Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is professional counseling so expensive?
Professional counseling ranges between $60 and $150 per session. The cost depends on what kind of counseling you're getting, the licensure of the professional treating you, and the area you live in.
Essentially it is illegal to offer professional counseling/therapy (these words are pretty much interchangable) services in Michigan without an advanced degree, which means Masters level or higher. A person licensed to do counseling in Michigan at the Masters level (Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Master Social Worker, Limited Licensed Psychologist, etc.) has often spent $150,000 or more between their undergraduate and graduate work.
Because people in college tend to meet and marry other people they are in school with, licensed counselors frequently end up married to other professionals who also have at least a Bachelor's degree, and often have Master's level education as well. A couple in their late 20's or early 30's, both with Master's degrees, may easily have $200-$300,000 debt or more upon emerging from graduate school. Each partner could quite conceivably pay $500-$1000/month on their loans for the next 25 years.
In other words, though hourly rates for counseling seem high to many people, many professional counselors actually live on less disposable income than a family headed by a skilled tradesman who went to an 18-month trade school, graduated with very little debt, and makes half the yearly income they make. While the fees most counselors charge allow them to pay their mortgages, repay their loans, and support their families, they are not nearly high enough to allow them to live what most would consider extravagant lifestyles.