roxie McLachlan, a doctorate of psychology student at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. Roxie is passionate about mental health and working with the older adult population. Upon completion of her school program, she plans to work as a psychologist in private practice. Read on for Roxie's best resources for finding an affordable local therapist...
Caring for our mental health can be expensive! Therapists can charge high fees for sessions, making it impossible for some of us to get the help we need. But thankfully, the Los Angeles area is filled with mental health resources that won’t cost you an arm and a leg! I’ve compiled a list of some of Los Angeles low (or no)-cost clinics that you can reach out to if you are seeking therapy:
1 | Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic
As the name entails, this clinic offers free therapy. Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic makes the top of the list because it provides an abundance of mental health services for individuals, couples, and families for no cost!
2 | University Clinics
Many schools with graduate programs in psychology have a clinic that will offer mental health services for low or no cost. Here is a list of some university clinics in the Los Angeles area:
3 | El Dorado Community Service Centers
ECSCs offer low cost general medical services, counseling services, psycho-pharmacological treatments, and psychiatric care. Through the use of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, and problem-solving therapy, services are provided to couples, families, and individuals. Specifically, they offer treatment for ADHD, substance abuse, stress management, and anger management. There are 3 locations in the Los Angeles area.
4 | Los Angeles LGBT Center
The LA LGBT Center offers mental health services at their McDonald/Wright Building. They offer individual and group therapy to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. A distinguishing factor of their services is that they have counselors and therapists whom specialize in helping individuals with backgrounds of intimate partner violence and domestic abuse. There services are also low-cost as they offer a sliding scale and one’s fees are established based on their ability to pay.
5 | Valley Community Clinic
VCC offers medical services as well as psychotherapy. They base their mental health services on 5 pillars: open-ended therapy for lasting results, getting to the root of your difficulties, insight that fosters change, understanding your past to improve your present, and finally, treating you as a whole person. They offer individual, couple, family, and child therapy.
Uniquely, VCC also provides parent-infant dyadic therapy, which helps mothers and/or fathers to work through the life changes of having a child along with their infant. Of course to make our list, they offer low-cost services, targeting low-income residents of North Hollywood and surrounding areas.
6 | Hollywood Mental Health Services
Hollywood Mental Health Services is a mental health facility that offers a variety of low-cost counseling services for young adults through the elderly. Specifically they provide services for individuals with serious mental illness, substance abuse disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, veterans, the LGBT community, as well as forensic clients.
7 | Pacific Clinics Portals House
These clinics offer mental health programs for people at various stages of life. They are one of the oldest non-profit mental health organizations in the LA area. They offer a range of programs, depending on individual need, at a number of locations.
8 | Open Path Psychotherapy Collective
There are many therapists in private practice who also provide services based on a sliding scale. One great way to find therapists like this is through the non-profit organization Open Path Psychotherapy Collective — it's a listing site with profiles of private practice therapists who are offering their services at $30-50 per session. Open Path charges a one-time membership fee of $49.
9 | Westminster Center
Westminster is a non-profit counseling center with a commitment to providing high-quality mental health services to its community at affordable rates. The center employs qualified therapists who offer a range of services including individual, couple and family therapy.
10 | The Place Within
The Place Within is a small group psychotherapy practice and therapist training organization with a mission to provide high-quality, yet low-cost counseling to their community. Psychotherapy sessions with supervised MFT Interns are on a sliding scale from $25-80 per 50-minute therapy hour.
Although this compilation is not exhaustive, it is a good start for anyone seeking no- and low-cost counseling services. Keep in mind that some of these organizations require Medi-Cal eligibility, while others work on a sliding-scale rate. If you do have insurance, a great place for you to start is to call your insurance company directly to see if you have mental health benefits covered through your plan and to ask for a list of in-network providers.
I hope you have found this list helpful! Please comment below with any questions or further resources to share. Best of luck in your search!