Is there free therapy

6 Strategies for Finding Affordable or Free Therapy in Your Area

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Try these tips for finding affordable, or even free, therapy—online or in person—with the right therapist. Prioritize your mental health with support that won't break your bank account.

Kathleen Smith, PhD, LPC

How Can I Find A Psychologist, Psychiatrist, or Therapist I Can Afford?

Social workers with a masters degree (MSW), licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs), psychologists (four to six years of training and study to earn a doctoral degree such as a PhD or PsyD) and psychiatrists (medical doctors who attend medical school to earn an MD and specialize in psychiatry) can all administer psychotherapy but for the most part, only MDs and NPs (nurse practitioners) can prescribe medication to treat mental illness.

The level of training is usually reflected in their fees and unfortunately—even if you have health insurance—many insurance companies do not cover the costs of therapy.

When searching for a counselor it's easy to become discouraged by the choices, the costs, and unfortunately the lack of availability in some parts of the country. Out of pocket therapy typically costs anywhere from $100 to $200, with costs on the higher end in urban areas (expensive cities like San Francisco and New York, for example). Don't let the process tempt you to end the hunt and find other ways to cope with life.

It's true lifestyle changes such as getting enough sleep and regular exercise can be enormously beneficial for your mental health, but meeting regularly with a mental health professional can be an invaluable resource.

Don’t give up on connecting to a counselor before you take a closer look at what’s available online, through little-known programs your employer may offer, and within your own community.

Affordable Therapy Options: 5 Things You Can Do Right Now

During the pandemic, online therapy exploded and many of us received treatment from the comfort of our own homes. Support groups, both online and in-person, and peer counseling are typically more affordable options where you work through challenges related to addiction and other mental health struggles with people (peers) who have lived through similar experiences. And you may even find free therapy services in your neighborhood.

Let’s take a look at a couple of strategies for finding affordable therapy with the right therapist. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find the right therapist at your first appointment. It can take a few attempts to find the right fit.

#1. Check with Your Insurance Company

Before you pay out-of-pocket for therapy, always check with your insurance provider for local therapists that may take your insurance. You may have a very small co-pay and not know it, so it never hurts to confirm with your provider.

If you have out-of-network benefits, many therapists can also provide you with paperwork that you can submit to your provider for reimbursement. Just make sure that the reimbursement rate is worth paying out of pocket.

#2. Find Out if Your Employer Has An Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

As employee burnout has increased, many employers are taking note. Some companies provide a little-known benefit called an employee assistance program or EAP. If you aren't sure if your company has this benefit, it makes sense to investigate.

If your employer has an EAP, you may qualify for a limited number of free counseling sessions. Many employees are hesitant to ask about counseling at work, but your therapist will keep your information confidential.

Employers want their employees to take advantage of the services they offer and to practice good self-care, so talk with your human resources (HR) representative about EAP services. These services might also include additional wellness classes or other resources in addition to therapy.

If you’re concerned that your counseling appointments might be recorded in your personnel file, ask your HR representative about confidentiality policies regarding EAP programs.

#3. Call Your Local University

If you live in a city or a college town, universities are often the best place to get low-cost (or even free) therapy. If you’re a student, you’re usually entitled to at least a few sessions with a campus psychologist or counselor. But almost any university will have a graduate training clinic where students are learning to be therapists or psychologists. These clinics are usually open to the public, and they offer sliding scales fees that can be as low as $1.

Don’t feel nervous about meeting with a graduate student who’s learning the ropes. They’re working under the supervision of experienced professionals, and they’re likely to dedicate more time to thinking about how to help you than a seasoned professional with a full caseload. If you feel more comfortable working with a counselor of a specific gender or race, most university clinics will make an effort to match you with your preference.

#4. Ask Potential Therapists if They Offer Pro-Bono Services

You have nothing to lose by emailing a few expensive therapists and asking them if they offer a sliding scale fee based on income or do pro-bono work. The ethical codes of most mental health professionals strongly suggest that they take on at least one or two pro bono clients to serve the public. And even if they say no, they’re likely to have good referral information about community clinics and other low-cost options in your community.

#5. Look Into Community Resources

Even if you live in a small community, you might be surprised by the mental health resources that may be available to you. Community centers, hospitals, schools, and places of worship sometimes offer free or low-cost counseling. Many community organizations also host peer-support groups (groups run by people facing the same issues) and recovery groups which can provide additional care.

If you’re unsure where to get started, you can call 211 (a government-established hotline that connects people to community or government agencies) or a local clinic.

Chances are someone will be able to connect you to the right resources. Also, if you’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness, you may qualify for psychiatric and behavioral health services from your state. Contact your state’s department of health to see if you qualify for these services.

If there aren’t a lot of resources in your community, don’t hesitate to try out an online telehealth service. These services can help you flesh out thoughts and concerns you might have before seeking therapy, and many sites will match you with counselors who are a good fit for you.

Here, some online options to investigate:

  • OpenPath Psychotherapy Collective, a non-profit nationwide network of mental health professionals dedicated to providing in-office and online mental health care—at a steeply reduced rate—to individuals, couples, children, and families in need. OpenPath works through a one-time membership fee of $59.00.

  • Better Help's mission, according to the company's website, is to "make professional counseling accessible, affordable, convenient—so anyone who struggles with life’s challenges can get help, anytime, anywhere." The service connects individuals, couples, and the parents of struggling teenagers with therapists all over the country.

  • Teen Counseling offers counseling by text, phone, or video through a network of 6,000 licensed therapists who "help teens thrive". The website has content for both teens and parents including FAQs, questionnaires, and consent forms (for teens), and reviews of therapists.

If you’re experiencing a crisis, never hesitate to call a hotline and share what’s going on with you. If you aren’t sure what hotline to call, you can always call 211.

When it comes to searching for a therapist, don’t be discouraged on day one. Having conversations with local resources, your employer, your insurance company, and online resources can help direct you towards the right therapist for you. You don’t have to jeopardize your bank account to prioritize your mental health and your future.

Affordable Therapy FAQs

It’s important to make your mental health a priority, but looking for a therapist you can actually afford can feel discouraging. Don’t give up. There are a variety of resources out there where you can get help. *Answers provided by Ryan Howes, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Pasadena, California, and Nancy Ruddy, PhD, a clinical psychologist who practices in San Jose, California.

What is a reasonable cost for therapy?

The cost of therapy will vary from person to person based on their means and the necessity of the treatment, says Howes. “Wealthy people with plenty of savings and disposable income will find that therapy for hundreds of dollars per session is reasonable,” she says. “Someone who is out of work and in debt may find any fee to be excessive.”

You could say that a reasonable cost for therapy is an amount that represents a fair fee for the service the therapist provides. Howes says. And the cost is reasonable when it is an amount that the clients can pay without negative consequences to their lives. How much you may need therapy also comes into play. If someone is experiencing such debilitating symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) that they cannot hold a job, they may place a high value on therapy that could potentially help them regain the ability to function, Howes says. “On the other hand, a student coming to therapy to decide whether or not to take a semester abroad may find therapy expendable,” she explains.

How much does therapy cost out of pocket?

Fees can range from free to hundreds of dollars per session, Howes says. High-end private practice therapists with doctoral degrees in urban areas often charge more, she says. Community clinics, rural area therapists, and therapists with a master’s degree tend to charge less. “The rate depends on the level of training, the areas of expertise, and the setting in which therapy is provided,” says Howes.

A Los Angeles private practice therapist with a doctoral degree may see clients for $200 or more per session, while local community clinics may see clients for around $50 per session. And, Howes adds, clinics staffed by supervised graduate students may see their clients for a smaller fee.

How do I get completely free therapy?

Check to see if there are any mental health clinics in your area that offer a “sliding fee” scale, Ruddy advises.

A “sliding fee” scale is a pay scale based on your ability to pay. “Typically, these clinics are publicly funded,” Ruddy says. Many counties have a county mental health service, she explains, so consider asking your local public health authority about this. If there is a college or university in your area that trains mental health professionals, they may have a training clinic that offers reduced-fee services. “While you would most likely work with a student therapist, they would be receiving supervision from a licensed clinician,” Ruddy explains.

What do I do if I can't afford therapy?

Look for clinics that offer a sliding fee scale, Ruddy says. Some people find peer support groups helpful, and some healthcare systems offer peer support programs that are free or nearly free. “Some people find mental health apps helpful, too,” Ruddy says. “Some of these apps have a specific target issue, like depression, or anxiety. Others are more akin to a psychotherapy chat box.”

Some individuals find free groups run through churches and community centers, Howes explains. Or you can reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) or the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to find additional resources in your community, Howes says. 1,2

Are therapists worth it?

This is a very individual decision, Ruddy explains. Bear in mind that it can take some time to see the benefits of therapy. “The real question is how much mental health is worth to you,” Howes says. “If achieving a deeper understanding of yourself, gaining control of thoughts and behaviors, and learning to navigate relationships is of value to you, then therapy may be a worthwhile investment to make in yourself.” Howes says that not every therapist will be a good fit for every client. “Shop around when you’re getting started to make sure you feel a good connection to the therapist,” she says. “If you are invested in making changes in your life, and you feel like your therapist will be a helpful part of that journey, then therapy is one of the best investments you will ever make.

  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP. Available at: Last page update September 21, 2021. Accessed October 29, 2021.
  2. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline. Available at: Accessed October 29, 2021.

Notes: This article was originally published October 28, 2021 and most recently updated February 1, 2022.

7 Best Free and Affordable Online Therapists

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Healthline only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.

Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:

  • Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
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We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness.

Read more about our vetting process.
  • Best for teens:7 Cups
  • Best for depression support: Doctor on Demand
  • Best for couples: ReGain
  • Best for families: Therapy Aid
  • Best for those with a busy schedule: Bliss by the Centre for Interactive Mental Health Solutions
  • Best multipurpose platform:
  • Best for emergencies and crises: Crisis Text Line

Online therapy became increasingly popular in 2020 as people sought professional help to cope with the emotional and mental consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that, in just the first few months of 2020, online therapy increased by 50 percent compared with online therapy in 2019.

Not only is online therapy far more accessible these days, with more therapists turning to online platforms to continue their practice, but it has also proven to help people experiencing isolation, depression, anxiety, and even survivor guilt.

Online therapy is a great option for those who are unwilling or unable to leave the safety of home. It’s also a great solution for those juggling multiple responsibilities, such as parenting, teaching, and remote work.

Many health insurance companies now cover online therapy sessions, which can make talking with a professional low cost and even free.

Some employee assistance programs (EAPs) also offer free trials and sessions for different online therapy websites, which could help employees gain access to a professional.

Here are Healthline’s picks for the best free and affordable online therapy and counseling websites.

What to do in a mental health emergency

If you’re thinking about hurting yourself or somebody else, please find confidential support by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. You can also call 911 or your local emergency services number, or visit the nearest emergency room.

You can find information about additional mental health resources here.

“Online therapy is an opportunity to meet with your therapist online, using a HIPAA compliant platform,” says Dr. Tracy W. Lowenthal, a licensed clinical psychologist in California.

Also known as telemental healthcare, it’s often done over a messaging app, video chat, or even the phone.

Because online therapy is accessible through an internet connection and a device, Marilyn Denovish, a multidisciplinary therapist, says that “online therapy can be as effective, and sometimes even more effective than, traditional face-to-face services.”

This is because people might find it easier to open up to a therapist when they can talk with them from the comfort of their home.

How much can free online therapy cost?

You can find free or low cost therapy through social services, nonprofits, universities, financial assistance programs, and employee assistance programs.

Read our article on therapy services for every budget.

The average cost of an hour-long therapy appointment can range from about $65 to $250, depending on your therapist’s training, experience, and location.

Can free online therapy help?

Various studies show that free online therapy can be just as good (or even better) than traditional types of therapy. It all depends on how well your therapist and treatment strategy suits your needs.

For example, a 2020 study by the Journal of American College Health centered around goalsetting and finding solutions to problems found that both in-person and online therapy reduced anxiety equally.

So, depending on the person and circumstances, using online therapy services like 7 Cups and ReGain can be quite effective.

What can free online therapy help with?

Free online therapy can help with certain conditions and feelings, such as:

  • stress
  • anxiety
  • relationship issues
  • minor depression

However, it’s important to keep in mind that these types of services are not ideal for emergencies or more serious situations, like addiction or eating disorders. Additionally, some conditions may warrant medication, in-person discussions, or group therapy.

We selected each free or low cost online therapy service based on key features to ensure the mental health support offered is:

  • secure
  • affordable
  • reliable
  • appropriately credentialed

We also considered how long you need to wait for an appointment, whether the service offers 24/7 support, and if the service offers video and phone chat, live chat, and text messaging.

It’s important to consider your mental health needs when choosing an online therapy service. Factors like service cost, insurance coverage, and appointment types offered (chat, video, or phone call) will help you determine the online therapy service that fits your personal needs and lifestyle.

Best for teens

7 Cups

  • Price: free for nontherapeutic advice, $150 per month for a licensed therapist
  • Insurance: no, but you can contact your insurance for potential reimbursement
  • Who it’s best for: teenagers looking for peer-to-peer support

This free online counseling website provides access to trained volunteers who offer nontherapeutic advice.

Anyone can sign up for a free membership to 7 Cups, even teenagers who are looking for other trained teenagers to lend them listening ears.

However, if you feel like you might need professional help, you can upgrade your membership to give you access to a licensed therapist. They will offer coping mechanisms and a management plan for $150 per month.


  • free access to volunteer listeners
  • free dedicated chat rooms and community support forums for teens between the ages of 13 and 17
  • on-demand messaging


  • must pay to access professional help
  • does not accept insurance
  • only offers chat-based therapy

Get started with 7 Cups

Best for depression support

Doctor on Demand

  • Price: therapy ranges from $129 to $179, initial psychiatrist appointments cost $299, and 15-minute follow-ups are $129
  • Insurance: insurance is accepted by Doctor on Demand, but you’ll have to download the app and input your information to find out if you’re covered
  • Who it’s best for: those seeking medication or psychiatric support

Doctor on Demand can provide medical mental health management from the comfort of your home.

This can be especially helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic, when people need access to a doctor who will prescribe the necessary medications to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.

One of the best parts about Doctor on Demand? You can also talk with other professionals not related to mental health, such as urgent care doctors.

If you don’t have insurance, a 25-minute session is $129 and a 50-minute session is $179. Initial psychiatrist appointments cost $299, and 15-minute follow-ups are $129.


  • accepts insurance
  • offers live video chat
  • physical health services also provided


  • limited treatment options
  • no free trials or subscription discounts
  • consultations are not free

Get started with Doctor on Demand

Best for couples


  • Price: from $60 per week
  • Insurance: no, but you can contact your insurance for potential reimbursement
  • Who it’s best for: couples seeking marital or relationship therapy

If you’re looking to improve your relationship or marriage, ReGain gives couples and individuals access to therapists and marriage counseling.

Aside from techniques to manage your relationship, ReGain also offers discretion and anonymity. However, if you sign up with your partner, all communication between the couple and therapist is visible to all parties — though you may request one-on-one sessions.

ReGain starts at $60 per week. Currently, there is no free trial, but this was something offered previously, so it may return.


  • easily adjust your payment plan or cancel your subscription
  • 24/7 messaging available
  • live virtual sessions with your partner and your counselor


  • services are not covered by health insurance
  • matching is done by a computer, not a real person
  • no free trial

Get started with ReGain

Best for families

Therapy Aid Coalition

  • Price: free to $50 depending on how much you’re able to pay
  • Insurance: N/A
  • Who it’s best for: families and individuals looking for low cost counseling

Therapy Aid Coalition connects essential workers and their families to support groups and therapists.

This volunteer-based platform works with therapists willing to offer their services pro bono or for a very low cost. When you sign up, you fill out a questionnaire that asks what state you reside in and how much you’re willing to pay for your session.


  • serves all essential workers, even those who were furloughed
  • also serves essential workers’ adult family members
  • choose your preferred therapist’s gender identification


  • not everyone is eligible for the service
  • can only receive up to four free or low cost sessions

Get started with Therapy Aid Coalition

Best for those with a busy schedule

Bliss by the Centre for Interactive Mental Health Solutions

  • Price: free
  • Insurance: N/A
  • Who it’s best for: those looking for self-guided mental health support

If you don’t feel comfortable committing to a therapist just yet, Bliss offers eight free sessions that you can complete on your own. Bliss teaches you how to monitor your moods, manage situations, and improve your mental health with different techniques.

You can complete the lessons at any time, so if you are a busy parent or juggle responsibilities and only get a break before bed, it can be doable.


  • lessons are self-guided
  • program is available to anyone with internet access
  • specifically targets depression


  • does not offer any appointments with trained professionals
  • some users may lack the motivation to complete the program

Get started with Bliss

Best multipurpose platform

  • Price: plans range from $50 to $110 per week. There’s also a 20% discount available for your first month
  • Insurance: no, but you can contact your insurance for potential reimbursement
  • Who it’s best for: people seeking cognitive behavioral therapy

If you’re interested in cognitive behavioral therapy, Online-Therapy offers a multi-platform approach. The site provides multiple resources including worksheets, unlimited messaging, an online journal, and a weekly live chat with your therapist, as well as both individual and couples therapy.

The cost ranges from $50 to $110 per month depending on the plan you choose. Unlike other platforms, the therapists on this site are only available Monday through Friday for 8 hours per day, which means you can’t receive 24/7 support.


  • includes an online course on cognitive behavioral therapy
  • unlimited messaging is available with every plan
  • can choose to work with a therapist or work on your own
  • you can work on self-guided worksheets and resources with daily feedback from your therapists


  • doesn’t accept insurance
  • 24/7 support isn’t available
  • therapists are only available Monday through Friday

Get started with

Best for emergencies and crises

Crisis Text Line

  • Price: free
  • Insurance: N/A
  • Who it’s best for: people in crisis who need immediate support

Crisis Text Hotline was designed to immediately respond to people who are having a mental health crisis. To use this free service, you just need to text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the United States. You’ll then receive two automated responses that will invite you to a secure, online platform where a live, trained counselor will talk with you. If you’re uncomfortable with texting, you can also message them on WhatsApp.

If you’re not located in the United States, you can contact the service by texting:

  • 85258 if you’re in the United Kingdom
  • 686868 if you’re in Canada
  • 50808 if you’re in Ireland

Counselors can provide support on a number of issues, including:

  • anxiety
  • eating disorders
  • suicidal thoughts or ideation
  • self-harm
  • depression
  • emotional abuse
  • loneliness

While this text service can be helpful in a crisis, and you can text in when needed, it’s not a replacement for therapy or counseling. Additionally, it’s not a substitute for contacting 911 in the case of wanting to carry out violence against yourself or others.


  • supports people in crisis who are dealing with a range of issues
  • 24/7 availability
  • international support is also available
  • free to use


  • counselors are trained volunteers, not therapists
  • only for use in a crisis situation, not for follow-up or continued use
  • limit of 160 characters per text message

Get started with Crisis Text Line

Therapy servicePriceAppointment typeAccepts insuranceSame-day appointments or on-demand messagingHow to get started
7 Cupsfree to chat with volunteer listeners and $150 per month to talk with a professionalchatnoyessign up for free membership
Doctor on Demandtherapy ranges from $129–$179, initial psychiatrist appointments cost $299, and 15-minute follow-ups are $129videoyesnoregister and choose a professional
ReGainfree 1-week trial, then from $60 per week– chat
– video
– phone
noyescomplete questionnaire and register
Therapy Aidfree–$50videonosearch for therapist and contact them
Blissfreesign up and begin immediately
Online-Therapy. com$50–$110 a week, depending on your planlive chat
noon-demanding messagingregister and find a professional
Crisis Text Linefreeavailable to use in a crisison-demand messagingtext or message the hotline

Finding free online therapists is typically not very easy. If you have insurance, a good place to start is to give your benefits center a call. Or, you can do a quick search online.

Here are a few places that might help you find free or affordable online therapy:

  • Your health insurance company: With the ongoing pandemic, most health insurance companies have started to cover the cost of some online therapy platforms. If you have insurance, check with them before settling with a pricey program.
  • EAPs: Most employers offer free counseling sessions with the platform of their choice. If you have one, don’t be afraid to send your benefits center or human resource official an email to ask if they offer any services.
  • Your local college or university: If you’re a student or professor, your campus most likely has a counseling center or social worker who can assist you in identifying resources for support. If the university has a psychology department, they may host free clinics where students can put their skills to the test and help the public.
  • Mental health organizations: Several national organizations, like Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), can help you find free or low cost online therapists or resources. These are usually trustworthy resources that they’ve worked with before and that they know can help you with your situation.


  • Convenience: You can have sessions with your therapist from the comfort of your own home.
  • Anonymity: On certain platforms, you can remain anonymous if you wish.
  • Cost savings: Online therapy can be more affordable than in-person sessions.
  • Greater access: You may prefer online therapy if you have difficulty accessing traditional therapy due to location or other constraints.


  • Lack of direct contact: Without physical contact, it can be more difficult to establish trust with a therapist online.
  • Difficulty conveying emotions: It can be tricky to express complicated emotions through text-based communications.
  • Technical issues: Occasional hiccups in the technology can inhibit progress. You also need a computer or smartphone and reliable internet access for online therapy.

It’s important to consider your mental health needs when choosing an online therapy service.

Some factors to keep in mind include:

  • service cost
  • insurance coverage
  • appointment types offered (chat, video, or phone call)
  • access to your therapist
  • the scope of your mental health goals and needs

If you prefer more intimacy or are dealing with serious issues that require exposure therapy or many in-depth discussions (like those relating to addiction, eating disorders, or severe depression), you may want to think about seeing a therapist in person.

With that being said, everyone is different and this will be a matter of personal preference. If you have quicker access to an online therapist, you might want to start this way and then switch to in-person if it suits you better overall.

What are the benefits of online therapy?

  • Accessibility: Anyone with an internet connection can participate in online therapy.
  • Time efficiency: Online therapy and counseling eliminates travel time between appointments or support group meetings. You can also mold it to your schedule and don’t have to call out sick to work to make it to your appointment.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Online therapy can be cheaper than in-person visits, and most health insurances cover part of the cost.
  • Eliminates geographical barriers: If your ideal therapist resides in another state or country, you can still get treatment with them as long as they’re licensed in the state you live in.
  • Comfort: Some people might find it easier to open up to a therapist when they’re in the privacy and comfort of their own home.
  • Safety: With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth eliminates the risk of potential exposure.

Can therapy really be free?

A number of online services offer free or reduced cost therapy. Sometimes these free services will be run by peer counselors or coaches, but require payment to work directly with licensed mental health professionals. Additionally, certain online services may be covered by some insurance plans or EAPs.

Also, a number of mental health organizations, including SAMHSA and NAMI, can provide free peer counseling over their hotlines or connect you with a free or low cost online therapist.

Who might be a good candidate for online therapy?

Anyone who is willing to listen, focus, and commit to bettering their mental health may benefit from online therapy. However, online therapy is not useful for helping to manage all conditions.

A 2013 review revealed that people with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance use disorders can thrive in online therapy. Online therapy is also a great option if you are having trouble finding a therapist near you that suits your needs.

However, someone with a mental health condition that needs more direct management, such as schizophrenia or psychosis, might need immediate, face-to-face intervention. Online therapy might not be helpful for people with schizophrenia, because it may exacerbate the feeling of being secretly watched.

Additionally, if you or someone you know is experiencing significant suicidal ideation, in-person therapy might be a better choice.

Managing your mental health doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive.

Various online therapy platforms can help you find support groups or licensed therapists, who can teach you how to manage anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health conditions for free or a very low cost.

How to get help from a psychologist for free: 11 support centers

You can get a free consultation with a psychologist under the CHI policy - for this you need to contact the neuropsychiatric dispensary at the place of residence. Fortunately, there are other ways to consult a specialist for free, even if there is no registration in the desired area. We have compiled a list of places where you will be listened to and supported. Remember, there is no shame in asking for help. In addition, studies show that free psychotherapy is just as effective as paid therapy.

Free consultations for HSE undergraduates

Anyone can apply for face-to-face — in Moscow — or online consultations. Three sessions of 50 minutes will be held free of charge. To sign up, fill out the form

Find out more

Emergency Psychological Service of the Russian Emergencies Ministry

Residents of all regions of the country can apply for emergency and anonymous help at any time: the phone works around the clock. You can also register on the site and get advice in writing.

Phone number: +7 495 989-50-50

Find out more

Online groups of the Moscow Gestalt Institute stress and anxiety. Meetings are held on Zoom three times a day and last for 1.5 hours. Limited number of seats. Appointment - at the link

Find out more

Hotline of the "Clear Morning" service

The main specialization of the service is to help cancer patients. But now anyone who needs emotional support in this situation can call her hotline for free. The call can be made anonymously and around the clock.

For calls from Russia: 8 800 100 01 91.
For calls from abroad: +7 499 553 04 70

Find out more

Free consultation at the Mental Health Center

conflict zones or was forced to leave their homes. Or if it happened to loved ones. After the first consultation, it is possible to receive further assistance on preferential terms. Online or face-to-face in Moscow. You need to fill out a form on the center's website and wait for the administrator's response

Find out more

Sisters Helpline

Usually helps survivors of sexual violence. But now he provides psychological support to everyone who needs it. To receive it, you can call the center any day from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 20:00. An alternative option is to write to [email protected].

Phone number: +7 499 901 02 01

Learn more

EMDR Group Sessions for Anxiety Reduction

EMDR is used to treat problems caused by traumatic experiences. The EMDR Association of Russia organizes free sessions from Monday to Saturday. You need to follow their schedule in the Telegram chat. Sessions are broadcast on YouTube

Find out more

Psychological support phone “You are not alone”

Project specialists usually help women who have experienced violence. But now everyone can call. Anonymously, from 09:00 to 21:00 Moscow time.

Line for women: 8 800 707 78 46.
Line for men: 8 800 707 54 65

Find out more

Chat “Your”

. The consultation takes place in the format of online correspondence. The chat is open daily from 15:00 to 20:00 Moscow time

Find out more

Free consultations of the Yaroslavna project

The psychological help line for women is open on weekdays from 10:00 to 21:00 Moscow time. Graduates of the Institute of Practical Psychology and Psychoanalysis answer. After three diagnostic consultations over the phone, you can also arrange face-to-face free meetings with a specialist, if necessary.

Phone number: +7 495 120-16-60

Find out more

Online consultations of the Neterpi Center

To sign up for an online consultation on Zoom, you need to leave a request on the website. Keep in mind that there are a lot of applicants now and you may have to stay on the waiting list. If you want to wait less, choose a group format

Find out more

More about psychotherapy

In our stream of the same name. We tell you how to maintain mental health in conditions of economic instability

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Data correct at time of publication

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Free psychotherapy in St. Petersburg: where to find it › Articles and news ›

Vladimir Kurpatov, chief psychotherapist of St. Petersburg : “According to compulsory medical insurance, a patient can get one free consultation of a psychotherapist in a polyclinic. The following consultations usually take place as "additional paid services". But psychotherapy cannot be limited to one session. There are free psychotherapists in the district PND, the quality of their work can be very different. I can recommend good psychotherapists in the PND of the Krasnogvardeisky, Vyborgsky and Kalininsky districts.”

In addition to the district PND and, possibly, some polyclinics, residents of St. Petersburg have other opportunities to receive free psychotherapeutic treatment and psychological counseling.

1. Psychotherapeutic center at 12 Kanonerskaya st.

Adult residents of St. Petersburg with permanent or temporary registration in any district of the city.
What help can I get? Help of a psychotherapist, psychiatrist, social worker.
Address: Kanonerskaya st., 12
Phone: 8 (812) 714-34-14, 8 (952) 289-48-85
VKontakte group: ptcentr.

2. Clinic of neurosis (Psychotherapeutic center of the city psychiatric hospital No. 7 named after Academician IP Pavlov)

Whom do they accept? Adult residents of St. Petersburg with permanent or temporary registration in any district of the city.
What help can I get? Assistance of a psychotherapist, psychiatrist, medical psychologist and other specialists, on an outpatient basis and in a hospital (stay with free entry and exit).
Address: 15th line V.O., 4-6
Phone: 8 (812) 323-47-38

All adult residents of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region.
What help can I get? Here, not psychotherapists, but psychologists conduct appointments, that is, you receive not treatment, but consultations. As part of the free program, you can get 5 consultations of 50 minutes each. Admission is conducted by senior students of the Faculty of Psychology of St. Petersburg State University, graduate students and teachers. The service does not deal with family and child counseling.
Address : Mendeleevskaya line, 5 (the building of the historical and philosophical faculties), in the courtyard.
Phones : 8 (812) 363-65-01, 328-94-17

4. Institute of Psychotherapy and Counseling "Harmony", a free psychological help office for students

Whom do they accept? Students of state universities in St. Petersburg.
What help can you get? Psychotherapy.
Address: Kuznetsovskaya st., 9. Interuniversity polyclinic No. 75.
Phone : 8 (812) 369-86-01
Working hours : Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 11.00-20.00, Friday 11.00-15.00.

5. The Helping Dialogue project is free psychological assistance to families with an elderly person with limited mobility who was born before 1945 years old

Who is accepted? The elderly themselves and their relatives.
What help can I get? Individual and family psychological consultations with a specialist's home visit aimed at improving the atmosphere in the family and improving the quality of life of the elderly themselves and their relatives. Training in home care, techniques to maintain self-care skills. There are support groups for relatives in Moskovsky, Petrogradsky and Kalininsky districts of St. Petersburg
Phones: (812) 708-40-41 — around the clock, (812) 371-82-20.

6. ANO “Center for Social and Psychological Assistance “Second Wind”

Whom do they accept? Suffering from cancer and other serious illnesses, their relatives, as well as doctors working with cancer patients.
What help can I get? Psychotherapy and psychological counseling - individually and in a group. There are art therapy, film therapy, creative workshops.
Address: Medikov Ave., 5.
Phones: 8 (812) 640-96-25, 8 (931) 310-52-25 from 10. 00 to 18.00.
E-mail : [email protected]

7. Information and Counseling Center on Problems of Addiction and Violence

The project is implemented by the international charitable organization Caritas.
Who is accepted? Anyone who has encountered these problems.
What help can I get? Psychological consultations, legal advice, free lectures.
Address: Ryabinovaya st., 18
Phone: 8 (911) 766-40-09

8. Psychological service for representatives of LGBT (gays, lesbians, transsexuals) of the Action initiative group.

Who is accepted? Gays, lesbians, transsexuals, registration in St. Petersburg is optional.
What help can I get? Four free individual/couple/family psychological consultations. There are also psychological support groups, seminars and trainings.
Phone: 8 (909) 589-89-53
You can make an appointment with a psychologist at: psy@center-action. org

9. Psychological Studio "ASM-Master"

Who is accepted? People who are going through a divorce or separation from a partner
What help can I get? On Thursdays, classes are held in a free psychological support group, in which participants, under the guidance of a psychologist, exchange experiences, share experiences, and support each other in making decisions.
Address: Bolshaya Raznochinnaya st., 25 A, room. 330
Phones: 8 (812) 980-09-30, (812) 309-02-09
E-mail : [email protected]


  • 8 (812) 323-43-43 - Helpline of the Clinic of Neurosis, around the clock.
  • 8 (800) 2000-122 - free round-the-clock psychological and psychotherapeutic assistance service
  • 8 (800) 100-49-94 — Crisis hotline, around the clock
  • 8 (812) 747-13-40 (daily from 9. 00 to 21.00, anonymous) — help in difficult life situations for everyone
  • 8 (812) 251-13-32 — crisis phone trust, from 18:00 to 2:00 daily
  • 8 (812) 323-47-38 - an office of social and psychological assistance, they can give a referral to hospitals
  • 8 (812) 322-94-07, from January 1, 2019 years - 8 (812) 246-27-80 (anonymous, daily from 10.00 to 20.00) - crisis service, helpline "Soulful Conversation"
  • 8 (812) 708-40-41 — telephone for emergency psychological assistance for children and adults of the Harmony Institute of Psychotherapy

for oncological patients and their relatives

  • 8 (812) 300-83-78 — helpline for the elderly
  • 8 (812) 344-08-06 — helpline for emergency psychological assistance to families in difficult life situations
  • 8 (812) 235-14-70 (from 9.00 to 19.00, except weekends and holidays) - helpline for alcoholism and drug addiction of the City Narcological Dispensary
  • 8 (812) 320-67-24 (24 hours, anonymously) – hotline of the Service for Social and Legal Assistance to Victims of Domestic Violence “Alexandra”
  • 8 (812) 327-30-00, skype-consultations: crisis_center — hotline of the Crisis Center for Women of the Institute of Non-Discriminatory Gender Relations. Socio-psychological and legal support for women victims of sexual and physical violence, rehabilitation programs for victims of human trafficking, individual and group psychological assistance to victims of sexual and domestic violence.
  • Helplines for children and adolescents