India has recently been experiencing a rise in acceptance of mental health issues, leading a lot of people to consider seeking therapy. Therapy can be a valuable resource for anyone who is looking for mental health support. However, therapy can come across as ‘too costly’ or expensive for many people. In this article, we will explore a few reasons why therapy can be expensive.

  • Expertise And Training Of Therapists

Psychologists and therapists have to undergo extensive training before they can start seeing clients in their private practice or through an organization. It takes at least 5 years of education to become a qualified counselling psychologist and 7 years of education to be a certified clinical psychologist in India. The fees charged by therapists are based on these qualifications

Many or most therapists also continue to upskill themselves and invest in further specializations and training even after their degree so that they can keep providing the best quality of services to their clients. The cost of this additional training is reflected in the charges as well.

  • Overhead Expenses

Like any other industry, running a therapy practice or organization involves various overhead expenses, such as renting a clinic space, purchasing equipment, hiring support staff, and managing administrative tasks. These overhead costs contribute to the overall cost of therapy sessions. All therapists and organizations need to cover these operational expenses while maintaining a sustainable practice with quality services.

  • The Therapist’s Work In Between Sessions

It is a common misconception that a therapist spends only 50 minutes or one hour with a client, before moving on to the next one. However, that is not the case. Being in sessions is just one part of a therapist’s work. After the session, therapists spend time reflecting on their work, reading articles, making case contextualizations, making treatment plans and creating tools and techniques for each client. Thus, a major part of a therapist’s job happens in between sessions with their clients. All ethical therapists are required to invest in additional supervision as well, which contributes to the overall cost of their therapy charges.

  • Lack Of Support From The Government

While the government is taking steps to make mental health accessible by introducing schemes such as Tele_MANAS, it provides no support to private practices or organizations offering therapy sessions. Without subsidies, grants, or incentives for training and practice, therapists and organizations often need to charge higher fees to sustain their practices and maintain quality services  Government support in the form of subsidies and grants can help make therapy more accessible and affordable for the Indian population.

  • A Therapist’s Ideal Caseload

Some health professionals, like physicians, eye specialists, etc., have shorter appointment durations between 10-15 minutes. These shorter appointment durations allow them to schedule more appointments in a day. Shorter appointment durations may also allow them to charge less. However, a mental health therapist spends almost 50 to 60 minutes in a session. Sometimes these sessions can be mentally and emotionally draining as well. Considering all these factors, most therapists have limited caseloads so that they can provide the best services for their clients. A manageable caseload also allows therapists to take care of themselves. Thus, the charges for therapy also depend on the therapist’s caseload. 

  • Limited Insurance Coverage

While the Government of India has made it compulsory for insurance companies to offer mental health coverage as a part of health insurance, the development is only recent, and it may take time before these changes are implemented. This leaves individual clients to bear a significant portion of the therapy expenses out of pocket.


While therapy can sometimes be perceived as expensive, it is important to recognise it as a valuable and beneficial resource for mental health support. It is also important to know that the cost of therapy sessions is not only influenced by the duration of the session but also by other factors such as a therapist’s education and expertise, a lack of government support, limited insurance coverage, etc. Addressing these major issues requires a collaborative effort between the government, insurance providers and mental health professionals.


  1. DeGrossa, B. (2023, February 21). Why Is Therapy So Expensive? CounselingWise.
  2. Deshpande, G. (2023, October 12). Mental Health Matters: Why is therapy so expensive? What do youngsters think? EdexLive.
  3. Why is Therapy So Expensive? (& 3 Cost-Influencing Factors). (n.d.). Retrieved April 4, 2024, from

Dhruva Koranne

Dhruva Koranne has completed his Masters in Applied Psychology from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, BALM. He has been practicing as a counsellor since 2020 and works to create a safe space for clients where they can open up. In addition to this, Dhruva loves researching and studying about upcoming theories in the field of Psychology. Connect with him on Linkedin