Zencare Study Uncovers Current Cost of Mental Health Services in the U.S.

Average therapy session costs $182, with New York being most expensive and Idaho least expensive

A 2022 study conducted by Zencare, a leading online marketplace for therapists, reveals the cost of mental health services nationwide averages $182 per session. (Graphic: Business Wire)

BROOKLYN, N.Y.--()--A recent study* conducted by Zencare, a leading online marketplace for therapists, reveals the cost of mental health services nationwide averages $182 per session. The most expensive state in which to seek therapy is New York, with sessions costing an average of $213, while the least expensive state for therapy services is Idaho at $135 per session. Perhaps surprisingly, only 38 percent of therapists in private practice are in-network with any insurance panel.

“At Zencare, we strongly believe in the power and benefits of quality mental health care. So when we started to hear more about the rising costs of goods and services, the team decided to examine the price of therapy to see exactly what Americans are paying to get the help they need – and how much access to in-network insurance exists for offsetting some of that cost,” said Yuri Tomikawa, founder and CEO of Zencare.

Zencare’s study of more than 3,000 therapists shows the most expensive states by average therapy session fee are:

  • New York - $213
  • Alaska - $207
  • Maine - $206
  • Utah - $203
  • New Hampshire - $202

The least expensive states by average therapy session fee include:

  • Idaho - $135
  • Wyoming - $145
  • Oregon - $145
  • North Carolina - $149
  • Montana - $150

Seven states have average therapy session fees greater than or equal to $200 per session, while only five states have average therapy session fees less than or equal to $150 per session. Session fees typically reflect the cost-of-living of the area. Other elements that go into calculating a session fee include session length and type, as well as the therapist’s level of specialization and years of experience.

While all health insurance plans have differing benefits, most offer coverage for mental health treatment, including therapy sessions. Generally, the option that leads to the lowest out-of-pocket cost to therapy seekers is to see an in-network therapist. However, the number of therapists who take insurance or are in-network with health insurance plans also varies significantly by state.

The state with the highest percentage of in-network therapists is Rhode Island, where 68 percent of private practice therapists accept at least one insurance panel. This means that two out of three therapists in Rhode Island offer therapy where clients don’t have to pay the full session fee out-of-pocket.

By contrast, in California only 18 percent of private practice therapists take any insurance. It’s harder to find an in-network therapist in California, which may mean that more clients must resort to seeing an out-of-network therapist or seeking community services for their regular therapy.

New York-based psychotherapist Mia Ruth, a licensed mental health counselor at Insight & Action Therapy, noted: “When finding it difficult to justify the cost of therapy, I encourage people to consider what they can potentially gain through the work of examining themselves in a dedicated therapeutic space. A deeper understanding of the self, fewer unpleasant emotions, more satisfying relationships, and likely a more meaningful and joyful life, to me, are invaluable. Therapy is an investment in yourself, and little is more important than that.”

For additional insights regarding this study, plus the full state cost and insurance rankings, visit the Zencare blog.


This data was gathered from 3,267 private practice therapists listed in Zencare’s database as of February 2022. Session fee is the average of providers’ indicated fee for individual therapy sessions; if a provider offers a sliding scale or range of session fees, only the standard ongoing fee was averaged. In-network percentage is the average percent of providers who indicate they are in-network with one or more insurance panels. When providers are licensed in multiple states, their session fee was averaged in each state in which they are licensed; for the national averages, each provider was counted once.

About Zencare

Zencare is the simplest way to find quality therapists. The digital marketplace started as a solution to a common problem: it's really difficult to find a therapist online. Zencare streamlines the process through up-to-date availability and insurance information, therapist videos, and a vetted network to ensure quality care. The platform also helps therapists reach their ideal clients, whether starting a new practice, reaching a target clientele, or filling daytime appointments. A mission-driven company based in Brooklyn, Zencare designs and manages modern therapist profiles to enable providers to focus on what they do best: changing lives, one person at a time. Learn more at zencare.co.


Maggie Jordan

Release Summary

A study conducted by Zencare, a leading online marketplace for therapists, reveals the cost of U.S. mental health services averages $182 per session.

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Maggie Jordan