Self-Therapy For People Who ENJOY Learning About Themselves

Are You Considering Therapy?

Probably not!

Since you are competent enough to read and understand this, the question isn't whether you "need" therapy but whether you WANT it, and whether you want it enough.


You can decide if you want therapy enough by mentally "weighing" the expected costs against the expected rewards.


You can evaluate the costs by thinking about money, time, and energy. About Money Your out of pocket costs can range from nothing (for those with great insurance) to much more than $150 per hour (for those who need a psychiatrist and must pay on their own). You need a psychiatrist if you have medical complications related to therapy.

Most people see a "clinical social worker," and some see a "clinical psychologist." If you need medication you can see a psychiatrist just once or occasionally (sometimes for less than an hour) and see a social worker or a psychologist for your regular meetings.

Fees vary greatly. On average (in Milwaukee in 1998), a psychologist charges about $110 per hour.

A social worker is likely to charge in the $90 range. [I charge $85 per appointment OR $220 per Month for 4 or 5 Weekly Meetings.] Competence is NOT directly related to fees! Fees are mostly related to the therapist's circumstances: overhead, agency policies, lifestyle, etc.

My monthly rate is low because of low expenses. Ask for info if you live in Milwaukee or want telephone counseling...]

Finances Should Not Keep You Out Of Therapy.

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If you can't afford the fees and have no insurance, call a Family Service agency or call the local Mental Health Association. They should be able to find help for you that is based on your ability to pay.

(If you have enough income but prefer to spend it on other things, you don't want therapy enough...)

About Time and Energy

One of the best ways to evaluate whether you want therapy enough is simply to ask yourself: "Would it be worth an hour of my time and energy each week talk to a therapist about all the things I'd like to change about myself and my life."

If the answer to this question is "Yes," then you probably want therapy enough. If the answer is "No," you probably don't want it enough

(... unless deciding about time and energy is one of the problems you want to work on!).


It is reasonable to assume that you will at least learn to understand yourself and your situation very well through therapy.

Since nothing is perfect, it is not reasonable to assume that you will solve all of the problems in your life.

When I end therapy with someone, I ask them to remember everything they wanted to change and then rate the degree to which we were successful or unsuccessful at each of them.

Most people report SOME improvement in ALL areas, and ENOUGH improvement to be quite happy about it in about 90% of the problems we discussed.


The Best Ways To Find A Good Therapist

  • Go back to any therapist you had in the past if you were happy with their work.

  • Ask a few friends what they like about their therapists. Then notice if these same factors are important to you.

One Very Poor Way To Find A Therapist Don't rely on your insurance company! Their primary interest is in keeping costs down. They usually refer only to therapists who agree to follow the insurance company's very restrictive guidelines. Remember: You Are HIRING The Therapist! YOU decide if they are right for you, and you have every right to "shop around" if you want. A therapist should feel like a good match for you, regardless of their credentials. One of the most important factors in finding a good therapist is whether the therapist believes he or she can help you. Notice their level of personal confidence.

Something Is Very Wrong...

  • If your therapist believes they know you better than you know yourself.

  • If the therapist acts as if they are "superior" to you.

Therapists Are The Experts On Therapy But YOU Are Always The Best Expert On YOU!

Enjoy Your Changes!

Everything here is designed to help you do just that!

next: Getting Practical #1: The Basics

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, November 30). Self-Therapy, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Last Updated: August 18, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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