Welcome to Creative CBT. This is the website of therapist/life coach Benjamin Mathews. Benjamin specialises in cognitive behavioural therapy via the internet. If you are new, why not check out the Getting started tab on the right hand side? Alternatively, click here if you would like to contact Benjamin or make an appointment.

Finding an Affordable Therapist

If you are considering therapy you are going to want to find a therapist who you can trust and who is within your price range. There are also a number of other things to consider, such as location, the type of therapy, and the therapist's areas of specialisation. In this article I am going to introduce you to some facts that you may not be aware of in order to help you save money and find a high quality psychotherapist.

The first consideration is type of therapy practised. There are many types of therapy, from Freudian psychoanalytic therapy, Fritz Perls' gestalt therapy, Carl Rogers' humanistic therapy, and Aaron Beck's cognitive behavioural therapy. I will give a brief explanation of each, but it is important that you choose the therapy that best fits with your expectations of what will help you. 

Types of Psychotherapy
Sigmund Freud psychoanalysis
Freudian psychoanalytic therapy is one of the older more traditional forms of therapy. It postulates that we are victim of unconscious motivations (often sexual in nature). It also believes in the talking cure, and spends a great deal of time dealing with childhood memories and examining their link to current neuroses. Psychoanalytic therapy is of very long duration, though the benefits can also be long lasting.

Fritz Perls Gestalt TherapyGestalt therapy is, in practice, often more of an aggressive approach. It can be rather blunt and while this can be annoying or insulting to some, others find that it is necessary. It places a greater emphasis on personal responsibility and feeling the emotions in the present rather than reflecting on emotions from the past or the future. Fritz Perls, its founder, was a master at what he did, and it can be awe inspiring to watch videos of his sessions, however, finding a Gestalt therapist as talented as Fritz Perls was is likely to be an impossible task, and as mentioned earlier, even for Fritz, not all of his clients appreciated his aggressive approach.

Carl Rogers - Client Centred Therapy
Humanistic/client centred therapy was an approach developed by Carl Rogers. Unlike the Freudian approach to therapy, which sees the client as completely oblivious to the true cause of their neuroses and motivations, client centred therapy sees the client as an expert on themselves. If you go to a traditional Freudian psychoanalyst, you may find you completely disagree with their formulation about your true motivations and feelings, in which cause the therapist is likely to state that you are "in denial". The client centred approach instead involves a lot repeating back what the client has said, listening emphatically, asking questions, and rather than giving advice, they ask you what you think you should do. Many people find that unlike most people, client centred therapists actually listen to you, however, others find this approach irritates them.

Aaron Beck - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy is the current favourite of the science of psychology, medicine and of insurance companies. The main reason it has become so popular is that there are over 1000 scientific outcome studies attesting to its effectiveness, in addition to media coverage about its benefits. Another reason for its popularity lies in the fact that it typically requires much fewer sessions that other forms of therapy, and thus saves clients and insurance companies a lot of money. In cognitive behavioural therapy the client and the therapist work together to identify and solve problems. The cognitive model itself deals with connections between behaviours, thoughts, and emotions as well as looking at how these are affected by our environment.

These four domains represent the most popular accepted forms of therapy. It is, however, important to note that some therapists, like myself, practice an eclectic form of psychotherapy, incorporating elements and techniques from various styles. Even when this is the case, most therapists have and should have a favourite model that gives overall direction to the course of therapy.

Finding an Affordable Therapist
So, with that in mind, let's talk about finding an affordable therapist. When searching for a therapist you may be shocked at the prices. Indeed, you may find that many of the therapists are too expensive and on top of that they do not seem like what you are looking for. But what exactly are you paying for? A lot of your money is actually going towards paying for like the therapist's office space, secretary, heating, bathroom etc. These really add up and make the price of therapy much higher than it needs to be. On top of this, you have to pay for your transportation costs, not to mention that the therapist is factoring in their own transport costs.

What exactly am I getting at here? Well the point I getting at is that you are not going to find a truly affordable therapist if you are paying for these things. On the other hand, there is an alternative: online therapy. Online therapy has been shown to be just as effective as face to face therapy, and in addition, the greater sense of anonymity actually makes most clients feel more comfortable. The other thing to keep in mind, is the duration of therapy and effectiveness. If you really want the therapy to be affordable, you need to keep in mind how many sessions you are going to require in order to see an effect. For this reason I recommend cognitive behavioural therapy. While other approaches can mean life long therapy sessions, cognitive behavioural therapy teaches you what you need to know in order to become your own therapist, and thus maintain benefits over time. For this reason I recommend finding an online cognitive behavioural therapist if you are looking for an affordable therapist.

Contact Benjamin about setting up an appointment for online CBT
15 reasons to try online therapy
More about cognitive behavioural therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy in the news

All artwork by Benjamin, click here to view more therapy related art and comics by Benjamin