Q: How do I know if I should use Open Path’s affordable therapy program?
Open Path is a nonprofit that serves clients in financial need seeking affordable therapy. Open Path clients cannot afford market rates for therapy, are uninsured or underinsured, and have an annual household income below $100,000.
By underinsured, we are referring to people who have health insurance that does not include affordable in-network mental health benefits. This could be due to a high deductible and/or a copay higher than $70 per session for individual therapy (or higher than $80 per session for couples or family therapy). Learn more.
If you have health insurance, we ask that you call your insurance company to verify your mental health benefits before you use Open Path’s service. For a list of questions you can ask your insurance company to verify your benefits, click here.
If you can afford full-fee psychotherapy sessions, we ask that you do not use Open Path’s service. If you have questions regarding whether Open Path is right for you, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What do you mean by Lifetime Membership?
A Lifetime Membership means there are no annual fees. Once you sign up, you can see any therapist in our network at any time for the rates that we advertise, as long as you are still in need of low fee therapy. We’ll never ask you to pay another fee if you decide to see a new therapist, or if you take a break and come back to therapy at a later time.
In the event that your financial situation changes (you win the lottery, get a better paying job, obtain good mental health benefits through your insurance, etc), you may no longer qualify for Open Path’s rates. If this occurs, we encourage you to speak with your therapist about your rates. If your therapist determines that you are no longer in need of Open Path’s low rates, then we will abide by your therapist’s decision. We will not return your membership fee if you have already begun your work with your Open Path therapist.
Q: Why does Open Path charge a membership fee?
Open Path is a nonprofit organization. We use the funds we receive from your one-time membership fee to sustain a small support staff, maintain our website, pursue grants and other avenues of funding, and recruit new therapists nationwide. Therapists in private practice can charge upward of $150 per session. Open Path is a collective of psychotherapists practicing privately who want to offer a lower rate to those in need. We’ll never ask for your financial records because we trust that if you’re seeking our services, it’s because you can afford to pay between $40 and $70–and because you can’t afford to pay more.
Q: What happens after I apply to be a member?
Once you’ve submitted your membership application and you’ve chosen an Open Path therapist, you’ll submit your one-time $65 membership fee to Open Path via debit, credit, or check. Then, we’ll send you an Open Path Member ID email, which you can forward to your chosen therapist. From there you’re all set to discuss your per-session fee with your therapist and schedule your first session. The per-session fee will be in a range between $40 and $70 for individual counseling (and between $40 and $80 for couples and family counseling) – you’ll decide on the exact number with your therapist.
Q: I have insurance. Can I use my insurance to pay the Open Path fee?
Unfortunately, you cannot. One of the goals of Open Path is to completely bypass the insurance industry. Open Path is intended for people who are either uninsured or underinsured. By “underinsured” we are referring to people who have a high deductible that they have yet to meet, or an unaffordable copay (more than $70). While some clients can use their HSA or FSA money to pay their therapist, an Open Path therapist will not submit to an insurance company on your behalf or provide you with a superbill.
Q: I have Medicaid. Can I use Open Path?
If there are no available Medicaid providers in your area, you could use Open Path to meet your need for affordable mental health care. Please note that Open Path rates ($40-70 per session for individual counseling) are much higher than Medicaid rates for psychotherapy. If there are available Medicaid providers in your area, we ask that you do not use Open Path.
Q: I’d like to see a couples therapist. Do we need to pay for two memberships for this?
If you would like to work with a couples therapist, you and your partner just need to pay for one Open Path membership.
Q: What if I don’t like my therapist, will you return my Open Path membership fee?
Open Path relies on the membership fee to help us facilitate as much low-fee therapy around the nation as possible. While we won’t refund your membership fee if your therapist is not the right match, you are welcome to see any other therapist in our Collective without paying an additional fee. Your Open Path member number represents a lifetime membership and we routinely add new member clinicians to our Collective. Please contact us at email@example.com if you wish to change therapists.
If for some reason you are unable to set up an appointment with your new therapist, we will refund your membership fee as long as you make the request within 10 business days of submitting the payment.
Finding and Working with a Therapist
Q: What is a student intern?
A student intern is a therapist in training completing their practicum or clinical internship under the watchful eye of a supervisor and with the guidance of their professors. Student interns must complete their internship in order to receive their postgraduate degree and are able to offer $30 sessions for all modalities. Please note that student interns will consult with their supervisors and potentially their professors about clients in a confidential manner.
Q: How do I register to see an Open Path therapist?
First, search for an Open Path therapist in your area. If the therapist, social worker, or psychologist you’ve selected has availability, a link to “Join Open Path” will appear on their profile page. If the therapist you’ve selected isn’t available, please check back frequently: we’ll be adding new therapists to our database as we grow. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request that we find more therapists in your area!
Q: How will my therapist know that I’m an Open Path member?
After we receive your membership fee, we’ll email your Open Path Member ID. In your first session with your therapist you can show them your Open Path Member ID email. You can also forward your therapist a copy of the email.
Q: How do I book an appointment?
All of the therapists who participate in Open Path are in private practice, which means they handle their own appointment scheduling. Once you register to become an Open Path member, you will receive your Open Path Member ID, which contains your therapist’s contact information. You can reach out directly to your therapist to book appointments.
Q: How soon can I see my therapist?
In order to learn more about a given therapist’s availability, we recommend that you contact them directly. If you are not yet a member of Open Path, you can do so by clicking “Message this therapist” on the therapist’s profile. If you are a member, you can contact your therapist using the information provided in your Member ID email.
Please know that therapists’ availability will vary quite a bit. While some therapists may have availability within a few days, others may not have an open slot for more than a week.
Q: How do I change which Open Path therapist I am seeing?
Please fill out this form if you wish to change therapists. We will need to update your Member ID email with the new therapist’s name and contact information before you can start attending sessions with your new therapist.
Q: What if I don’t find an Open Path therapist in my area?
We understand that finding the right fit is extremely important in therapy, and that we may not always be able to offer your ideal candidate. If you are open to working with a therapist either online or through the telephone, please search our site for a counselor providing “online therapy” in your state. If you still can’t find the right fit, please email us. Our goal is to recruit many more therapists as we grow, and we want to hear from you.
Q: What is online therapy and is it right for me?
Remote therapy, also called teletherapy, is a form of psychotherapy in which a psychotherapist meets with a client via telephone, cellular phone, the internet, or other electronic media in place of or in addition to conventional face-to-face psychotherapy.
Face-to-face therapy generally is preferable to online therapy, and there are certain circumstances in which a therapist may choose not to offer online therapy to a particular client. Therapists should conduct an initial assessment to determine the appropriateness of online therapy to be provided for the client before regular sessions are undertaken.
Most therapists will not do online therapy with clients who reside in a different state. If you are looking for a therapist that will work with you remotely, we highly recommend you search for Open Path therapists located in your state that have the “offers online therapy” label on their profile. If you have questions about how to do this, please feel free to get in touch with us at email@example.com.
Q: Can I use Open Path to find an affordable psychiatrist?
Open Path’s directory does not include psychiatrists. Our therapists provide psychotherapy, or talk therapy. They are not able to prescribe or manage medications. To find a psychiatrist near you, please use Psychology Today’s psychiatrist finder tool.
Q: Will you know any details about my treatment with my therapist?
Absolutely not. Everything that occurs between you and your therapist is confidential. We are always open to receiving feedback on your experience, however. Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Is there a limit on how many times a week I can see my Open Path therapist or on how many total sessions I have with them?
This decision is completely between you and your therapist.
Q: Can you guarantee that I will have a positive experience with my Open Path therapist?
Unfortunately, we cannot. While we do everything we can to ensure that your therapist is qualified and licensed, we are not responsible for anything that occurs in your relationship together. Please see our terms of service for more information.
Rates & Fees
Q: Can a therapist raise my rates?
An Open Path therapist can only raise your $40-70 fee range rate if your financial situation changes. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re suddenly able to pay more for your treatment, it is expected that you will bring this up with your therapist. If you don’t, it’s expected that your therapist will bring this up with you!
Q: What if I need to change my per-session fee, depending on what I can afford in a given week?
While we think it’s best for you and your therapist to decide on a set amount and stick with it, your session fee within the $40-70 range is between you and your clinician.
Q: My couples counselor or family therapist wants to charge more than $40-70 per session. Why is this?
Some psychotherapists charge more for couples therapy or family therapy than for individual therapy. In these instances, Open Path member therapists have permission to charge up to $80 a session for couples therapy or family therapy. If you cannot afford that amount, you are welcome to return to our listing and select a different therapist.
If for some reason your therapist is charging more than $80 a session, please let us know by emailing email@example.com so that we can handle the issue internally.