I’m aware this has the potential to read like an advertisement for therapy; that’s not my intention. My intention is to discuss a very real barrier to treatment which is finances, and why I believe this financial investment is worth it.
In Ontario, seeing a Psychologist for treatment is not covered under OHIP. People with extended health care coverage may have coverage for mental health treatment. This coverage varies – I have seen people receive from $300 to $10,000 worth of coverage. So, for many, therapy can be an out of pocket expense. Let me amend: Therapy can be an expensive out of pocket expense.
It becomes harder to commit to such an expense when the idea of therapy can be scary. It’s a foreign experience to sit across from a stranger and discuss intimate experiences, thoughts and feelings. Saying things out loud you may have never said to anyone else is hard. However, giving voice to these difficulties and providing yourself the opportunity to gain support and empathy allows you space to think and feel differently.
Treatment used by psychologists is evidence based and informed by what science knows about our mind-body connection and how we cognitively process experiences. It can be a place where you gain answers to why you have been feeling a certain way; both physically and mentally. Understanding ourselves lays the foundation for change because it allows us to know when and how we want to cope differently.
Let’s think of it in financial terms: We spend large sums of money on things that are cultural norms like new technology or vacations. However, when we think of stigmatized mental health care we can quickly convince ourselves it’s not worth it. Imagine if you took money you were going to spend on a new television and put it toward thinking and feeling differently – it could literally change your life!
Learning coping strategies and gaining a different perspective on your challenges is momentous. If you are in emotional distress or if your functioning at school, work, or socially has been limited, then therapy may be beneficial to you. Invest in yourself – you’re worth it!