Cost of Counseling Therapy in Twin Cities MSP Metro

Editor's Note: This data was collected in late 2020, and general industry trends indicate these costs have continued to increase since this point.

Mental health treatment is vital to recovery from mental illnesses. The National Alliance on Mental Illness states that 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience a mental illness and 1 in 25 experience a serious mental illness. Of the U.S. adults who deal with a mental illness, 43% receive treatment and of the ones with serious mental illness, 64% receive treatment. That leaves many people being left untreated. According to Psychology Today, “more than half of participants cited financial factors for not receiving treatment (therapy or medications).”

Finances can play a huge role in a person’s decision to proceed with therapy or not. The price of therapy varies too based on the type of mental health therapist being seen, the length of time a physician has been in practice, geographical location, and the number of sessions booked by the patient.

While finances are not the only factor to consider when choosing a therapist, they are often the number one consideration for it, making insurance coverage, deductibles, and price important deciding factors.

Therapists in Minneapolis & St. Paul Metro Area

If you are looking for a therapist to help treat your mental illness, there are hundreds of options to choose from just near Minneapolis, both in-person and online! This can be a bit overwhelming. To help you compare the therapists side-by-side, we have put together a chart to help you find a therapist that best matches your needs based on location, pricing, and their specialties listed.

How We Found This Data

We used Psychology Today to find the listings of therapists in the area and took at least a 20% sample of therapists from each location. We recorded data for all the therapist listings on the first page of a city, whether that was 4 therapists or 20. Some cities only have a few therapists listed so we took an entire 100% sample of that city.

For cities with pages up to 5, we sampled 1 page of listings. For cities with 10 pages of listings, we sampled 2. For those up to 20 pages of listings, we sampled 3, and so on, taking a minimum of 20% of the data available. Of that 20% or more, we used data from the therapists who listed their prices online which averaged to be 75% of therapists but could vary from 40% to 100%.

Many therapists give sliding p scales, or otherwise known as price ranges, for the cost of their session. We list the percentage of listed prices by city in the table Of the therapists, we took data from, about 86% offered this information while the remaining 14% either gave fixed costs, minimum, or maximum therapy prices.

Cost of Therapy in the Twin Cities

Comprehensive Table of Twin Cities Therapy Prices By Cities

The Twin Cities Metro Graph

We split the Twin Cities into subsections of Saint Paul, Minneapolis, North Metro, West Metro, East Metro, and South Metro.

A Graph of Minneapolis Therapy Prices

This graph gives data on the lowest, highest, and average costs of therapy prices in Minneapolis.

Therapy Prices in Saint Paul Graph

This graph gives data on the lowest, highest, and average costs of therapy prices in Saint Paul.

A Graph of The Prices of Therapy in the North Metro

We gathered data on all cities falling on the north side of the Twin Cities metro area including: Anoka, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Coon Rapids, Elk River, New Hope, Osseo, Ostego, Robbinsdale, Rogers, Roseville, Shoreview, and St. Michael.

The West Metro Therapy Prices Graph

The cities we collected data from on the west side of the metro area include: Crystal, Eden Prairie, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Maple Grove, Minnetonka, Plymouth, St. Louis Park, and Wayzata.

A Graph of East Metro Therapy Prices

We conducted research on therapy prices on these cities on the east side of the Twin Cities metro area: Lake Elmo, Maplewood, White Bear Lake, and Woodbury.

The South Metro Therapy Prices Graph

We gathered information on therapy prices of these cities on the south side of the Twin Cities metro area: Apple Valley, Burnsville, Bloomington, Cottage Grove, Eagan, Edina, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, Mendota Heights, Prior Lake, Rosemount, Savage, and Shakopee.

Factors Affecting the Price of Therapy

Factors other than location can affect therapy costs as well including the type of medical license a therapist has earned and if they take insurance.

Types of Mental Health Licenses in Minnesota

Depending on the level of education a therapist has received, he or she may charge more or less for therapy sessions. All mental health licenses require a minimum of a master’s degree in some form of counseling in the state of Minnesota. A few of the abbreviations for therapy licenses and degrees include:

  • Licensed Mental Health Counselors - These clinicians have obtained their master’s degree in counseling.
  • LPCC - Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor - These professionals carry a master’s degree in counseling. They are able to diagnose and treat individuals with mental and emotional illness, substance abuse, trauma, disability, and social development disorders.
  • LMFT - Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist - These mental health professionals are trained at a master’s level in therapy and family systems, and often specialize in areas like adoption, infertility, conflict, caregiving, anger issues, or financial distress.
  • LSW - Licensed Social Worker - These professionals are non-clinical social workers who carry a bachelor’s degree or have gained enough hours of work experience in the field. LSW licensing may only provide clinical services under an LCSW’s supervision.
  • LCSW - Licensed Clinical Social Workers - These counselors have their master’s degrees in social work and have often been trained in bureaucratic systems like the state’s Division of Child Care Services or Department of Mental Health. They may give diagnosis, treatment, and therapy directly to clients.
  • LSC - Licensed School Counselor - According to the Minnesota Department of Education, to become a licensed school counselor in Minnesota, one must have a master's degree or the equivalent from a college or university that is regionally accredited and show verification of completing a Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board preparation program leading to the licensure of school counselors. The other option is to provide evidence of having completed a preparation program in school counseling accredited by CACREP which requires 700 hours of experience. (School Counselor 2020)
  • LP - Licensed Psychologist   - The American Psychological Association informs us that a Ph.D. or PsyD education is required for this title. Hours of training and education range from 1,500 to 6000 depending on the state and one must pass the examination for professional practice in psychology (EPPP) and the jurisprudence exam if necessary.
  • MD -  Psychiatrist - For this position, a person must first become a licensed medical doctor plus take advanced training in psychiatry. First, graduates either receive a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) and at this point students are officially a doctor, but it takes at least four years of residency to become a psychiatrist plus recertification every 10 years.

Length & Frequency of Sessions

The average length of therapy sessions is approximately 50-55 minutes although some therapists will offer 45-minute and 60-minute sessions. Insurance companies will often only cover session lengths up to 50 minutes. The length of your therapy session can impact the price as well as the number of therapy sessions you need to reach recovery for your mental illness. Therapists may lower rates for sessions after so many are scheduled or they may also offer discounted session rates when purchased in a group.


A therapist who specializes in one field or age group can often command higher prices than those who do not. Some therapists specialize in working with children while others with adults. Some have been highly educated in treating depression while others may have taken extra training in marriage counseling.

Some specializations therapists may have included that in:

  • Psychology
  • Family therapy
  • Marriage counseling
  • Early childhood
  • Art therapy
  • Sex therapy

Depending on what you are seeking treatment for, specialization may be important. For example, going to a general therapist for an eating disorder will not yield the same results and benefits as seeking treatment from a specialized care center like the Melrose Center or Emily Program. That being said, some issues may be just as well resolved from a general therapist if one has mild anxiety and what they really need is a supportive, listening ear. As a bonus, the price of therapy has less of an impact on your wallet.

Online vs. In-Person

Depending on how a therapist chooses to conduct his or her therapy sessions, the therapy format can play a role in therapy pricing. During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, most therapy sessions are offered online only as a safety precaution to both patients and providers. Other reasons providers may choose online delivery of therapy sessions is because of the fewer fixed costs required for office space. With lower overhead costs, these therapists are able to offer lower session rates to their customers. Online delivery can be excellent for clients too by saving drive time to sessions and allowing them to complete therapy from the comfort of one’s home.

However, there are limitations. You and the therapists will not be able to read all nonverbal cues, body language, and nuances delivered during communication in-person which can sometimes decrease the effectiveness of therapy. While there is no substitute for in-person communication, online communication can be a close runner up with today’s technology.

Accepting Insurance

If a therapist accepts insurance, he or she will likely charge a higher rate to maximize what the insurance company will cover since the client themself is not paying, the insurance company will be. For therapists who do not have the option for insurance to be used, they will often charge less for appointments to make themselves accessible and affordable to clients.

Insurance Disclaimer For Life Coaching, Marriage Counseling, and Career Coaching

While one can benefit from receiving life coaching, marriage counseling, and career coaching, do not expect to receive insurance coverage for these types of therapy. This is because there is nothing physically or mentally wrong with you when you need guidance in these areas, so it does not qualify for insurance. That is just one aspect to note so you are not surprised when you pay for these services.

Choosing The Right Therapist For You

In the end, you need to choose the therapist that fits best with you and your personal needs. There is no one size fits all for therapists. Depending on your physical location, how much money you have budgeted for therapy, as well as the amount of experience you want your therapist to have can all weigh into your decision.

In addition to these factors, it is important to choose a therapist you can trust. In order to start making changes in your life to help free you from mental illness, you are going to need to trust the person who is telling you to create new habits and change certain behaviors.

Otherwise, treatment will go nowhere and it doesn’t matter how much money you spend on treatment if you refuse to listen to your provider. It also is beneficial if you connect well with your provider in the sense that you will also likely be the most receptive to hearing any constructive words of advice.

All in all, mental health treatment is well worth the investment. It is just a matter of researching and finding the right provider for you.


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